How to Start a Full Site Migration

What is site migration?

Site migration means moving a website from one platform to another, from one domain to another, or from one hosting provider to another. The process can be technically complex and involves several steps, such as creating backups, transferring files and databases, updating domain and DNS settings, and testing the site.

Types of site migration

Hosting migration:

It involves moving a website from one hosting provider to another. This process is done when the current hosting provider does not provide satisfactory services or better features and performance are needed.

Platform migration:

It involves moving a website from one content management system (CMS) to another CMS. For example, migrating from WordPress to Joomla or Drupal to WordPress.


Domain migration:

It involves changing the domain of the website. For example, migrating from www.example.com to www.newexample.com. This requires special care to maintain SEO and traffic.

SEO Migration:

This involves changing the SEO structure of the website, such as URL structure, sitemaps, and redirects. This is important to ensure that the website’s search engine rankings are not affected.

Reasons for Site Migration

Better hosting facilities:

When better hosting facilities are needed, such as more speed, bandwidth, and storage.

Domain change:

When branding, rebranding, or a more suitable domain name is needed.

Platform upgrade:

To switch to a more suitable and user-friendly CMS or e-commerce platform.

SEO improvements:

When technical and content changes are needed to improve the website’s search engine rankings.


Why is SEO important in site migration?

Site migration is a complex process in which a website is transferred from one platform to another, from one domain to another, or from one hosting provider to another. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has an important place in this process. If SEO is not taken care of properly during migration, it can hurt the website’s search engine ranking and organic traffic. Here we will understand in detail why SEO is important in site migration and what points should be taken care of for this.

1. Maintaining Search Engine Ranking

When you migrate your website, your URL structure, content, and links may change. If these changes are not done properly, your search engine ranking may be negatively affected. Taking care of SEO, you can 301 redirect your old URL to the new URL, so that search engines can know what the new location of the content is and they can transfer your ranking.

2. Maintaining organic traffic

If SEO is not taken care of properly during site migration, your website’s organic traffic may decrease. Decreasing search engine rankings can reduce the number of visitors to your website. By adopting the right SEO practices, you can ensure that your website continues to receive organic traffic even after migration.


3. Search engine indexing

After site migration, it is important to ensure that search engines are indexing your new site correctly. It is necessary to update sitemaps and robots.txt files and submit the new site to Google Search Console. This helps search engines index the new site correctly.

4. Impact of backlinks

Proper management of backlinks is also important during migration. Your website’s old pages may have backlinks that improve your SEO ranking. By using 301 redirects, you can ensure that these backlinks work correctly on the new site and continue to have a positive impact on SEO.

5. User Experience (UX)

An important part of SEO is also user experience. Website loading speed, mobile friendliness, and navigation need to be taken care of during site migration. If users find it difficult to navigate your new site, it can increase your bounce rate and harm your search engine rankings.

6. Keywords and Content

During migration, it is important to ensure that your important keywords and content are also present correctly on the new site. Any major change in the location or structure of keywords can affect your SEO rankings.


How to Start Site Migration

Website migration can be a complex process, but with the right planning and steps, it can be completed successfully. Site migration means that you are moving your website from one platform to another, from one domain to another, or from one hosting provider to another. Here we will discuss the steps required to successfully start a full site migration.

1. Plan the Migration

  • Make the Purpose Clear

First, make it clear why you are doing a site migration. Is it to change hosting providers, upgrade platforms, or change domains? The migration process can be different depending on your purpose.

  • Set a Deadline

Set a deadline so that you can complete every step on time. Note that your site may be down for some time during the migration process, so plan it for a time with the least traffic.

2. Create a backup

  • Backup files

Back up all the files on your website. This includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, images, and other media files.

  • Backup database

If your website uses a database, take a full backup of the database as well. This will ensure that you have all the data on your website safe.

3. Setup new hosting

  • Choose a hosting provider

If you are changing hosting providers, choose a new hosting provider that can provide the resources and features required for your website.

  • Server configuration

Configure the server properly on the new hosting provider. Make sure that all the required software and services (such as PHP, MySQL, etc.) are installed and configured.


4. Domain and DNS settings

  • Domain transfer

If you are changing domains, start the domain transfer process. This process involves transferring the domain from the domain registrar to the new registrar.

  • Update DNS settings

Update DNS settings to point your website to the new hosting provider. This includes A records, CNAME records, and MX records.

5. Website Migration

  • File Transfer

Upload all the files of your website to the new hosting provider using FTP or SFTP.

  • Database Transfer

Import the database to the new server. You can use phpMyAdmin or other database management tools for this.

  • Update Configuration Files

Update your website’s configuration files (such as wp-config.php, .env, etc.) so that they work properly with the new server and database.

6. Testing

  • Inspect the Site

Do a thorough testing of your website after the migration. Make sure all pages are loading correctly and there are no broken links.

  • Functional Testing

Test all functionalities, such as form submission, login system, e-commerce functionality, etc. Make sure everything is working properly.

  • Speed ​​Testing

Check the loading speed of the website. Make sure there is no drop in site speed after migration.


7. SEO Settings

  • 301 Redirects

If you are changing the URL structure, set up 301 redirects from the old URL to the new URL so that you can maintain your SEO rankings.

  • Update Search Engine Console

Verify your new site in Google Search Console and other search engine tools and submit a sitemap.

8. Site Launch

  • DNS Propagation

DNS propagation can take some time (24 to 48 hours), so keep checking the site during this time.

  • User Notification

Notify your users that the site migration is complete. Apologize for any downtime and explain new features.

9. Post-Migration Monitoring

  • Set up monitoring tools

Set up website monitoring tools so that you can monitor site performance and uptime.

  • Bug Fixing

Fix any bugs or issues found immediately. Keep checking the site regularly and make improvements as needed.


Conclusion

Full-site migration is a complex but manageable process. With the right planning, preparation, and testing, you can complete it successfully. Follow the steps through this guide and complete your website migration without any hassle. Good luck!

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