WordPress has become the go-to content management platform for many, so there’s no doubt you would want to join the millions of websites hosted on the platform. If you’re a nonprofit looking to migrate your website from any CMS to WordPress, then you’re at the right place.
In this guide, we take you through the ins and outs of migrating, the steps to take, and the planning to do to stay secure and organized. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
1. Migrating from another content management system to WordPress
2. Migrating from a static website to WordPress
3. Planning the migration process – factors to consider
4. Steps to migrating to WordPress – implementation
Migrating from another content management system (CMS) to WordPress
Since WordPress is a CMS itself, migrating your nonprofit website from a different CMS to WordPress doesn’t involve too much technicalities as compared to migrating from a static website. This process is made easy by the WordPress platform.
There are dedicated tutorials online and also by WordPress on migrating your website from many CMSs to WordPress. To start, you have to check if the CMS you’re currently running your nonprofit website on is part of the ones listed by WordPress, and chances are, your CMS will be among the list. With the simple-to-follow tutorials provided by WordPress, your nonprofit’s web team can find their way throughout the migration process.
Popular CMSs from which you can migrate to WordPress include Joomla, Wix, Drupal, Tumblr, Medium, Weebly, Squarspace, Joomla, Hubspot, and many others. Additionally, there are a myriad of plugins on WordPress that allow you to migrate from a different CMS to WordPress without much hassle.
Migrating from a Static Website to WordPress
With this, you have to manually migrate your site to WordPress. While it’s a difficult process to undertake, it’s worth the time as it helps you:
1. Learn more about WordPress ecosystem and builds your team’s knowledge and
2. Have greater control of your website content – which pages or posts to move, which ones to discard, and any other changes you would want the new one to have.
If you’re finding difficulty migrating your website, either from a different CMS or from a static website to WordPress, the IndieTech Solution‘s team of developers and tech professionals are ready to help your nonprofit throughout the process.
Planning the Migration Process and Factors to Consider
This planning process involves making sure that how and what you migrate to your new WordPress website works well and seamlessly. Let’s start:
Audit existing website content
Your first step in planning is to review your current website content. This helps you identify the pages and content you’re moving, what you’re discarding, and the content you want to change once you move or probably a new design you want to implement in the new CMS. Once you’re done with this step, your nonprofit is ready to move to the next step.
Deciding your web hosting type and plan
There are different hosting plans when moving your website to WordPress. If you decide to go with WordPress.com, it means you are giving your hosting to WordPress to handle, and they also take care of security – which gives you less control of your site. If you’re going for WordPress.org (which we recommend), your nonprofit is in charge of managing everything, from hosting to security.
There are other web hosting providers such as Hostgator, BlueHost, DreamHost, SiteGround, and many others that you can buy hosting from. This stage is very important as it helps you determine your site’s visitors and data, and the type of hosting that will make it work seamlessly.
Outline your new site structure
At this stage, your nonprofit has to define your new site structure. Take time to analyze your current site and decide if you want to keep the old design or go with a different one. The most important things to consider at this stage include:
- The domain and installation directories.
- The subdomains – if you have some – would mean you have to have your site installed on the ‘root’ or ‘base’.
- Define and plan your menu while taking into consideration the site’s SEO and user experience.
Selecting your new theme
Themes are great in defining your new website’s structure throughout. WordPress provides a lot of themes for you to choose from. Whether you go for a free theme or a premium one, you should make sure it goes with the structure and color of your new website.
Taking the necessary steps on security
Security is highly important and one of the first steps to consider working on once you’re done migrating your website to WordPress. Luckily, there are many security plugins on WordPress that your nonprofit would find useful.
Other Factors worth Considering
While migrating your site to WordPress, you also need to consider the search engine optimization of your new site, contact forms, email contacts, spams, and many others. You should also research ways to backup your data on your new CMS.
Steps to migrating to WordPress – Implementation
Now that we’re done with planning and taking into consideration all the important factors, let’s look at how you can actually do the migration.
1. First do the backup: your first step is to backup your current nonprofit website
2. Ready your maintenance page: For nonprofits that are not changing a web hosting provider, and thus using their existing web host, you have to create a maintenance page, and give it the name “index.html”
3. Installing WordPress: Now go ahead and install a copy of WordPress. And you can proceed to delete the index.html file that you created previously.
4. Search engine visibility should be disabled: Log into your WordPress dashboard after the installation, and disable the search engine visibility feature. This ensures that your nonprofit website, which is still not ready, is not indexed by search engines or shown to visitors who type a keyword related to your website.
5. Moving content: This is where you can start importing content from your old CMS into WordPress. This Guide from WordPress offers a comprehensive guide on how to import content into WordPress from various CMS. For those coming from a static website, you have to manually migrate each page and content into WordPress. IndieTech’s web team can help you with that.
6. Content organization: once you’re done importing your content, the next step is to organize its structure. This will involve building tags, menus, creating categories and subcategories.
7. Getting the essential stuff: This includes installing all the plugins you will need on your new website, from social media management tools to security plugins.
8. Doing quality test: after organizing your content and installing the necessary tools, you should proceed and test your website. You can run it through a number of tools such as Pingdom Website Speed Test or the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to check your new CMS’ speed and mobile-friendliness respectively.
Once you’re ready to go, don’t forget to create a sitemap for your new platform. You can use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin to get this done. You also need to fix broken links to make sure that every click from a visitor leads them to the right destionation.
Whether you’re migrating from an existing CMS or from a static website to WordPress, the is a lot of work to be done as outlined above. If you’re a nonprofit without the technical team or an organization that needs a helping hand in this process, we’re always ready at IndieTech Solutions. Reach out and let’s get talking.