A website is one of the most important elements for any company, since it is the business card to everyone. Websites are not set in stone and many times you find yourself in the need to perform a migration. The reasons can be diverse: whether it is changing a “.es” domain for a “.com”, changing hosting service platforms or even changing CMS.
Be that as it may, migrating a website can be quite a challenge, since any error in the process could cause you to lose very valuable information, which you have. performance problems or even have your website disappear from the search engine.
What is a web migration?
What is considered migrating? A migration may involve a change of server or hosting, a new domain, changing WordPress for Joomla, restructuring the web architecture, changing the URL structure or changing HTTP for HTTPS.
To reduce errors to a minimum, we can follow the following steps:
Steps to carry out a web migration
-Preliminary planning: Planning is essential for any job of this type. You must be clear about the objectives of migrating a website and what the process you are going to carry out will be like. You have to carefully plan each step and establish times, leaving space once the migration is complete to check that everything is working correctly.
-Website analysis: To know if the migration is working correctly or if we have generated any problems, you must perform an analysis before starting the process. You have to look at metrics such as organic traffic, keyword positioning, speed, pages indexed and with errors, and backlinks.
-Review all your content: At this point, you will need to take an inventory of all your content, allowing you to find any errors or content lost during the migration. Additionally, having a list of all your URLs can help you find navigation errors or internal linking problems.
This list can also serve as a guide to eliminate outdated content or join various content that has cannibalized URLs, creating the necessary redirects. You can use a crawler or extract the information from Google Search Console.
-Block traffic: Before you start the migration, make sure you set up a sandbox where you can experiment and work to make sure everything is working correctly. There is no need to create a new server, just a new robot.txt that blocks all search engine traffic is enough. You should also create a “noindex” tag for the new URLs.
-Migrate the website: Once the website has been migrated, before unblocking traffic, check that everything is working correctly, that no content is missing. Also that you have correctly redirected the URLs, that your XML sitemap works, that the web architecture is correct,… And also that the structure of the URLs is also correct and that you have correct internal linking.