Website migration can seem like an intimidating process but it needn’t be so. From changing your CMS platform and your domain name to making your website more secure, there are several factors to consider while migrating your website. There are also certain risks involved so ensure that the website migration process is carried out efficiently and by professionals, lest you lose all your organic traffic and face other migration issues.
When there are substantial changes such as the site’s location, platform, structure, content, design, or UX, it’s important to make sure that they are all done properly. Let’s take a closer look at all the common obstacles faced by website owners during migration and how they can be overcome.
It is necessary to establish measurable objectives to measure the impact of the migration after launch. For most site migrations, the primary objective should always be the retention of the site’s current traffic as well as revenue levels. This means that all your content, links and data must be shifted to their destination URLs efficiently and effectively. This is only possible with the help of trained SEO and IT professionals with a proper planning and execution strategy in place.
For example, all your posts that have links navigating to other web pages will be broken after the migration, which could potentially hurt your website. The solution to this is that your content must be moved in a way that re-organizes your links according to the rules of the CMS platform you are migrating to. For this purpose, there are automated migration tools that come with the feature of moving internal links and can adapt them to the SEO rules of the target platform.
Lack of resources
Before committing to making a website migration project a resounding success, it is important to estimate the time and effort required. For limited budgets, take a call as to whether it is worth to go ahead with a migration that could fail in meeting its established objectives and lead to revenue losses. Try to buffer at least 20% in additional resources than the project would require. This will help you immediately address any issues without jeopardizing success.
Additionally, if you’re considering migrating your website, ensure that you know at least the basics of scripting knowledge. This includes import plugins and certain technical aspects of data migration. Migrating your CMS platform is a tedious process so it is recommended to use a data conversion service. Thanks to automated tools, the lack of coding knowledge is no longer a problem. The steps or website migration will be reduced a few essential steps such as the installation of a new CMS and indicating the source and target website URLs.
Website migrations can span across several months, require a great amount of planning and sufficient time for testing. Seeking professional support late in the process could prove very risky because crucial steps could have been missed out.
Slow response to bug fixing
Generally, the migration process takes a considerable amount of time and requires that the website be frozen temporarily. During this period you will risk losing your users, rankings, and traffic. If you have a heavy site with a large amount of content, you will have to halt your website management activity for several weeks or even months. Once the migrated website is up and running, there may be a few teething problems and it is important to fix all bugs immediately.
For example, launching a new site only to find that search engine spiders have trouble crawling and indexing the site’s content would require immediate action. A slow response to technical obstacles can be catastrophic and cause damage to your new site.
Lack of SEO/UX consultation
For risk avoidance, it is highly beneficial to appoint experienced SEO and UX consultants so they can discuss the potential consequences of every single change with key business stakeholders. These consultants play a major role in offering the foremost form of SEO consultation. One of the biggest concerns webmasters have during website migration is losing their organic traffic and having their SEO and page rankings plummet. Once the CMS platform is changed, all the URLs will change as well. Thus, it is essential to inform major search engines like Google that your website has been migrated and redirect the URLs to the correct, intended web page. Make sure you implement 301 redirects on your website that will guide the Googlebot to your website. Consulting UX consultants thus guide you in receiving UI/UX consultation which helps you in keeping your website design and functionalities intact.
Website migration checklist
The website migration process can be split into five main essential phases that are all equally important. Skipping any of the tasks could hinder the migration’s success. Listed below is a website migration checklist for a successful migration:
- Scope and planning
- Pre-launch preparation and testing
- Launch activities
- Post-launch activities
Website migration is a lengthy and tedious process and must be executed by trained, competent SEO, IT and UX experts. It is important to conduct thorough research and regularly browse updated website migration checklists that encompass all the critical areas for successful site migration.