Home Blog WordPress Security The security precautions one should take when migrating a CMS

Migrating a Content Management System (CMS) can involve significant security risks if not done properly.

The security precautions one should take when migrating a CMS

A content management system (CMS) is a tool that helps you and businesses create, manage, distribute and publish digital content on a website. It is basically a web application which can be used by both developers and non-technical people, like WordPress.

There are plenty of CMS solutions you can choose from. Each one of them has its pros and cons. In an ideal world there is a way to overcome all the issues you have with your CMS. However as such is not always possible, and sometimes it is simply easier to migrate to a new CMS.

So, what can you do in such case? Website migration is the answer. However migrating from one CMS platform to another can be a complex process. But if every step is well-planned and executed, your online project should not suffer significant downtime, or data losses during the CMS to CMS migration.

What does a CMS Migration Entail?

A successful website migration consists of a mix of technical (automation, code) and manual (plans and strategy) solutions. Furthermore, it can be a full hands-on process that assumes doing the laborious work of copying and pasting, as well as uploading files, and updating the navigation links.

Practically, when you plan the migration process you should choose the most convenient solution. Depending on your technical skills and time availability you can decide to either do it on your own or engage the help of third party technical professionals and specialized services. Talking about website migration, the third-party assistants need to be trusted. They will need access to sensitive business information such as passwords, FTP connection details and also admin access (whoa!) to your current and new CMS installations. But how can we know whom to trust?

Before everything else…

Before we look into what you should look into and whom to trust when doing a CMS to CMS migration, it is important to note that the first thing you should take care of is doing a website backup with a reliable backup solution. Despite everyone’s best intentions, technology doesn’t always go as planned. A database corruption or a lost file can distort the full process. So before any migration make sure you got a backup of your site that you can restore.

Security Aspects of a CMS Migration

When you acquire the services of a professional you are building a business relationship. This kind of relationship is like any other business relation; you need mutual trust. To prevent unwanted or suspicious activity on your website you need to do fact-finding and critical analysis of the service/developer you’re planning to work with. Here are some tips on what you need to be conscious of:

Check the Professional Background

Reputation is important. Examine the credentials, expertise and level of experience. Evaluate their trustworthiness the same way you would evaluate any other professional. Search online to see what other people say about them. Do they have positive reviews and customer testimonials? Have they ever had any data breach or sensitive information disclosure incident? If yes, how did they handle it?

Pay Attention to the Policies and Terms of Service

Policies and Terms of Service are an essential component of any organization and service. For you as a user, the role of the professionals you decide to work with is to clearly define a sequence of steps to be followed in a consistent manner during the migration. For example, the privacy policy is needed if a business collects and uses any kind of personal information (e.g., email addresses, first and last names, etc.). The Terms of Service dictate what to expect from the service and what are your rights as a customer.

Always research and check whether the service you are using is compliant with any compliance body your business must adhere to, such as GDPR or PCI DSS compliance. Read their privacy and security policies, and terms of service to be sure your data and business are protected. Scroll till the end of all the documents to ensure your information awareness.

Learn how They Collect Passwords, Sensitive Data,  and Access the Admin Interfaces

Giving admin access to third-party services is uncomfortable, but regarding the website migration, it is a necessary thing. While this is a legitimate request (see the previous point), you still want to be careful who you give access to and the safest way to provide it.  Sensitive information can be passed by web forms and emails. If you use the former, make sure the web form page uses HTTPS connection and has the same domain as the service.

The form is hosted on HTTPS protocol

Avoid sending sensitive information over email unless you use encryption. Emails are sent in clear text. Therefore data you sent can be exposed during the hacker attacks. If the third party require admin access create a temporary admin account instead of a normal one. You can better manage it and have it automatically disabled when the third party is ready.

Creating a temporary WordPress user with the Temporary Login without Password

Delete Additional Tools, Plugins and Leftover Files Afterward

During the migration, the third parties might use a variety of plugins and tools. Once your website is successfully moved to another CMS platform, ideally WordPress, uninstall all the tools which were used during the migration. Also, check your new website for leftover files and if there are any, delete them. During customizations, migrations and other processes it is normal for developers to leave behind backup, source code and database files. These type of leftover files are the number one source of sensitive information disclosure and data breaches.

Improve Your CMS to CMS Migration with a Safe Automated Strategy

As we have just seen there are many pitfalls to website migrations. However by using a service such as CMS2CMS you can automate the CMS to CMS migration and free yourself from tedious manual task. Founded in 2012, the service has performed more than 100,000 migrations. CMS2CMS supports such well-known platforms as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, MediaWiki, TYPO3, phpBB, vBulletin and many others.

CMS to CMS website

The CMS2CMS service makes the process of website content transfer a speedy and efficient procedure. All you have to do is to choose your current CMS and specify your new platform details. You can run a Free Demo Migration to estimate the results first and choose the entities you wish to be migrated. The price and time of the migration depend on the amount of content.

Choosing the type of CMS migration

With CMS2CMS you can:

  • Choose between a fully automated migration or a manually assisted one by CMS2CMS professionals.
  • Try Free Demo migration to evaluate if the conversion results suits your requirements and wishes.
  • Maintain the SEO rankings because 301 redirects are automatically implemented.
  • Save hours of manual Copy/Paste process.
  • Ensure your website remains online during the migration process.
  • Choose the widest range of entities because CMS2CMS supports the migration of multiple content items.
  • Rely on high-quality assistance. Get your answers 24/7 via live chat, phone or support ticket.
Easy CMS to CMS migration with CMS2CMS

Besides all of the above, security is essential for CMS2CMS. They understand how important it is to keep customers’ information secure. That’s why it is built on effective and security-focused practices.

CMS2CMS Service as a Secure Website Migration Tool

It is important to note that the CMS2CMS service allows you to make a completely independent migration. This means you do not have to provide access to anyone. Instead you can use the service yourself as a tool for ‘hand-made’ transfer. In such setup, CMS2CMS uses a connection bridge – a unique gateway that enables data interaction between the existing and the new CMS.

During every stage of the migration the CMS2CMS tech team is always readily available and can provide you with all the necessary customization and support. As a user you’ll have a unique security token which is used for data access during the migration. That’s why the service guarantees that all the CMS data is 100% secure before, during, and after the migration procedure.

Completing a Successful & Secure CMS to CMS Migration

A successful and secure CMS to CMS website transfer requires a mix of technical and manual solutions. Undoubtedly, security plays a significant role during the entire process of website migration, and mostly refers to reliable tool or performer. To avoid any unauthorized access or alteration, disclosure or destruction of data, the user should complete the detailed analysis of the third-party assistance. The service/developer you’re planning to work with should take all the necessary security precautions to ensure the migration is done in a secure manner.

Posted inWordPress Security
Yuliya Tsvihun
Yuliya Tsvihun

Yuliya Tsvihun is an Internet Marketer at CMS2CMS, the automated website and forum migration service. She enjoys discovering website improvement solutions and travel destinations. You can reach Yuliya at yuliya@melapress.com.

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