Migrating your website can sound like a scary endeavor, and not without reason. Migrating will involve all of your website’s files and all of the valuable information that you’ve accumulated over an extended period of time. Your set of worries might include: will the transition be a long and/or stressful experience? Will migrating affect the site’s performance? Will the site’s service commitments and user experience (UX) change significantly after the migration?
The answers we provide in this post aim to be positive in nature. Migrating may be one of the best possible options to preserving your website’s functionality in the long run—it is mostly a matter of knowing what the migration process entails, choosing a secure web domain, and doing all the necessary planning.
Website Migration: Expected Changes and Challenges
First off, “migration” is neither an umbrella term for huge development changes nor something that can be shrugged off as a minor overall change to your website. The particulars of migration can encompass the following: domain name or server switches, changing a site’s URL from http:// to https://, a transition to a more mobile-friendly site, a complete content management system (CMS) overhaul, consolidation of more than one website as the result of acquisition or merger, or an overall company rebranding, among others.
There are many cases to be made for why the migration must happen, sooner or later. It may be to keep up with challenges such as the need to update in light of a merge; the need to re-craft a web domain name to be more SEO-friendly; the need to improve the appeal of the UX; or the need to revamp the site’s CMS for greater security purposes. Whatever the changes entail, it is important to keep the reason behind the migration in perspective: each of these challenges is unique to your website, and as much as possible, the migration should work hand-in-hand with addressing your overall concern.
Top 4 Tips to Ensure Smooth Website Migration
With those in perspective, what’s the best advice we can give you for when the time comes to migrate all your files? Here are our top four tips.
- Stick to your business plan. The decision to migrate your website should be an organic result of your company’s overall plans for profit and growth. See that your executives, staff, and web developers are all on the same page with regard to what these changes will mean. Prioritize the most important changes and keep track of how they are undertaken; you wouldn’t want to overwhelm any returning guests with a deluge of changes, either.
- Properly manage your inbound links. Another important element to remember is your network with other pages, and how easy it will be to link back to your site. You also wouldn’t want to cause your guests the disorientation of being led to a 404 error page. It’s recommended that you keep an inventory and run an inbound link analysis, in order to preserve all those valuable connections in the event of the big move.
- Link to 301 Redirects. Speaking of the dreaded 404 page, one solution you can employ is to oversee the creation of 301 directs as early as when you start migration. Get a head start on redirecting your guests to the new page, and prevent a big drop in traffic.
- Don’t conduct any quick, drastic changes to your website’s content. Last but not least, don’t be tempted to use migration as a precedent for giving your site a bigger overhaul than it truly needs. Rethink any rush decisions to change up SEO staples, such as keywords, meta descriptions, and the like. In other words, try and keep all the things that help your website perform well in the first place.
We hope that our survey has been of good help, and we wish you good luck on your big move!