Skip to main content
Go to homepage
Tips & tricks

A gentle approach to website migration: leveraging reverse proxies with Contensis

Liv TurnerCampaign manager
1 min read14 August 2023

We get it. Website migration can often feel like an overwhelming and intimidating task. Transferring all your valuable content, ensuring everything works seamlessly, and avoiding downtime can quickly leave you feeling daunted. But fear not! With the power of reverse proxies, this seemingly impossible task can become much more manageable and less stressful.

TL;DR [too long; didn't read] 🤯

The role of reverse proxies in website migration

So, what are reverse proxies?

Imagine you're a globetrotter planning a journey to explore multiple countries, each with its unique language and customs. However, you don't speak any of these languages. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, you decide to hire a seasoned tour guide with expertise in all the cultures you'll encounter. This expert guide will be an intermediary between you and the diverse range of people you'll interact with during your trip. They'll help you understand what the locals say, accurately convey your messages, and ensure you're heading in the right direction.

Similarly, reverse proxies serve as knowledgeable tour guides of website migration in the digital world. When you're transitioning to a new website or CMS, you might have various back-end systems, each serving different sections of your site. Instead of relying on a singular approach, where each back end has its own isolated domain, reverse proxies integrate and unify these content sources into one cohesive site. Like the expert tour guide, reverse proxies seamlessly combine content from multiple back ends under one site, providing users with a unified experience.

When a user requests something from your website, the reverse proxy, acting as the proficient guide, forwards that request to the appropriate back end on your behalf. It ensures a seamless user experience, allowing you to serve content from any site as though it was part of your own.

A practical migration approach

So, let's see how this works in practice. Instead of undergoing a complete overhaul of your website during migration, you can strategically migrate specific sections, like the news, to a new CMS or website with a fresh look and feel while keeping your old website intact.

Using Contensis' reverse proxy capabilities, the news section can be seamlessly imported and managed in a controlled environment. This allows you to test and refine the new design, gather user feedback, and make necessary adjustments without disrupting the rest of your website. As the news section is progressively optimised, your users can experience the benefits of a modern, user-friendly interface while still enjoying the familiar content from your original site. This gradual migration approach ensures a smoother transition, minimises downtime, and future-proofs your digital marketing efforts, all while preserving the integrity of your overall website.

A simple diagram explaining how reverse proxies work.

Advantages of using reverse proxies for website migration

Reverse proxies offer numerous advantages for website migration, streamlining the process and making it more accessible for both technical and non-technical teams.

Get started with zero-time investment

Reverse proxies can eliminate the strenuous tasks typically tied to the outset of projects, such as data transfer challenges, downtime concerns and technical hurdles of getting to grips with a new CMS. This means you can dive right into the migration process without breaking a sweat, setting the stage for a smoother and more efficient transition with a lot less time invested.

Develop, release, and go again

The beauty of reverse proxies is that they allow for continuous development and release. Like your seasoned tour guide, who acts as a proxy when you are in a foreign country, reverse proxies make it easy to migrate your website in stages. You can release it in beta, allowing your web visitors to offer feedback. This approach reduces the learning curve for your audience and ensures that the final release is a hit.

Lower risk approach

Utilising reverse proxies to release small parts of a new website incrementally over time, alongside the previous CMS/hosting platform, offers a lower-risk alternative to the traditional big-bang approach. Real users can interact with the new site by making specific sections available early on, providing valuable insights and feedback. These learnings can then be incorporated into subsequent releases, ensuring continuous improvement. This allows editors to become familiar with Contensis during this process, easing the transition and reducing the risks associated with large migrations.

Quick migrations, not multi-year projects

Gone are the days of long, drawn-out migration projects. With the straightforward nature of Contensis and its support for reverse proxies, migrations can happen more efficiently and swiftly. By consolidating the process under one supplier, you'll have a single contact for your head of IT (or similar), making coordination and execution a breeze. It's like having a reliable partner who takes care of all the hard work so you can focus on delivering exceptional digital experiences.

Early Return on Investment (ROI)

Did you know that website releases can be done in stages using reverse proxies? This lets stakeholders experience early returns on investment and see the value of each release incrementally. It's a clever way to promote an agile delivery approach, which encourages collaboration, aligns project goals with business objectives, and offers a clear view of success at various stages. Overall, it's a mutually beneficial situation that makes everyone happy!

Configuring proxies with ease

Contensis makes it easy to create reverse proxies with its user permissions. Teams can quickly figure out who has the power to create and edit reserve proxies within the Contensis UI. The appropriate individuals, such as IT teams, are given control. The Site View feature in Contensis also offers an overview of the configured reverse proxies, which helps you see which parts of the site are managed by Contensis and which are proxied to other systems. The extensive level of customisation guarantees seamless collaboration and a productive workflow.

Proxies in Contensis

When it comes to reverse proxies, Contensis is a cut above the competition. Unlike many headless content management systems, Contensis offers a deployment platform with hosting and deployment features. It's like having a personal concierge who handles your hosting headaches. This unique offering means you don't have to figure out where to host and serve your website; everything is conveniently held within the Contensis user interface.

Using reverse proxies with Contensis empowers your project managers and digital marketing team to approach website migration confidently and easily. By embracing this gentle approach, you can future-proof your digital marketing efforts and ensure a seamless migration experience. With Contensis and its reverse proxy capabilities, you have a reliable partner to handle the technical complexities, leaving you free to focus on delivering exceptional digital experiences. Ready to experience the advantages of reverse proxies with Contensis? Contact us for a demo today and unlock a smoother migration process for your business.

Liv TurnerCampaign manager

Liv is a campaign manager at Zengenti. Her background is in creative branding, advertising and marketing, where she’s worked across a range of sectors.

Ready to get started?

Contensis supports modern development practices. And it works with your preferred tools – from VS Code to Git. Browse the documentation to get started.

Request a demo