Whether you’re moving the website from one server or platform to another or redesigning or restructuring it, it will need to be migrated at some point. Website migrations need to be done carefully (in the hands of experienced web design experts) as any mistakes could lead to significant traffic loss due to disappearing search positions.
So what is the best way to migrate your content from your old website to your new one? Here are 6 steps for a stress-free and successful content migration and web redesign:
1. Analyze Old Website Data
In case your old website was synced with Google Analytics, you will likely have a wealth of information about your most popular and least popular pages to review. You can use this data to see what pages your community likes and which pages they don’t. In this way, you can reduce the number of pages you need to migrate exponentially!
2. Architect Your Site Based on New Priorities
Be sure to set clear goals to evaluate the success of the migration. Since the old site and the new site never have a one-to-one relationship, you must not hold on to content that isn’t in line with your new priorities.
3. Create a New Sitemap
Having reviewed your data and discussed strategic priorities, you should build a new sitemap. The new sitemap will determine user experience on the new site. Based on this new sitemap, you’ll be able to determine what content needs to be moved over, what content needs to be scrapped, and what content needs to be created.
Don’t overthink your sitemap – the simpler the experience, the better.
4. Determine a Content Migration Plan
Once you have laid the foundation, it would be best to plan how everything would be transferred from your old website to your new website.
The migration must be guided by a detailed plan with a contingency allowance for any unexpected issues. There is probably no way that everything will run smoothly, so you should be flexible with your plan and be prepared for delays.
5. Take specialist advice on SEO and UX.
In website migration, SEO and user experience (UX) must be taken into consideration.
If you remove a large chunk of content or take out links to improve UX, you can negatively impact the site’s ability to rank well in search results.
Alternatively, if you add a lot of content to satisfy the ‘content is king’ approach, you need to assess how this might negatively impact the UX.
When website migration, always consult SEO and UX experts. Assessing all possible outcomes of certain tactics, they will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each and recommend the best course of action. Before making significant changes that can be costly to rectify, get advice early on.
6. Undertake pre-launch testing
A test is the only way to determine if there will be any issues before completing the website migration. If something isn’t right, it’s much better to delay the site’s launch than deal with issues in a live environment, during which revenue could start to suffer.
During testing, it is important to have a blend of technical expertise to identify potential bugs, SEO expertise for looking for possible search visibility drops, and UX expertise to ensure everything works across all browser platforms and devices.
Website migration planned? Let the experts handle it!
There is much to consider to ensure that existing search engine rankings aren’t lost when a website migrates.
PLYXIO is a web design agency with an extensive understanding of this area, so if you are considering redeveloping or moving your website and want peace of mind when it’s time to relaunch, get in touch with us!