Do you want to migrate your website to a new domain or hosting platform? It may help reduce costs and improve integration, scalability, security, and performance. However, the process is risky because it might impact your website’s rankings and performance.

In this article, we’ll discuss and elaborate on website migration and how you can migrate your site in detail. Here’s what you need to know about website migration.

What Is Website Migration?

A website migration is a long process that significantly impacts your site’s structure, traffic, and performance. One of the most common forms of website migration is moving your website from one domain to another. For example: transitioning from HTTP to HTTPS or changing your URL structure to improve readability and relevance.

Here are the different kinds of migrations in detail:

1.      Hybrid Migration

Hybrid migration combines domain and re-platforming migration, consolidating the old and new websites into a single platform. It’s more cost-effective as it allows you to make numerous changes simultaneously.

However, the more elements you alter simultaneously, the more complex and riskier the transition will be. Therefore, ensure that your team carefully plans and executes the hybrid migration process.

1.      Re-platforming

Transferring a website from one hosting platform or content management system to another is called re-platforming. It can mean switching from your existing provider to Shopify or updating to your platform’s most recent version. You might think about re-platforming for several reasons, like if you’re dissatisfied with your current provider and need a more reliable hosting solution to support your business expansion.

However, you must note that re-platforming can sometimes entail design and URL changes due to technical constraints when switching platforms. As a result, it’s uncommon for the re-platformed website to retain the exact appearance and functionality of its old version.

2.      Domain Migration

Domain migration means moving your website from one domain name or extension to another, like switching from a .net domain name to .com. You can do it if you prefer another URL or if you have other issues like site structure, subdomain name, or protocol changes that alter your site structure.

Migration may be necessary at some point in your online business journey, and it has many benefits, but you have to be careful. If you change your site’s usability too much, you may lose users, and your revenue may decline. Moreover, you may also cause your site to crash. These risks sound uber-scary, but you can overcome them by following our sound migration plan, which we’ve discussed below.

Consolidate Your Plan First

Since website migrations are not a walk in the park as most people assume, you must write out your plan and objectives so it’s easier for you to track your process. And as you go along, you can cross off the milestones until you reach the end.

  1. Identify reasons behind website migrations and their benefits.
  2. Write down measurable goals and objectives.
  3. Create a timeline and budget to accomplish the migration.
  4. Build your team to make it a reality.
  5. Make a marketing campaign or strategy to promote your new website before the launch.
  6. Freeze any current content in production and posting.
  7. Scan your current site and make a repository of all your pages.
  8. Make a 301-redirect plan that maps your current content to your new site as accurately as possible.
  9. Check if all the redirects work properly.
  10. Make metrics to track your website migration’s success.
  11. Execute the migration process.

Track the metrics to check the impact and make improvements, as needed, based on user reviews and testing.

Why You Should Identify Website Migration Goals

You must identify why you are considering migrating your website and what it’ll look like afterward. Determine if you can make do by only transferring a portion of your website instead of migrating the entire site to a new domain.

Website migration can help you improve your website’s design, increase search traffic, take your website international, reach a wider audience, and move from HTTP to HTTPS. Once you’ve identified the reasons and benefits, you can work out our goals and objectives next.

For example, if you intend to move your site to an HTTPS domain, you might be able to retain your traffic levels. However, if you’re switching to a .com domain to get international reach, you may want to focus on marketing and engagement techniques to increase your traffic.

Therefore, be diligent in your process and plan it out so you don’t end up with a migration horror story on your hands.

Figure Out Your Teams, Timelines, And Budgets

Now that you’ve understood how to begin and why you’re migrating, it’s time for the action plan. Your migration plan must outline your team and its responsibilities, a sensible timeline to achieve set goals, and a budget to accommodate the changes you want to be done on your website.

A clearly defined strategy is crucial because your website migration won’t happen in half a day. It’s a detailed and complex process that requires good communication between your team members so they can execute the preplanned strategy.

Therefore, get your copywriters, UX developers, designers, SEOs, developers, and system admins on the same page and encourage cross-department coordination to increase your chances of success.

Also, remember that your website may experience downtime while your team works on the migration process. Therefore, schedule the migration when your website has low traffic, like late at night. It’ll reduce the number of individuals who see your site’s unavailability.

Market Your Website To Increase Reach

If you’ve decided to migrate your website, telling your users or visitors that you’ve moved will be one of the most difficult parts of the process. Also, don’t let outdated links go to waste. A 301-redirect link may salvage them, but if they stay outdated for long, they’ll lose impact and confuse your customers. Therefore, the question is, how do you ensure a smooth transition?

First thing first, communicate to your customers that you’re moving. This is where an enticing pre-migration marketing campaign comes into play. It’ll get your user excited about the move.

Now, let’s explore some engaging strategies for your customers. Start by creating a captivating “coming soon” page on the new URL while you work during downtime behind the scenes to expedite the migration process as much as possible. You can use your email and user information database to send newsletters and leverage social media to inform your customers about the new URL. The more buzz and anticipation you generate before the launch, the easier it’ll be to retain your customers and traffic.

But wait, there’s more. You can’t afford to lose visibility when people continue to search for your old URL or brand name. Therefore, design a dedicated webpage on the new site that ranks for your old brand name and clearly explains your reasons for the move. You can also set up PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads on Google to ensure visibility for all queries related to your old URL and name. However, don’t forget to include your new brand name in the ads to mitigate the initial traffic drop after the migration.

Once you implement these proactive strategies, you can ensure a seamless transition and keep your customers informed and excited throughout the website migration process.

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