Percussion CMS Gets Live First: Website + Content Migration

6 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar

Percusion CMS Gets Live First: Content, No Website Migration, wem, webcms

Let's paint a picture. You are ready to take your website to the next level, but your organization falls somewhere between looking for the benefits to move to a Web CMS and reducing the costs related to that move. Percussion's newest patent pending feature, Live First, could be the answer that you need. 

A WCMS Owned by Marketing, Loved By IT

That is Percussion's tagline, and it drives the Web content management vendor's approach to how it has implemented its product and how to builds new capabilities. Percussion wants to do for WCM what Salesforce has done for CRM, make things simple to use, yet get the job done and let the digital marketer focus on the most important thing to them -- the content. And although I suspect there are many that question Salesforce's ability in that respect lately, you can draw the analysis clearly.

Hence the introduction of a patent-pending feature that enables a marketer to take an existing website, migrate it into Percussion CMS, and essentially be up and running in hours. We're not talking about content migration here, where you have to migrate, organize and plan your new content strategy, develop your templates separately within Percussion and then merge the two together. No, this is much more extensive and a lot less work.

Say you have a website: static html, asp, maybe a WordPress site, or some custom home-grown solution you've been managing for years. Point Live First to that site and create a new site. 


Live First Step 2: Create Site

Live First will import all your web pages, css, javascript, etc.. and put it into the Percussion structure. It will also manage all your existing links. If there's an app in your existing site, Live First will bring in the html view and let you adjust it once it's over.

If your site is responsive, it will stay responsive (remember you are importing all CSS). If it's not, well, we'll cover that in a few minutes.

Percussion's Live First patent is simply this: "the ability to import one's IA without loss of content".

Once your site has been migrated, you can technically go live and your visitors/customers will not notice a difference. And that gives you two things: a live site right away, and the ability to slowly transform your website based on priority needs (and now that you have more fully featured WCM, you have a lot more options).

What you see below is your import summary which includes a list of pages that were imported, with a link to a detailed import summary that can also be used as an audit tool.

Percussion Live First Import View

From Pages to Templates

The first step was to get your website into Percussion, but you aren't done yet. The value of a Web content management system is to make managing content easier. And editing static web pages is not a digital marketer's idea of easy.

So you need to create some templates. But you don't have to start from scratch. Pick a web page that what a template to be based off of. A Design Inspector will review the page, detect the DIV structure and identify sections within your page. You can lock certain sections done so they aren't editable and you can break a section down further until you have identified all the pieces of the template. Editable regions can be marked as editable and set as rich text.


For things like headers and footers, you mark those sections as shared assets that can be used across all your templates, but edited only in one location.

Learning Opportunities

Once you have your template defined, you can then assign other pages to that template and a Content Matching template will work on each web page to find the ideal home for each piece of content. You can then view and adjust as necessary.

Of course, it also likely that you'll want to take advantage of the out-of-the-box widgets that come with Percussion CMS such as bread crumbs, calendar, forms, iframes/widgets for external apps, social widgets and navigation widgets. 

One Migration, Staged Updates

Live First allows you to get off your current website quickly. In its beta program, Percussion saw the migration for a 1500 page website take an average of one hour (two tops if the code isn't great). That gets you into a new product quickly. 

Once you are there, you can then decide how to proceed next. Maybe the important thing is to get all your product pages into a template so you can make updates easily. Other pages, like the About Us section are not critical and can wait. Maybe it's the brand you need to get updated. There's this idea of "some work goes away, some work gets deferred."

If you want to create a mobile site, simply create mobile specific templates after your pages are imported, move your content into those templates and publish your mobile site. If you want a responsive site, just update the CSS files with the appropriate media queries and then model what the CMS looks like on different devices. This work is done through the CMS.

You can also update your IA after you move into Percussion CMS. Define your new IA, create your navigation and then drag and drop pages into the appropriate navigation. All your links will update automatically and any links to content you may have deleted will be removed.

The other interesting use case for Live First is redesigning your website (look and feel as well as IA). If you are working with a design agency, you can forget about the mockups and have real html files created. These files must follow Percussion naming conventions and rules for content matching, but once that's done, import the design and update the templates and you are done. 

Making it Frictionless to Write Content

Percussion is very much focused on enabling the digital marketer to spend their time focused on the content, to expand it, improve its quality, to build the brand. This speaks to the importance of content marketing in the digital marketing strategy. It's probably the first thing marketers need to nail, long before they start thinking about personalization and targeting.

Personalization is something that Percussion is working on, but when you are building a solution for marketers that isn't development platform driven, personalization features take on a whole new meaning. And there are many who will argue that most organizations aren't ready for personalization, that the base of content management and digital marketing lies in taking care of the content and we have a long way to go before we nail those elements. 

I've never seen a Web CMS that offered its own website migration solution. I've seen a number of content migration solutions, but they are about the content, not the website structure. This is a differentiator for Percussion, who targets the mid-to enterprise market. And it's certainly enough to make organizations sit up and pay attention to what Percussion offers.