Is it time to migrate your website?
As your website grows in size and complexity, there may come a time when a website migration becomes necessary. When that happens, taking a deliberate, step-by-step approach to migrating your site makes the process smoother and helps you avoid a negative impact on your brand and business. An SEO specialist can explain the intricacies of site migration, but if you just need a quick overview of what site migration is, this article has everything you need to know.
What is site migration?
Simply put, site migration is the process of migrating from a website to a new one. This usually involves changing domain names, also known as domain migration. Other parts of the website may be revised during site migration. For example, your website can change servers, content management system (CMS) platforms, and subdomains can be consolidated.
The need to move a website is usually a positive sign, indicating significant changes in the right direction. Here are the top reasons to migrate your website:
Change your domain name – You want to change the domain name or URL of your website from oldname.com to newname.com. This could be the result of a rebranding or a recent strategic move in your business. Or maybe you want to migrate to an internationally recognized domain (like .com or .co.uk).
Upgrading or downgrading servers – You are having website accessibility issues because your server cannot handle the traffic you are currently receiving. Your website response times can also decrease, resulting in a disappointing user experience. Additionally, you may be looking to increase data security and privacy and switch to a more secure server (like from HTTP to HTTPS).
Change hosting provider – You want a dedicated server and manager for your hosting service, which your current provider does not offer. You also want to explore the features of other providers or go for a more economical plan.
What are the risks of site migration?
Site migration is a common and necessary part of growing a business, but it is not without its risks. After all, changing fields is a huge change. Most websites that migrate will see a temporary loss of traffic, but if the previous website is not automatically linked to the new one and the domain change is not advertised enough, the traffic loss could be permanent. Site migration also carries other risks such as loss of content and breaking internal and external links.
Proceed with caution and start migrating the site with your eyes wide open, as things can get complicated… quickly. When done incorrectly, migrations can impact search engine rankings and content can get lost. Plugins and other features of the site may stop working. The whole site can crash if you are not deliberate and careful.
You need a clear, detailed plan to mitigate potential falls and avoid foreseeable pitfalls. This site migration guide contains a list of common mistakes when migrating your website.
How to successfully migrate your website?
Before you begin site migration, it’s important to carefully consider whether this is the right choice for your brand and business. If you are ready to begin the site migration, here are some tips to make sure the process goes smoothly:
- Test, test then test again – Testing your new domain or subdomain helps you uncover problems early on and before you leave your old site behind. Enlist people from across your organization from different functions to test all website functionality and report on their user experience.
- Migrate to upgrade – Make sure your new site is an upgrade from your old site. Faster load times, tighter internal links, and even more SEO friendly capabilities should be qualities of your new site – not your old one!
- Redirect your old domain – Redirecting your old domain isn’t just for people typing on the wrong website. There will be a lot of links, internal and external, back to your old site. Set up a redirect card so users are directed directly to your new website.
- Promote early and often – Before you even migrate, you need to promote the new website. Notify anyone with links to your website that the links may need updating, promote your new website launch on social media and in your emails, and create a landing page “Coming soon” for the new website.
- Perform an SEO analysis of your new site. Even if a month goes by without a problem, when Google detects a broken internal link on your website, it will damage your search rankings.
If you follow these tips and take the time to develop a detailed site migration plan, you will set the stage for success. This will increase the likelihood that your site migration will be hassle-free, stress-free, and quick to get started. Minimal impacts on the organic performance of your site. Minimal worries for you.