CMS2CMS is a service that handles the migration of site content from one CMS to another. The service is capable of migrating a number of different types of data including textual content, users, post images and comments and attachments. Forums and their content can also be migrated using the CMS2CMS service. However, templates, styles, themes and other design elements aren’t included in the migration.
The service covers 18 CMS and forum platforms including Drupal, Joomla, Blogger, Tumblr and more. The most popular options according to CMS2CMS website are moving content from Joomla to WordPress and Drupal to WordPress conversion.
The migrations process takes place through the CMS2CMS website and doesn’t require the installation of a plugin. To initiate the process, simply enter the details for both sites and the upload a few files and let application handle the rest.
Using a service such as this is ideal for those who wish to let someone take care of the often time consuming process of migrating from one online publishing platform to another. But just how effective is an automated service of carrying out such a migration, and is it really as hands off as they claim? Find out now in our CMS2CMS review.
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CMS2CMS Migration Review
For this review I used CMS2CMS to migrate a hosted Blogger site to a self-hosted WordPress site. The source site had around 15 posts, each containing text and images, with a range of formatting and a selection of user comments.
The migration process is very simple from a user perspective. There were less than 10 steps to walkthrough and none of them were more complicated than filling out a few text fields on a form, apart from one which required the upload of a few files.
The files in question are a script called Bridge, which needs to be uploaded to the destination site home folder. As part of the service, the CMS2CMS support team will do this for free if you provide them with your FTP details for both sites.
However, doing it yourself allows you to quickly progress with the migration process. Uploading the files should be within the skillset of most WordPress users, especially those who are familiar with uploading themes and plugins via FTP. There is also an instructional video on the site which covers the process involved.
Just before confirming the migration, you can choose the options you’d like to have performed during the migration process. As the pricing is partly calculated on a per feature basis, you can see how much each option will cost and exactly what it covers.
However, while the costs of the optional extras are listed, there is no mention of the base price of the migration. As the migration costs vary, depending on how much content you want to migrate, you cannot necessarily find out the amount before you start. While you can use the Migration Estimator tool to get a rough idea, it’s not the same as knowing exactly how much your particular migration will cost.
While this is understandable, as the migration pricing estimator relies on the accuracy of the data you enter, such as how many pages of content need to be moved, it would be nice to see the estimated base price when selecting the optional extras, to help keep track of costs.
Once you’ve made your selection of optional extras and then proceed, you are able to see the full migration price. If it’s more than you had budgeted, you can go back and remove some of the optional extras.
This isn’t a deal breaker but it would be nice if the pricing and costs were listed a bit more clearly when choosing the extras.
Before the migration goes live, you have the opportunity to perform a demo migration. The demo migration will move content to your destination site, so you can see how it looks and if the service meets your requirements.
As the migration with CMS2CMS doesn’t cover site design such as templates and themes, as a free optional extra, you can choose to have a theme suggestion made in order to help you recreate a similar look and feel on your target platform. In the case of my migration to WordPress, I was redirected to Template Monster and a selection of 1,401 WordPress themes to ponder.
Overall the whole process took less than 15 minutes, including uploading the Bridge script and performing a demo migration, before completing the full migration from Blogger to WordPress. Obviously the more content you have to transfer, the longer it will take. However, from the short duration of this migration you can see it’s a largely hands off affair.
Blogger uses labels for their taxonomies and these were converted to post tags in WordPress. It would’ve been nice to have the option to specify whether these should be converted to categories, tags or a custom taxonomy in WordPress, but there was no mention of how they would be handled during the migration.
The images were migrated successfully and inserted into posts using the same alignment in the destination site as the source site.
The HTML used in the Blogger posts doesn’t appear to be very clean, with a lot of seemingly redundant code used for relatively simple tasks. After the migration, this HTML was largely imported straight into the newly created WordPress posts. Large sites, with lots of posts, each with multiple images and formatting, could soon see the size of the posts inflate and make editing the post HTML more time consuming than it need be. This isn’t the fault of CMS2CMS but an option for cleaning code during migration might be an feature to consider for the future.
There was a slight problem with the comments as some of them were not migrated over. I have been in contact with support who are looking into this as I type. This is slightly troubling as it does make you wonder what else didn’t get migrated and how you would go about establishing this on a large site with 1,000s of pages and comments.
Update: We have been informed that comment importing has now been fixed.
For users with large sites, with over 1,000 pages, there are the extended, premium and ultimate service packages to choose from. These include the migration of the pages, plus a set number of hours of technical support.
If wou would like to try the service or if you don’t have a target website setup that you would like to migrate your existing site to, you can still give CMS2CMS a try. They will migrate a part of your current website content as a free demo migration. You can then access the front and backend to see how the service works and decide if you want to use it for a real migration. You can find more details about this demo service here.
As the pricing is calculated depending on how many entities, or items of migratable content you wish to move, it is necessary to use the Migration Estimator tool to get an idea of the cost. To give you an idea of the cost, migrating a site with 1,000 pages, plus any images costs $68. Optional extras can be added including making URLS SEO friendly and setting up 301 redirects for the source site.
When it comes to paying for your migration, you can do so via credit card or PayPal.
CMS2CMS is certainly very easy to use. The migration is very much a hands off process after the initial setup steps have been completed. There is lots of support along the way showing that the service is catering to all levels of users from those moving to their first self-hosted blog, to those with large sites who just don’t have the time or the inclination to manually move their content over. Pricing is certainly competitive when you consider the amount of time that can saved by taking this approach.
Overall, CMS2CMS is an affordable and easy to use, hands off way to migrate content from one platform to another.
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