Website migration is no walk in the park. However, for many business owners, it is a necessary stage in the development and improvement of their offering.
Deciding to migrate a site means you've got to be prepared to make a lot of decisions, be incredibly organized, and ready to overcome various technical challenges. You need experienced technical experts on your team, or the budget to hire people to help you.
What is website migration?
This is the process of changing the setup or technology of a site to make significant changes. The changes can affect the structure of the website, its location, the design, and content – usually a combination of these. It is a problem-solving process that requires technical experts, content creators, and designers to work cohesively to create a new version of the site that delivers a much-improved experience and showcases your products and services well.
Of course, there are several risks to consider, such as losing chunks of the website and dropping in the rankings on search engines. It is a massive challenge, and it's best not to attempt it unless there are good reasons for it.
What are the reasons you might choose to migrate your site?
The desire to change the structure, navigation or website design.
If your analytics shows that your conversions, web traffic, and sales aren't what they should be, you might begin to investigate whether your website is to blame. If the customer journey isn't smooth and seamless, or the design isn't up to scratch, you might consider updating certain features before you opt for a full migration. However, if your site is hosted on an old platform, adding contemporary design features and improving the structure could be particularly cumbersome, if not impossible, in which case a migration might be the best choice.
It would be best if you found a CMS that is right for your business, which also considering whether moving to a different technology is the best option.
Changing from HTTP to HTTPS
The HTTPS protocol is an important security measure that business owners should implement across all their websites when possible. A HTTP rather than HTTPS site means that your site is not secure and will usually result in a warning message blocking the unsecured site pages from users.
Moving To a New Server
If your server's performance is weak, switching to another server or host could be the solution. Take time to investigate the pros and cons of different hosts before choosing a new one to ensure it meets with your needs.
Switching the Domain Name
If you are rebranding of have found a more suitable URL for your business, you may wish to change your domain name. However, remember that this is a big decision as customers will be used to finding you at a particular address, so lots of planning and risk assessment are required.
Before starting the migration making sure you inform users well in advance. Giving them a heads-up will ensure that gif there are some things to iron out, they'll be a lot more forgiving!
Try to migrate little by little, so you can test and check and test and check repeatedly, to ensure everything works, and if any issues arise, you'll find it much easier to isolate and solve the problem.
Also, don't mix multiple migrations all at once. Changing your domain name, for example, should be done separately from switching to a new host.
Prepare for problems. Migrations hardly ever go without a hiccup, so have a backup plan, do a risk assessment, and be prepared for things to go not so smoothly! Understanding the work it takes and the potential pitfalls and giving yourself plenty of time will help keep the process as seamless and stress-free as possible – good luck!
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