A website migration plan is more than just creating a checklist, it follows a checklist and for many companies, that is the challenge, you have a business and it is easy to get caught up in daily challenges and new projects, which can put your website migration at risk.
How to migrate your website
Are you ready to start migrating your website? Find out how to do it in six steps now:
Develop a website migration plan
First, you want to create your website migration plan, which will help you achieve the following:
Determine the scope and schedule of your migration.
Determine who will lead and support migration.
Build a website migration checklist for each task.
Create a budget and a list of needed resources.
A website migration plan doesn't happen in a day, it will take time, and your business will need to communicate with multiple team members, from managers to developers to SEO , to determine who will lead and assist this project.
Work with the design and development team on your site updates
Next, you want to work with your design and development team to move forward with your website updates, for example, if you are redesigning your site, this phase will include reviewing the webframes, providing feedback, and more.
If your website migration exceeds design, your development team may work independently during this phase, for example, your developers may focus on improving your site's overall speed and creating future page speed maintenance processes, such as image compression.
Do technical SEO setup for migration
Once you have your website designs completed (if applicable), you can move on to this step. Through this stage of your website migration plan, your SEO specialist will define and prepare the SEO technical specifications for your website. Which your development team will use to launch your site. These specifications can include:
URL structure .
In addition to building the technical specifications for SEO, the SEO must also complete the following: Access your current website, as with (Screaming Frog), Measure your current website performance, such as its rankings, speed, and more, and export data ( Google Search Console ) for your site as a reference.
If you perform a website migration that requires redirects, such as moving to a new domain name or moving from (HTTP to HTTPS) , the SEO should also create a document outlining the planned redirects.
Launch and test your new website
While you can complete this step after the first three, you can also start it earlier, for example, if you are launching a new website design, you can start testing your site as soon as your development team starts building it, as when you start testing your site, Make sure it can't be accessed by search engines.
No matter when you start testing your site, make sure it can't be accessed by search engines, you don't want search engines to access and index this website when you don't migrate your old site and content to it, you can prevent search engines from finding your website By restricting its access to specific ( IP addresses ) , as part of your testing, you must follow a checklist of items to be tested.
Migrate your website
Eventually, your business will reach the stage of your website migration plan where you complete the migration, this step may require weeks or even months of work to achieve, however, your work up to this point will help your company launch a successful website migration, when you migrate your site, Speed is essential.
If the migration requires your website to be offline, for example, you want to avoid long downtimes, because search access programs will see that your site is down, which could affect your visibility if it stays down for a long time, once you complete the initial migration, Complete the following steps:
Steps after the initial migration
Ensure that your (robots.txt) file is not blocking search engines.
Verify that your redirects are working with your pages, especially your most valuable pages.
Upload an XML sitemap to your Google Search Console account.
These three actions will help your business to quickly detect critical errors, such as accidentally blocking a search engine with your (robots.txt) file , in addition, they will help your website migration go smoothly, such as submitting your site to Google Search Console).
Continue to migrate your website
Even though you have completed your website migration checklist, your team still needs to monitor your site . To issues with migrating your website, while it's normal to see a drop in traffic and rankings right after you've migrated, long-term declines can indicate a problem with your site's migration.
For example, forgetting to set up redirects can damage your rankings, and without redirects, search engines like (Google) can't know that you've moved that page or content to another page, and when that happens, your company loses your rankings, hurting traffic Increase your traffic, use (Google Analytics) to monitor your traffic and (Google Search Console) to track your rankings, where you can also use paid tools, such as: (Ahrefs) or (SEMrush), to monitor the performance of your website in results search.
If you still have problems migrating your website, contact your SEO agency. An experienced and trusted agency can assess your location and help your team uncover the cause of your migration issues.