That way, you can speed up your site and maintain your traffic. But you want to avoid making mistakes that could cost you traffic and sales.
Read on to learn what not to do when migrating your website.
1. Doing It on an Impulse
Website migration is a huge decision, so you should take time to think about it. Research different website hosts and platforms and consider if it’s the right decision for your website.
If you have problems with your current site, you should make note of those. However, rushing to switch providers can make it easy for you to forget about certain details.
When you take time to plan, you can gather the information you need. You’ll be able to learn how to migrate your website successfully, so you can enjoy the new site, even if you have to wait.
2. Choosing the Wrong Platform
As you research website hosting, you should consider what you need and want in a host and platform. You should look for a web host with fast servers so that your website won’t run slowly.
If you have visitors from all over the world, you might want a host with servers in those locations. That will also help make your website run faster.
Along with speed, be sure to consider your budget, bandwidth, and other features. Then, you won’t have to worry about migrating your website again.
3. Changing Your Domain
Sometimes, changing your domain name is necessary if you want to rebrand or if you chose a name you no longer like. However, you should decide if you need to change the domain.
Doing so can affect your search engine optimisation (SEO) because you’ve built up SEO with your current domain. It will take time to build that up on the new domain, so you need to prepare for that.
If you want to maintain your SEO rankings, consider using the same domain at least for a while. You can buy a new domain later, and you can work on its SEO then.
4. Duplicating Content
Search engines can penalise websites that publish duplicate content. So if you do decide to change domains, make sure you take the old domain down or redirect it to the new one.
Having copies of the same content can keep your website from ranking high in search results. Make sure that take down your current site after migrating so that you can improve your SEO.
You can use the same content on your new site. But removing the old version is a critical step for site migration. That way, you’ll site will only have unique content.
5. Attempting the Migration Alone
Migrating your website can be complex and take a lot of work. Unless you’re a web developer or have other technical skills, you don’t want to move your site without some sort of help.
Depending on your new web host, they may offer migration services to help set up your site. Otherwise, you may want to review some tutorials online or hire a developer to do the WordPress migration.
Having help can keep you from forgetting an essential step, and you can reduce the chance of errors. That way, you can get your site back up and running in no time.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a professional, ask someone you know to double-check your work. You could have an assistant or a friend or relative do this so that you don’t forget anything.
6. Hiring Unexperienced People
Perhaps you’ve decided to hire someone to help with your website migration, or you want a host that can do it. Either way, you need to avoid hiring a person or company without plenty of experience.
If someone hasn’t migrated a ton of sites before, they might not know what all goes into the process. They might have to review the steps, and they could miss something.
In that case, you’d be better off migrating your website yourself. Before paying anyone, make sure they know how to migrate a site smoothly and efficiently.
7. Not Downloading a Backup
Before you start the website migration process, you need to download a backup copy and store it on your computer. If something goes wrong during the migration, you’ll be able to restore the site.
WordPress makes backups easy, and there are tons of plugins you can download that handle backups. Once you choose a plugin, be sure to download a copy of your blog posts, pages, media, and other files.
Keep it on hand until your site is up and running on the new host and you can take another backup. Then, you can keep from losing your content and all of your hard work.
8. Not Using Redirects
Whether you change your domain or restructure your links, you need to use 301 redirects. These permanent redirects will send the old link to the new one so that you don’t lose any traffic.
If you don’t use redirects, your visitors will receive a 404 error for the old page. They may not be able to find the new content, so you may not retain those visitors.
Fortunately, WordPress has a plugin for redirects. That way, you don’t need to use any code or set up the redirects manually and risk forgetting a link or two.
Redirects are particularly important if you change domain names. However, they also matter if you switch from a different platform, such as Blogger, which uses a different link structure than WordPress.
9. Not Updating Backlinks
If you need to change a link, you should look for any websites that link to that old page. Tools like SEMRush allow you to check for backlinks to your website.
You can find what site your links are on, and you can contact the people who own those sites. Give them the new link so that they can replace it in their content.
While this step is out of your control, it’s worth contact other website owners. They may not want to have a broken link on their site, so they could be happy to change it.
10. Not Using SSL
A secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate is becoming even more important each year. Whether or not you have an SSL, you should set one up during your website migration.
That way, your new website will be secure for you and your visitors. It can also help improve your search engine rankings as some search engines penalise sites without that layer of security.
As soon as you set up your new website hosting account, consider if they offer an SSL. If not, you can get a certificate yourself, and you can install it on your site to protect the content.
11. Losing Customer Data
If you’re migrating an eCommerce website, consider what kind of customer data you have. Sometimes, you may have the email address or name if your current site uses a guest checkout system.
You might be able to save that information with a website backup. Then, you can keep the information for reference and to retarget existing customers in the future.
However, maybe your site lets customers create accounts with usernames and passwords. In that case, you need to make sure you migrate all of that information so that your customers can log in.
12. Rushing the Process
Another significant mistake you should avoid when migrating your website is doing it too quickly. If you rush the migration, you can easily forget to get a backup, or you might choose the wrong or host or platform.
Trying to speed through everything will make it easier to make other mistakes with website migration. Instead, give yourself enough time to research web host plans and move your content.
Add a few days to the timeline to have a buffer in case something goes wrong. Then, you’ll have time to resolve the issue and still get your website up when you want.
13. Migrating Before a Big Launch
Migrating your website at the end of a hosting subscription can be a good way to save money. However, consider if you’re about to launch a new product or service.
If you migrate your site too close to a big launch, the event may not be as successful. Your site can be down for as much as a day, which could cost you sales.
When possible, hold off on website migration until after a big launch or do so at least a month before. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to get your site ready to release your next offer.
Website Migration Done Right
Website migration is a complex process, and it can be easy to mess something up. Fortunately, if you know about the most common migration mistakes, you can make your switch go smoothly.
Then, you can minimise the time that your site is down, so you can keep from losing traffic and sales. That will help your business grow, even during the change.
Are you ready to migrate your site to a new web host? Order your UpTime hosting plan and request your website migration.