A Complete Checklist For Migrating A Website

Migrating a website is when you make significant changes to the website’s structure or location. This not only improves the appearance and functionality of the website but also significantly helps SEO performance. Website migration is not an easy task, and it should be performed by those who have experience migrating websites. A website should be migrated for many reasons, including moving from HTTP to HTTPS, a new server, a new website platform, changing your domain name, and other potential reasons. 

Does Website Migration Affect SEO?

Hurting your SEO performance is something every website professional and business owner wants to avoid. No matter how carefully and thoroughly you migrate the content and URLs from one website to another, it will still generally hurt your SEO strategy. This can be very minimal and short-term as long as you understand how to expedite the process of your new website on search engines. It’s important to remember that the new changes to your website will still take time to be indexed but can have a positive impact in the future as long as you follow a complete website migration checklist.  

Website Migration Checklist

Discover the best practices for migrating your website using the website migration checklist below.

Prepare Your SEO Migration Plan

Planning your migration carefully will allow you to minimize the risks of messing up or delaying your appearance on search engines. The first actions to take are to create your plan, set your goals, and stay focused. Be sure to familiarize yourself with a proper website migration strategy before taking action. You should next use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and other essential tools to gather data and make comparisons when the new site is up. Next, create a timeline for when you plan to complete the project and who will help you along the way. Then, plan your migration type, make a copy of your website, prepare the new site, set up GA4, and run a technical audit. 

Map out Old URLs to their New URLs

If you are changing your domain structure, you must plan your new URLs. Create a list of your current URLs so you can be sure that you make necessary redirects and update links. Be sure to use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to discover URLs and export them to what have been crawled and indexed. Delete any duplicate URLs or use your website’s plugins to help you generate a list more easily. Here, you can quickly determine which you want to delete or which you want to redirect. Then, update your URLs on your new staging site to do any final checks, check functionality on desktop and mobile, and other important measures. 

Complete The Migration

Once the backend work is taken care of, it is time to transition from your old site to your new one. Create a content backup by collecting data and comparisons for your current site. This includes metadata, header tags, and other important content and information. Don’t move everything at once. Begin with a few pages at a time to avoid mistakes. Remove any temporary blocks, ensure no indexing or crawlability issues, update the DNS records, and enable redirects for your new site. You can then monitor any other SEO-related tasks in Google Search Console to ensure your new site is verified so you can get essential data and information as your new content is being switched over. 

Monitor The Migration 

Once the migration is complete, it is time to monitor the transition. As everything is in its new place, check your notifications on Google Search Console, especially in the page indexing report. This will show any pages being indexed and those not, and you can fix them due to their reasoning. Be sure to monitor keyword rankings and Google Analytics data to see how users interact and how your content ranks after the migration. Be sure also to cancel any old hosting you have once you are confident you have completed the migration without any errors. 

Contact Us For Website Migration and Website Design Services 

Boston Web Marketing is here to help clients with any website design or migration errors. Migrating a website on your own can be challenging and time-consuming while also putting your site at risk for errors. Get the help you need with Boston Web Marketing, and trust that our team will get the job done accurately for you. Learn more about our web design and SEO services, and contact us today to get started!


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