There’s hardly anything more stressful for a website owner than a major site change: be it the website migration, its redesign, or both.
Four months ago, this very website had undergone a complete makeover. It included its full redesign, multiple-URL update, and a migration to a new environment. You may have not noticed it as much, but we certainly did. It was nerve-racking, to put it mildly.
Now, looking back at what we had done and what these efforts have resulted in, we can conclude with complete certainty that the migration was a success. In what follows, I would like to share with you how we did it; in hopes that it will help you in your own website migration.
1. Take Time to Prepare
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and no one has ever summarized it more eloquently than Benjamin Franklin. Create a checklist of the most important tasks to knock out and work your way methodically through it. Don’t rush here. Due diligence at this stage will go a long way.
2. Equip Yourself
There are numerous tools out there which can make your website migration a smoother process. In the course of our move, we had leveraged two separate servers in combination with a free Cloudflare account. Not only did such a setup help us improve the website’s load speed, but by switching the DNS records within this tool we were able to avoid overwriting the old (working) version of the website with a new one only to find out that the new one wasn’t working properly.
3. Work with the Best
We are neither a web development, nor an SEO agency. Our focus has always been on affiliate management and related services. So, we had partnered with the amazing Mike Allen of Businesswright for the redesign of our website, while the SEO part was supported by the stellar Eric Ewe who, while at Microsoft, handled the website migration of the software giant’s website.
4. Measure and Analyze
The best practice is to measure your traffic before migrating the website, and shortly after the migration — to identify any areas of concern. We monitored things closely, and I am pleased to report that not only did our traffic not decline, but it increased on all fronts, and keeps improving too.
Furthermore, our mobile traffic increased by 21.42%, and since one of our priorities was to make the new website as mobile-friendly as possible, and we are excited to report this change.
5. Be Prepared to Act
Finally, remember that you’re monitoring and measuring not to report the results to anyone, but to draw conclusions and act upon them. Whether the results are negative or positive is irrelevant. Be prepared to act on your findings — to improve your website’s performance further.
I realize that this is not an SEO post but there’s no deficit of these out there. Good luck with your own website migration. If you prepare well, you have all chances of succeeding at it.