As your e-commerce business grows and ages, it will likely have to undergo a website migration sooner or later, and with your normal operations being disrupted, it’s important that the process goes smoothly. Unfortunately, many companies don’t take the time to prepare for a migration, which results in an ongoing loss of traffic and a lower search ranking position. Needless to say, it doesn’t have to be that way, and if you decide to work with a professional development team that offers a website migration service, you’ll be updated of the process the entire way, and shortly after, a steady increase in numbers. Let’s dive into website migration and how content goes from one site to the next.
What is website migration?
Website migration is a term that’s used to describe the process when a website undergoes substantial changes that affect its traffic, user experience, and search engine visibility. In terms of e-commerce websites where businesses sell their products and services, this often happens when they decide to switch from one platform to another.
It’s important that you migrate your website well to ensure that each visitor has the same seamless experience as the next and so they’re able to find you using popular search engines. While it may seem like migration is fairly straightforward, it needs to be done correctly and efficiently and will require a time investment.
Listed below are some steps you should take before you migrate your website to a new e-commerce platform.
Step #1: Have a look at your current website
Aside from design, your site’s content is one of the most important elements that’s selling your products and services to visitors. This means that if you’re going through a website migration, you should be looking at ways to improve your graphics, layout, and copy. Take a step back and try to view your content through the eyes of a new user. Then, examine which pages are getting the most traffic and the highest bounce rates, update your keywords and descriptions and consider creating or updating your “About Us” section to give your site its freshest look.
Step #2: Set new priorities
After having a look at your current website, it’s easy to start making a list of content and architecture priorities. While some business owners possess the experience to improve their websites on their own, most work with a development team to help with coordinating their current content and curate content that’s needed to get them the traffic and attention they need post-migration.
Step #3: Create a sitemap
Post review of your current site and the layout of your priority list, the next you’ll want to build out is a new sitemap—a list of pages within the domain that help with the planning of the website—which will be the backbone of your website’s design and build. While a sitemap should be simple, it helps to have a development team analyze the navigation and visual elements of your site to determine which content needs to be created from scratch and which should be transferred, combined, or scrapped completely.
Step #4: Determine what will be part of your upcoming migration
All of the above steps are designed to help you figure out what will be a part of your migration. With your sitemap in hand, you can decide which pages should go where and what content on those specific pages will be transferred to your website. Along with page content, you will also need to transfer products/service descriptions and things like order history and other administrative information.
Step #5: Create a content migration plan
Content is key and since having a plan is crucial to ensure a successful migration, you need to lay a foundation to curve your expectations.
While there are multiple ways for you to plan content migration, these are some tips we’ve given our clients who’ve signed up for our website migration service:
- Create your sitemap at the start of your project
- Design your template around your decided upon sitemap
- Create your content map based on your design
- Build a spreadsheet for each website page
- Create a corresponding spreadsheet filled with current and new content
- Implement content while the website is being build to save on time
While migration may seem like a daunting task, if you work alongside a professional agency with an established website migration service, you will receive assistance through the entire process, which will pay off when your beautiful new website is live.
At Numinix, we’ve got experience migrating websites from several platforms. We would love to have a chat and work with you to find out which platform is best for your business and make sure that your migration goes quickly and smoothly.
Do you have any other questions about website migration? Drop a comment below for a prompt response.