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Essential Checklist for Seamless Website Migration

Essential Checklist for Seamless Website Migration
Website Migration

The Website Migration Process (6-Step Checklist)

The most valuable digital asset you have is your website, which acts as the internet entrance to your company. However, one reason migrating WordPress website can be so intimidating is the significance of your site.

When transferring your website to a new domain, hosting provider, or content management system (CMS), you should take precautions to reduce the possibility of data loss, performance lapses, and website outages. We'll go over the six essential actions you need to do to ensure the success of your website migration here.  

1. Plan Carefully

For a website migration to go smoothly, careful planning is necessary, just like with any multifaceted project.

Make sure you resolve the following issues before starting development:

Project extent: What are the objectives of the migration, and what portion of the website will be impacted?

Team responsible for migration and their roles: Who will take the project's lead? An external SEO agency or an internal SEO team? Establish a project management structure if you're handling the project internally so that everyone can stay on top of their assigned tasks.

Control expectations from stakeholders: What other departments will be affected by the project? Describe your expectations of them and the reasons behind the probable temporary lapse in performance.

Establish your launch date and timelines: Ideally, the new website ought to go live when there is the least amount of traffic to your website and your team has the bandwidth to promptly address any unanticipated issues.

2. Consult Your SEO Team

To reduce the effect of the migration on SEO performance, your developers must be aware of the essential SEO needs.

Your SEO staff needs to take care of things like:

  • URL arrangement

  • Internal connection

  • Canonical tags

  • Site Maps

  • Reactivity on mobile devices

  • Metadata

  • organized information

  • Hreflang.

  • Page velocity

3. Define Benchmarks And Set Up Tracking

The next stage is to provide a thorough image of your current website's functionality so you can assess how well your new site performs in comparison. Currently, creating a backup of your current website is a smart idea in case you need to restore it.

  • Natural Traffic

  • Ranks for Keywords

  • Site Velocity

  • Flipped Through Pages

  • Crawl Mistakes

  • Indexable Pages

  • Rates of Indexing

  • Links Back to the Page

4. Set Up A Testing Environment

If you want to make sure your new website works well before launching it, it's ideal to develop it in a closed testing environment.

Naturally, you'll need to keep search engines from crawling your new pages too quickly and restrict public access to the testing environment.

5. Conduct A Content Inventory

You can determine whether anything is lost during the migration by using a content inventory. Making a list of URLs can also help you identify any flaws that need to be fixed before the migration, such as broken links or incorrect redirects.

  • using a site crawler to retrieve all of your URLs.

  • obtaining page data downloads from your CMS.

  • Google Search Console URL exporting

Pages with significant content, high traffic, high conversion rates, good rankings, and high-quality backlinks are considered high-value. By gathering this information, you can determine which pages to move first throughout the WordPress migration.

6. Create A Redirect Map

A 301 redirect must be put in place for every page that is being moved to the new website. Your URLs ought to direct visitors to the new site's most pertinent page.

Redirecting outdated URLs to your homepage is not advised. Soft 404 issues may arise from this, which may lower your rankings and reduce overall link equity.

Instead, either make a new page or just delete your old URL if you are unable to find a suitable new page to point to.

Give your wider marketing team a list of your new URLs once you've finished your redirect map so they can adjust their campaign links when the new site goes live.

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