Migrating a Site to WordPress

This is a potential client that I haven’t decided yet to quote on, because I have serious reservations. He want his current website migrated to WordPress. Here are the basics:

  1. It is built on a proprietary CMS using ASP.net and two MSSQL databases.
  2. It is quite large (about 1000 pages).
  3. It is fairly old (Transitional Doctype, table-based layout), but I would make a custom theme for it.
  4. He wants it done quickly. I haven’t contacted him yet, but I get the impression he is having problems with the site.

How much of this migration would I be able to automate? I have never done a migration between different CMS’s before. I know I could convert the content database to a MySQL database, but what are the chances I would have to do most of this migration manually?

Hi there @WebMachine. I don’t know if this would help at all. As the source is a proprietary system I guess probably not, but they might be able to advise.

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Thanks. I’ll check it out. The name of the CMS was not provided to me in the preliminary information. Apparently the prospect didn’t feel it was necessary for me to know that in order to provide a quote. I am going to phone them this afternoon for more information.


You will probably need to rebuild the entire thing from scratch. None of existing code base or database schema can be ported over. Quote like a brand new site without design comps necessary.

That’s what I was thinking - a big job considering it has so many pages.

That isn’t necessarily true because one “page” could dynamically yield an infinite amount. Take for instance an ecommerce site with thousands of products. A single “page” typically yields all the variations through dynamically swapping out data based on the product.

To me the number of pages would be a secondary concern. What I would worry about is being able to map the old architecture and schemas to the new.

In some cases it might simply involve changing a table name, but being able to figure out what would go where to have everything work could be a BIG headache.

And what to do about old data that wouldn’t be used, and required data that didn’t exist?

That’s exactly my concern. I would need to have a look at the databases to see if the structure will allow me to directly transfer at least some of the data to the WordPress database. If I can’t, though, that is where the number of pages becomes problematic.

Hey, @WebMachine how’s it going with the site migration? I’ve been dealing with this thing recently, tried cms2cms but it seems like this is getting more and more complicated for me. Maybe it’s a good thing, but it doesn’t fit my project at all :confused: So I just wanted to know if you solved your problem… If yes, then would you be so kind to share the solution you’ve come up with? Thanks!

I still have to take a look at their database. I spent a while downloading and installing SQL Server Management Studio (which also required Visual Studio to run it, so I had to download the express version of that and install it). I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to spread myself too thin by working with asp.net/C# as well as PHP, so I didn’t have the resources on my machine.

I am still trying to access the MSSQL database to take a look at it. It is still in the stage of giving the prospective client a quote, so I do this in my spare non-working time.

I’ll let you know once I have the database and have been able to convert it to MySQL.

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Thanks a lot for your reply! This has been helpful… I’ve been suggested to leave this whole thing and just select a ready-made theme from one of the template providers. That’s easier of course, but then the individuality of your project just goes to waste. So I’m still thinking whether it’s worth doing that. On the other hand, I have a cosmetics/perfumery resource and maybe having it redesigned is not a bad idea at all… Ah, but what to do?

Well, regardless of the database issue, I would still code a custom theme that matched the client’s current website instead of talking them out of something that they obviously want to keep.

The main problem with migrating the website is usually with moving the database, and making sure it fits into the structure of the WordPress database.

That isn’t so easy if the original one is MSSql.

Wishing you luck then, But since I’m not that advanced in programming I guess I’ll have to go with the option I’ve been offered and have a look the themes that fit the concept of my resource…

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