Website migration is the process of redirecting all of your old or existing web pages to new pages. Such migrations must be taken seriously. One wrong move and you may see your rankings and traffic plummet to the ground. If you do not want your business to operate at a loss, when your new website goes live, you should keep the following survival tips in mind.
The Perks of Performing Website Migration Correctly
To further emphasize the importance of carrying out website migration correctly, here are some of the perks that come with doing things right:
- You can carry over the domain or page authority that your old website had built. This way, you do not have to start from scratch when you are running website 2.0.
- Visitors and customers can still reach your new website from old links. This means that you do not lose business or traffic. Forgetful visitors who visit your old online store can still find you.
Without further ado, below are some useful tips (in no particular order) to help you survive the migration period:
Back Up Old Website
Some files may get lost in transition. By keeping backups of important files, you can speed up the recovery process if something goes wrong. Backing up your files is easy. It should not take long for most websites.
Familiarize Yourself with the New CMS
Are you moving to a new content management system (CMS)? It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with it well in advance. It is a good idea to consult your web development team. You can get them to train you in CMS best practices, which allow you to confidently and quickly revise or add content, add or delete products, updating product pricing, etc., from the get-go.
Test New Features Before Migrating
Use 301 Redirects
Remember that we mentioned that it is possible to redirect visitors from an old page to a new one? Yes, it is called a 301 redirect. In some cases, an old web page may have naturally built valuable links without you realizing it. When creating your new site, ensure that you research external links that point at your website. One of the tools that allow you to do this is Google Search Console. By setting up permanent 301s, you can prevent customers from landing on 404 pages (broken pages). Search engine bots and customers that click through to an old page will be sent to a relevant page on your new website. Remember, 404s can get you penalized!
Update Internal Link Structure
What is an internal link? It is a HTML tag in your website code that allows you to transition from page to page. Even if you did your 301s correctly, you still need to update these internal links with your new URLs without delay. If there are too many redirects, they can slow down your server. Slow-loading websites can lower your overall page rank.
Continue to Monitor Migrated Website
Congratulations! Your new website is live. Now is not the time to rest on your laurels. You need to continue monitoring your website and ensure that it is properly crawled by Google. Aside from making sure that your site remains operating at optimal speeds, you should keep an eye out for the latest ways to improve the optimization of your pages.