Website migrations are an important element when it comes to ensuring that your business continues operating smoothly as times change.
While they might sound vague, web migrations are a good thing for your brand, considering that no business stays static. There comes a time for you to move your site to a new host, server, or domain, whether you are running a company website or personal blog.
To avoid running into all sorts of problems, you need to have a strategic plan in place to organise the migration process. Read on below for a detailed guide on website migration.
What Is Website Migration?
Depending on who you ask, a website migration might have different definitions. For instance, according to webmasters, a migration might refer to the act of moving a website from one web host to another. This may be interpreted as moving the website from one online location to another – similar to moving a business from one physical location to another.
A web migration may also entail moving your website URL to HTTPS from HTTP. Generally, though, a website migration can be defined as any significant change to your website that could affect your visibility on search engines.
Website migrations might involve your website’s domain, platform, structure, design or content. In most cases, the changes are intended to enhance the customer journey or user experience (UX) in some way. These changes may be small or sweeping in nature. Perhaps the most efficient way to go about a web migration is to make multiple changes at the same time.
All in all, you will want to have a plan in place for managing the website migration process, to ensure the best outcome. This will not only prevent any unnecessary interruption to how you do business but also maintain the search engine visibility you have painstakingly achieved over the years.
Purpose/Reasons For Of A Website Migration
Moving From HTTP To HTTPS: A great example of a protocol change, switching to HTTPS from HTTP, ensures that visitor information is encrypted; thus, securing your website and preventing any scary pop-ups like those that tell users that it is not safe to browse a site!
Changing Domain Name: You will need a website migration as part of your business rebranding efforts. Another closely related reason for a website migration involves a top-level domain name change. This is usually necessary when a business is launching international websites and needs to move to a generic top-level domain from a country code top-level domain or vice versa.
Changing The Site’s Design, Navigation or Structure: If your site structure or navigation is pushing site crawlers away, or the old design needs to be refreshed, you need a website migration. These changes normally affect the site’s internal links and URL structure.
Moving To A New Server: A fast website is attractive to both search engines and visitors. If you have a growing site, you can boost its overall speed by moving to a new server. And, for this you will require a site migration.
Introducing a Mobile Version: Many businesses are opting to introduce mobile versions of their websites, given the ever growing number of people using mobile devices to browse the internet
Moving To A New Framework Or CMS: Last but not least, a site migration is required if you want to improve the functionality, security and performance of your website by moving it to a new framework or CMS.
As you can see, there are many reasons for website migrations. In some cases, a migration may be necessitated by a combination of several of the above reasons.
Does A Website Migration Affect Your SEO?
It is essential to consider your SEO when planning a website migration. A migration will definitely affect your site’s SEO, as is the case with any major change. However, you can create a better and safer user experience for your visitors when migrating for the right reason(s).
Since your website has to be re-indexed by Google after a migration, you are likely to see a short-term dip in organic traffic. Fortunately, Google likes and favours speedy and user-friendly websites – which means that in the long-run, you are likely to see a boost in your SEO.
One of the best ways of lowering the chances of migration negatively impacting your SEO efforts is to prepare a comprehensive website migration plan. In fact, with the right plan, you will not only have a better chance of maintaining your site’s position in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but also moving it in the right direction.
Risks Of A Website Migration
A website migration can quickly turn into a disaster, if not correctly done. For starters, you could end up losing your visibility on search engines temporarily, or in some cases permanently. This could also end up reducing your revenues due to a reduction in organic traffic.
Furthermore, if your old web pages are not redirected properly, your website’s authority could end up suffering. This may happen when the old pages do not register backlinks as they should. To make sure that all backlinks show up, any external links to old pages must be redirected correctly.
Other issues that you might encounter after a website migration include issues with page speed, mobile responsiveness, and analytics monitoring among others. To minimise the risk of all these issues, it is highly recommended that you work with a qualified and reliable web developer and prepare for the website migration as needed.
A website migration is necessary when it comes to enhancing the security, performance, and functionality of your website. In a constantly changing business environment, businesses cannot afford to keep their websites static.
While a migration can help you create a faster and more user-friendly website, it also comes with a variety of risks that can have a huge impact on your online visibility. As such, it is highly recommended that you take the necessary steps towards preparing for the migration. Most importantly, to ensure the best outcome, you should have the right web developer helping you along the way.