Moving websites from WordPress to MODx

by Simon Langham ON Feb 21, 2017

This month we have migrated a couple of websites over to MODx from the popular CMS, WordPress. As a website management company, we pride ourselves on providing fast, lightweight websites that out perform their competitors. We manage and update websites regularly and ensure they remain secure. As coders, we have found MODx provides a solid platform to provide all these services in a much more efficient way to WordPress; which is why we always recommend transferring people to MODx.

How do we transfer websites form WordPress to MODx?

Typically speaking, websites we move over from WordPress are relatively small, meaning that we can manually transfer websites between platforms, which is what we did with both migrations this month. There are ways to automate or simplify the transfer from WordPress to MODx, but we find starting from scratch and using the exiting website as a wire-frame is the best solutions.

Premier Wood Flooring Screen Shot

We are in the process of doing this (at the time of writing) for Premier Wood Flooring Ltd who have a great looking website but are seeking something that will perform better for them.

Why would we go to so much effort transferring a site?

In the long run, it’s not that much effort to rebuild the website, and is far more efficient than simply copying and pasting the code. Due to the nature of how WordPress is templated, there is often lots of duplicate or bloated code that are used by WordPress plugins and themes. All this bloated code has an impact on the speed a WordPress website takes to load. By starting from scratch, we only build the code that is required to make the website look and feel as it did reducing the time a website takes to load.

RDVA website Screen Shot

It is for that reason that we have increased the loading speeds by almost 2 seconds per page load, as you will see from this before and after report for RDVA Virtual Assistants.

Page speed test on WordPress

RDVA Website loading time on WordPress

Page speed test on MODx

RDVA Website loading time on MODx

Another great reason from rebuilding the site is that we’re able to improve the code and make it more perform better across platforms. In most cases, by working through a website logically, you can spot many minor errors that can be improved making the overall visitor experience much better.

Using best web practices on the MODx platform.

Being in full control of the websites code enables us to use all the best website coding practices. This ensures our websites are accessible and perform at their best. When in control of the code we’re able to minify, compress and restructure the resources to tune up the website to outperform their competitors. W3C compliance is a great way of monitoring a websites code and we always aim for there to be no errors on a website. There are times we need to be creative with the code to get the affects we desire, but is general, our websites always pass the test for code compliance.

Transferring Blog Posts to MODx

When transferring blog posts to MODx, there is a great feature within the MODx articles extra that enables you to upload export files from WordPress and BlogSpot. However, we have found this to be incomplete and does require extra work. Fortunately, all the websites we have transferred have had a small number of blog posts meaning we could manually transfer the posts.

The problem with the importing tool is that for WordPress there are a few bugs depending on the version of WordPress you’re exporting from. These bugs are simple to overcome but with a small number of blogs, it’s just as simple to do it manually as the images will require transferring manually.

Michelle Abrahall Website Screen Shot

Late last year, we transferred a large blog from BlogSpot to a MODx install for local designer, Michelle Abrahall. The transfer went very well with few bugs getting in the way. However, the transfer did not take care of the images which needed to be copied over and then manually re-addressed.

Moving Images from WordPress to MODx

Transferring images from one platform to another can be very time consuming but is essential to get right. It’s also made more time consuming as WordPress use the full URL in the image source path rather than the root relive file path. Therefore, every image needs to be re-addressed and uploaded.

During this process, we run images through compression tools to reduce file sizes and get extra speed from the sites. There are numerous tools for this, but we have found Caesium to be good for resizing the dimensions are reducing quality and great from compressing the image file without typically losing image quality.

For Blog posts, you will need to re-address the image source files to the new server which is typically a manual process, although with larger databases, it would be worth crating an algorithm to simplify this process and automate source path re-addressing.

Conclusion for transferring websites.

Our clients have all been completely satisfied with how their websites have been transferred over to MODx and there has been a noticeable difference in performance for all websites with an increase in visitor numbers.

Websites we transfer to MODx are more secure, faster to load and benefit from more visitor numbers. There is no doubt that transferring a website from WordPress to MODx is a positive move when performed by a competent website engineer.

If you would like to transfer your website to MODx, then please get in touch for a free demonstration of the MODx platform and to discuss how we can improve your website. There is no obligation but it’s always good to get an expert's opinion.