You may have received a notice from LightCMS confirming that their website platform will close down for good at the end of May 2020.
Sadly, the writing has been on the wall with LightCMS for quite some time now. We were one of their biggest resellers, with over 300 websites under our umbrella on the LightCMS platform, so we understand if you have a slight sense of panic about what do you do now.
For this reason, at the beginning of the year we started migrating all the sites we hosted on LightCMS, over to a purpose built, fully managed WordPress platform. It's been a thankless task, but we can now sleep easy in our beds.
Now that we have completed this process for our own clients, and since getting the official LightCMS notice, it occurred to us that there hundreds and hundreds of people - possibly like you if you are reading this! - with websites hosted on LightCMS who are looking for a safe new home.
We can help - and would love to do so. Firstly, in spite of what you might read, migrating a website from LightCMS to WordPress is a straightforward procedure (we get slightly concerned that others providing similar services might appear to suggest that it is more complex, time consuming and costly than it really is).
We know it isn't - we've already done this same process several hundred times! We have a readymade plan of action for migrating any LightCMS website which we have honed and fined tuned along the way. This has enabled us to reduce the time - and cost - involved in migrating each website, whilst ensuring that all the key fundamentals are in place, and that everything that needs to be done is done thoroughly and properly.
Whilst every site has to be migrated manually, we now have a well oiled machine in place which enables us to adapt one of our modern designs to your current style/brand/layout, migrate your current pages and content, restructure/improve a few things along the way, seamlessly switch it from the old to the new, and then be on hand to generally support you.
There is no shortcut to the actual time involved, and whatever needs to be done, has to be done thoroughly and properly. The costs involve depend on the size and complexity of your website, but are normally between $295 and $2,000 USD and can take from a few days to a few weeks. In some ways the demise of LightCMS may be "opportune" as whilst the primary objective is to migrate each website on a "like for like" basis, this naturally includes adding or integrating upgrades, new features and improvements where relevant.
Your monthly hosting costs with LightCMS were probably $19 (although they might have been higher if you were on their old platform, or went through a LightCMS reseller). We will charge you $19 per month for unlimited pages on our WordPress platform, and will set up a new monthly billing profile for you.
1) You'll have an upgraded website at a fraction of the normal cost.
2) WordPress is used by over 30% of websites, there are continuous updates and upgrades (plus plugins for specific features if you need them), it is totally secure, superfast and reliable, the content management system is easy to use, it includes far more features and functions and other options than the LightCMS platform - and (perhaps most importantly) we get brilliant support and we have far more control over the entire platform and our websites.
3) New plugins and features are continually being created by developers purely with WordPress in mind. It gives us access to a huge - and ever growing - library of off the shelf solutions for pretty much anything anyone could ever want to do.
4) None of us will ever have to do this again! Even if you want to host your website with someone else in the future, you'll be able to pick it up and drop it down on another WordPress server. That's not to say you might not want to improve or evolve your website further in the future, but you'll never have to migrate it anywhere again.
5) Our WordPress platform has been purpose built to replicate as many of the useful features that LightCMS had, and to improve them and make them more reliable. The editing side is a bit different, but no different to getting in a new car for the first time. You'll see where the obvious things are (steering wheels and pedals etc!), but whilst you know there are controls on the dashboard for temp and air con etc, you have to frequent yourself with where they are and how to operate. It quickly becomes second nature, and you'll become aware that you have far more options to manage and display content than before.
6) We provide a complete "handholding" service whilst you get to grips with editing the new site. In short, don't worry - in the short term if anything needs doing, we will be on hand to do it for you or explain what you need to do.
7) When your domain points to the new site, you'll also see that you have an SSL certificate, so the address will start with https:// to show it is encrypted and secure.
8) You don't pay us until we've done it - and you are not tied to us in the long term if you don't want to be.
Whilst the core features of the LightCMS platform are still operating OK, the major short term concern for existing LightCMS users is that no one is at the helm at LightCMS, so if something does happen above your access level, no one is around to fix it.
Being blunt, everyone now knows the Titanic is going to hit the iceberg at the end of May. The crew have already jumped ship, leaving the passengers on board as things stop working! We can get you off the Titanic, into a lifeboat and across to your warm new birth on our new iceberg proof liner with a mug of hot tea. The sooner this happens, the better. All we need is your OK to get on and do this for you along with login details to your LightCMS website.
The Migration Process
If you'd like us to handle the entire process, we really don't require any input from you until the last minute.
1) We create a new site for you on our WordPress platform.
2) We save design costs by adapting one of our current designs to integrate your style, colours and brand, but make any necessary improvements/upgrades along the way.
3) We manually migrate and add your pages and content including all text, images, videos, galleries, PDFs, forms and blogs etc, making any necessary improvements/modifications along the way.
4) We set you up as a user and provide ongoing support as you get to grips with editing the new site. For example, if there are any urgent amends you need making in the short term, let us know, and we'll do them for you.
5) The only thing we will need you to do - or which we can do for you if we have the correct login details - at the appropriate time (but NOT BEFORE!) is to login to your domain admin panel and in the DNS management fields, change the A record entries (there are normally two) from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124
6) We then disable your LightCMS website and enable the hosting on the new platform.
7) We set up SSL so your site starts with https:
8) We set up monthly billing and take payment for the one-off migration cost.
Ongoing Support - Giving you what YOU need
Having hosted hundreds of LightCMS websites, we're aware of the kind of help - ie the REAL, GENUINE, type of help - that clients really do want from us, and we try and focus our support services on doing exactly that.
Making sure your website is migrated and well maintained is only part of it. We also need to be on hand to provide objective advice and make you aware of things that might have an impact on your business or be of benefit either now or in the future. The idea is not to overwhelm you with a mass of ideas, but to slowly help you evolve and develop your website and use of the Internet generally from the firm foundations we have put in place.
Once we have implemented everything that needs doing and added some initial content, we can either train and monitor you so you maintain the good habits we have put in place, or we can get more proactively involved in co-managing your website. The WordPress editing interface makes it very easy to make basic updates. At the appropriate time, we'll have a session or two over video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom, or by phone. Our normal support rate is $50 per hour but we try and adopt a common sense approach and only charge extra for anything that's going to take up a genuine block of time, or needs to be done regularly, or which incurs extra cost for us.
You can contact us at [email protected], or you can call us from the USA on 0044 1526 352919. We can always call you back or can arrange a call via Zoom or Skype. We are 5 hours ahead of USA Eastern time but are normally about until mid evening UK time.
Posted on Wed, 11 December, 2019
by IWM Design