Transitioning from a CMS website

I have an existing website that I built using content management software.

However, the software I use requires frequent renewals that add up to a lot of money.

I would like to transition away from CMS to my own custom-built website. However, my knowledge of web development is outdated and I am not familiar with any new standards or technologies.

The core of my website uses queries to pull content from a MySQL database. The database has over a thousand rows of events, with the date field being the unique identifier.

Please direct me to the best, most current, way to re-create this process. There has to be a way to do this without having to manually create other a thousand .html files.


Well for starters you need to server to serve the html. I’m unsure of what technologies you have experience with, or what resources you have available to host the server. But you could go with something as old/basic as PHP still for simplicity. This sounds like a pretty straightforward app that doesn’t require any fancy bells and whistles.

Obviously whatever you do choose will need to interface with the MYSQL database and be able to get the data to your users. You will also need to host the web-server where people can access it and it can access your database. There’s lots of cloud hosting out there for cheap, or just host it on a local network machine if you dont need internet access.

The easiest approach would be to pick a server-side language that can interface with the database and render the HTML page to send to the users. Without any other requirements its hard to say what else you would need besides that. I’m unsure about how you want to handle the events and date management, but I would look into what libraries you could leverage for your chosen server-side language.

I didn’t say any specific language since you can pick almost anything with this broad of requirements. I would defiantly provide more requirement details if your still unsure.

There is also the possibility of using something like google’s calendar API, and app-script which is free but would require you to jump through a lot of hoops and learn a lot of new things. I only mention this because I tried something similar in the past, but its defiantly not a “mainstream way” of approaching this problem. (google sheets as your DB, app script as your server-side language, and calendar to manage events, great if your already on Google haha)

Please take the following advice with a grain of salt:

In addition to the technical side of things, and particularly if it’s your business, ask yourself whether or not you have the resources (developers, money… etc.) to deal with the risks of things going wrong during, and after, the migration.

Migrating away from a CMS for an operating business is often non-trivial and, assuming that the website also handles interactions with customers, it won’t be as simple as “replacing the HTML files that present the content from the database”—you will likely have to rewrite a substantial amount of business logic, handle authentication, security… etc.

I’m not suggesting that what you want to do is a bad idea per se, but if you are not technical enough to know what exactly needs to be done and you don’t have the resources available for risk mitigation, you really should think twice before attempting what you described.

In the case that your CMS is managed by a third-party who is charging you for everything, you could consider hiring an experienced developer or have a look at another company. I thought I might mention this because this scenario happened to one of my friends before.

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Make a replica of your MySQL db and start building your custom website. When finished, tested and debugged just switch your db connection from replica to live mysql db.

As back end you may use Laravel framework(a PHP framework) and as front end whatever you like react, vue, etc