Migration to CAWeb Via a Vendor Contract

Definition of terms:

  • CAWeb – a business process as a service (BPaaS) for website publishing, that runs on top of WordPress.
  • CAWeb Team – The CDT State staff who maintain the CAWeb service.
  • Customer – The state agency that desires to move to / create their website within the CAWeb service.
  • Vendor – a contractor whom the customer contracts with to perform the migration of the customer website to the CAWeb service.


CAWeb maintains a list of CMAS vendors who have already identified themselves as having the skills to be able to do this site migration work (content migration or content provisioning). This informational list is available to the customer, if they should desire to leverage a CMAS vendor for their website migration.

Note: The CAWeb Publishing team does not perform these content migration or content provisioning services.

Important: State Agencies and their Vendors are subject to the onboarding and site migration requirements identified here, and within the CAWeb Publishing Onboarding Process.

Importance of the CAWeb Site Assessment:

Before onboarding with the CAWeb service, the CAWeb Team will perform a Site Assessment of the Agency’s website, and develop a CAWeb Statement of Work (SOW) which details the agreement between the CAWeb Publishing Service and the State Agency. We would recommend to our State Agency customers that they share this Site Assessment and SOW with any potential CMAS vendor they are considering to contract with for Website migration services.

Requirements for migrating a State Website to the CAWeb Publishing Service:

Vendor must only work with content within the wp-content folder. Changing any WordPress core, themes, or plugins invalidates the integrity of the migration effort.

The CAWeb Team will provide to the customer / vendor a separate WordPress instance preloaded with CAWeb approved State Template theme and CAWeb approved plugins. The customer / vendor can migrate content into this instance and build the website within the same WordPress instance.  The site created by the vendor must be a subdomain site and not the root site.  The one exception to this is when a new Subdirectory instances is provided for a new root site.

Other than “news and announcement” type of content, most content will be migrated over as WordPress Pages. News and announcement type of content comes over as WordPress posts.

State Agency Websites typically have many PDF documents (often a PDF to Webpage ratio of 10:1). All media files, including PDFs, should be imported into the standard WordPress Media Library, and be appropriately linked to from the related page or post.

Note: PDFs are typically problematic for incorporating Accessibility issues (compliance with AB434). CAWeb Publishing does not do remediation of any customer content, including PDFs. Every State agency is required to remediate content accessibility issues. They may want to incorporate that work effort into this migration contract, or pursue a separate contract if necessary.

Every content migration typically requires final content editing work to one degree or another in the form of:

  • Site branding: logo, State Template color scheme, etc.
  • Information Architecture and main navigation and header & footer links
  • Page layouts each page: sidebars, modules, boxes, etc.
  • Linking media files (especially PDFs)
  • Embedded YouTube videos
  • Embedded applications (via a Javascript embed or iFrame)

The CAWeb Publishing Service only offers two different Editor interfaces for content creators to layout and edit pages and posts (no other editor is supported by CAWeb):

  • The “classic WordPress Editor” (pre-Gutenberg Editor). https://wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/
  • The Divi Builder by Elegant Themes https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/

The only WordPress Theme allowed is the CAWeb State Template Theme.

The CAWeb standard WordPress plugin list is identified here: https://caweb.cdt.ca.gov/2017/09/29/features/

Any plugins needed beyond this list would need to be reviewed by and approved by the CAWeb Team via the Approval Process noted below, and possibly procured by the State Agency.

Many state agencies use tables for displaying content. CAWeb provides the Table Press plugin to help manage and publish this type of content: https://wordpress.org/plugins/tablepress/

CAWeb provides a robust plugin for implementing Forms on the Website: https://wpforms.com/

CAWeb provides the Toolset plugin for building customized applications (relatively simple) with no program coding required. – https://toolset.com/

CAWeb provides the Code Embed plugin for embedding javascript and iFrames – https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-embed-code/

CAWeb Plugin Approval Process:

CAWeb has a list of approved WordPress themes and plugins for the website to be designed and built with. The vendor must use these approved themes and plugins when building the website. No modification of the code of these themes and plugins will be allowed.

If the customer feels that an additional theme or plug-in is needed beyond what the CAWeb Service provides, the customer will contact the CAWeb team to discuss this need, and it’s special requirements. Then the CAWeb Team will review that plugin, and the customers requirements, against what the current CAWeb Service provides, and possibly also what is otherwise available from WordPress.org. Then the results of the CAWeb Team’s analysis will be discussed with the customer, and a final determination will be made. It is the customer’s choice as to how much the vendor will be involved in this analysis / decision process.

CAWeb Migration – Staging/Build Environment:

Prebuilt WordPress site template with State Template and plugins included and integrated

One Training Session for as many State Agency/Contractor staff as identified by the State Agency

Contractors will not have full access to the WordPress instance for installing migration-utility plugins necessary for migrating content into the WordPress site. Any plugins of this nature needed during the migration phase will need to be installed by the CAWeb Team.

Note: we have a list of plugins and software tools that we have found helpful. These also could be made available. Here is our list:

  • Add From Server – https://wordpress.org/plugins/add-from-server/
  • CSV Importer – (a number of plugins available at wordpress.org)

The following plugins are utilities that can be helpful, or destroy your site if you are not familiar with using them. Extreme caution should be used if you feel they are necessary. And be sure to request the CAWeb Team to perform a full backup of your site, prior to using them.

  • Search & Replace – https://wordpress.org/plugins/search-and-replace/
  • Search Regex – https://wordpress.org/plugins/search-regex/

Other Vendor Tools/Services (that we are aware of) that any consultant company could procure and leverage to assist themselves in doing some automated converting of the “base” set of website content from a State Website into a WordPress format:

  • https://cms2cms.com/ 
  • https://fantasktic.com/ 
  • https://www.valet.io/ 

For establishing proper redirect rules for content where the URL paths have changed (which is typically most of the site), we have a redirection plugin that can be utilized for this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/

Establishing a proper 404 Page via the plugin – https://wordpress.org/plugins/404page/