Thu, 18 Jul 2013, 11:22
We’re pickin’ up good migrations...
...(plus workarounds, widgets and general nuggets of wisdom)
Since launching the v6 migrate EAP (Early Access Preview) a couple of weeks ago, many of you have flown over to v6 and with impressive results, it seems. For those yet to take the plunge (or should that be flight?), we thought it would be worth sharing some of the best examples we’ve seen so far, along with some insights and workarounds shared by your good selves, as well as our Support team.
So, for some of the finest migrations we’ve seen to date, feast your eyes on these bad boys below, starting with Moonko, whose founder Debbie tells us a little about her experience migrating the site.
'I was a little nervous at first, especially as staying with v5 seemed to be the safe option,' says Moonko founder Debbie Moon. 'But once I looked at how I could migrate everything in the preview section, I just knew that, as a small business I had to make the migration. And it has been worth it, especially with the Facebook shop integration and a faster loading site, which means more customers are more likely to return. The results are great, I love my new site. I still have a bit more work to do, but it’s well underway.'
Before migrating, Debbie had to redesign her logo as it didn’t translate from v5 to v6 - something she discovered while running through the preview. She also had to do a little work on her menu, sub-pages, contact page and replacing slideshow images with static images, all of which she says was 'very easy, quick to do, and with little fuss'.
Her advice to others considering whether to go ahead and migrate? 'Find an evening when you have some time and then make the migration - you can always hide pages until they’ve been completed. Go for it!'
The best of the rest
Features, widgets and workarounds
Although forms, the blog, slideshows and membership aren't yet supported in v6, they’ll be added at a later date. We're developing forms first, followed by the blog. It's important to note, however, that these features in v6 may not be direct replacements of those you currently use in v5 - we're looking to improve and adapt them. We expect to release basic versions of each feature as soon we can and will continue improving them over the following months.
The good news is that there are workarounds and widgets you can try in the meantime to bridge the gap while we build these core features.
Here’s an overview of the options available to those of you who have a form, blog, slideshow or membership on your v5 site. Bear in mind that some third-party widgets come with a small cost and may have limitations, so it’s worth swotting up on the details on their websites. (See below for a link to our 'how-to' on using the HTML Snippet widget).
Forms aren't yet supported in v6, but there are a couple of ways you can get around this if you want to migrate sooner rather than later:
- Migrate and add a form using our HTML Snippet widget and a third-party provider (see suggestions below)
- Migrate and add your existing form back in at a later date – it won’t be lost in the migration and you can ‘hide’ the relevant page temporarily until it’s supported
Forum stalwart Lotusleaf said: 'I use JotForm. For around £6.68 (current conversion rate from US dollars), you can have up to 1000 submissions a month and the forms are very flexible. Free would obviously be better but for the price of a couple of sandwiches a month, it's enabled me to move on.'
David: 'I got a free form from JotForm. Really pleased.'
Although your blog won't be carried over if you migrate now, there are numerous options available to you:
- Create a copy of your v5 site (if your package and account status allows you to - Standard and above), migrate the site copy to v6, and link back to the blog on the v5 site (make sure you copy and save the content somewhere before migrating so you can add it to your new third-party feature)
- Create an account with a blogging platform such as Tumblr or Blogger, migrate your site to v6, and link to your new blog account from your migrated v6 site (make sure you copy and save the blog content somewhere before migrating so you can add it to your new third-party blog)
- Migrate and add your existing blog feature back in at a later date (the blog data won’t be lost in the migration – it’ll be saved until a v6 blog is built – but you can ‘hide’ the relevant pages temporarily until it’s supported)
- If you rarely update your blog (meaning you and your visitors probably won’t miss it), why not migrate now, delete it, and add a new blog at a later date if you decide you need one?
On the first option (creating a copy of your v5 site and linking back to it) Lotusleaf had this to add: 'On the v6 site, I made it look as if the link was part of the menu, but in fact it's just a link button. On the v5 site, I restricted access to all the pages except the blog, and hid the menu. You may need to hide the Page Master as well. Then I created links from the v5 blog to all the pages on the v6 site, and made the links replicate the appearance of the v6 menu. I'd changed the design of the v6 site, so I changed the necessary elements on the v5 blog page so that both sites looked consistent.'
On linking to a blogging platform, David said: 'I solved the blog issue by signing up to blogger. I then simply put a blogger logo on my site in page master mode, then linked it to my blog. Really simple but effective.'
Again, slideshows won't migrate to v6, but Photosnack has been mentioned by more than one of you as being a great tool for slideshows and we've now added it to the file manager.
Alexandra: 'Photosnack is pretty good and isn't full of ads and links to the host. I use it on my homepage, it’s actually quite slick, not clunky like some out there, and you can add or subtract images anytime you want, as well as changing the style. I use the smartphone gallery style which does the job extremely effectively.'
Little Helper: 'Check out Photosnack - they are really good at creating slideshows and galleries, and if you're really clever, you can find ways of creating such galleries without any of their branding, and for free!! It is brill! Really beautiful galleries too.'
Your membership feature won't carry over if you migrate, but we'll be reviewing the v6 membership features in the coming months - once we've delivered forms, the blog and slideshows. So, these are the options available to you if you want to migrate now:
- Make a copy of your v5 site (if your package and account status allows you to - Standard and above), then migrate and link back to your v5 login page (note: login functions are not available on mobile devices)
- Migrate your site - site admin restrictions will still be available
- Migrate and add a membership-controlled forum using a tool such as Tal.ki
Case studies a la Moonfruit
Before unleashing the migrate feature in late-June we thought it would be a good idea to test a couple of ‘real’ sites from the community - guinea pigs if you like. We didn’t migrate their actual sites, but copies of them, leaving the decision on whether to proceed for real up to them – equipped with our insightful notes on the process. You may find them useful too – see case studies (including our take on migrating Moonko).
Find out more about the migrate process:
- Forum: Full instructions on how to migrate your site
- Forum: FAQs on the migrate process
- Blog post: Migrate your site from v5 to v6