Website migration checklist: 10 steps for success

Web site migrations are a section of an enterprise’s purely natural evolution. Businesses may possibly migrate since they are rebranding, going to the cloud to scale their internet site easier and numerous other factors.

Even so, when migration may possibly seem to be uncomplicated on paper, just one misstep can lead to Search engine optimization issues, these as:

  • 404 glitches
  • Lost rankings
  • Missing content

Just before you start off with your migration, you will want to run a internet site crawler to just take an stock of your web pages. A resource like Screaming Frog can aid. The target is to have a checklist of all web pages that you can refer to when the migration is comprehensive to confirm that almost everything is migrated the right way.

When you’ve bought your checklist, you’re completely ready to shift on. What follows are 10 methods that will enable you have a successful web-site migration.

1. Set up internet hosting, DNS, CDN, mail

Migrations have a large amount of relocating elements. 1st, make a backup of your web page and databases. If a thing goes improper, you are going to be grateful that you have a backup to restore your web-site. Preferably, you’ll also produce a staging web-site to exam the migration to decrease any initial hiccups that can arise together the way.

At the time you’re accomplished with the staging internet site, you will want to:

  • Setup your internet hosting natural environment and transfer all files around
  • Set up the DNS details
  • Alter your CDN info
  • Adjust mail parameters

Total these preliminary steps done before transferring into your redirects.

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2. Make a list of redirects

Internally, you and your group should have a record of redirects that you need to have to make and kinds that already exist. You’ll refer to this list to make certain that all present redirects are in area on your new web-site.

Fortunately, if you don’t have lots of redirects and are changing domains, you are going to need to have a one redirect to redirect the site.

3. Assessment Search engine optimisation composition

Web optimization specifications should be set in put. You will will need to look at the subsequent to make confident the migration is successful:

  • Crawlability
  • Custom made URL
  • Alt exam
  • Canonical tags
  • Robots.txt
  • Sitemaps
  • Internal backlinks
  • Hreflang
  • Structured information
  • URL composition
  • Cellular set up
  • Pagination

Review your present-day site’s Search engine marketing construction to ensure that you can check it when the migration is full. The critical to web site migration results is making lists and reviewing them a number of periods.

4. Run benchmarks

Benchmarks are heading to inform you a whole lot about your migration and web page. From a complex standpoint, you’ll want to see the subsequent information:

  • Page load speed
  • Site indexing premiums
  • Crawl problems
  • Key phrase rankings

You are going to be returning to these benchmarks numerous times above the coming months. If you detect that the web page speed is slow or you dropped rankings, you’ll want to glimpse as a result of your internet site much more to pinpoint the concern.

If you have this info offered, you are going to also have something to clearly show your consumer (if you are doing the job with 1) that can emphasize the success of the benchmark.

5. Assess crucial web site pages

Your vital site internet pages are the most significant profits-creating pages and should really be the to start with that you target. Examine these web pages to make guaranteed that they are managing effectively. Even if you have 1,000+ webpages, select the top rated 5{4224f0a76978c4d6828175c7edfc499fc862aa95a2f708cd5006c57745b2aaca} pages and go via them a single by one.

These are webpages that:

  • Have substantial key phrase rankings
  • Generate the most income

When you search through your analytics, you’ll want to keep a close eye on these webpages when continuing as a result of the rest of these actions.

6. Rerun site crawlers to compare

Rerunning your crawler is a fantastic thought at this stage. You’ve by now gone via most of the laborous methods, but now it’s time to assess your aged internet site crawl to the new one particular. The aim is to examine the pursuing:

  • Damaged site links (404 faults)
  • Redirects
  • Meta titles
  • Meta description

Assess your metadata to make sure that all the things migrated thoroughly. Often, metadata is misplaced through the migration, specially if you modify content administration programs that test pulling details from a database column or desk that does not exist.

7. Audit the website

Audits arrive next, and you can also use some of the information gathered in the final step. Your audit really should contain checking:

  • Redirects
  • Inner backlinks
  • Server reaction situations
  • Noindex/index information

You’ll also want to create your robots.txt file, established up canonical tags and guarantee that your important web pages are jogging properly.

If you are shifting domains, add your website to Google Lookup Console and Bing Webmaster Resources. You’ll want to abide by this up by requesting that your site be indexed and submitting your XML sitemaps.

Google Lookup Console makes it possible for you to alter your site handle. You can set up the change of address by likely to Settings (Equipment icon) > Transform of deal with

The Research Console’s alter of address makes it possible for you to notify Google of your site’s address transform. Nevertheless, you will require to validate that you are the proprietor of equally internet sites before distributing your adjust of tackle.

9. Operate usability exams

Usability is a single factor of a website migration that men and women neglect. Your site may perhaps preserve its rankings, yet you will drop earnings if usability diminishes. Manually tests critical locations of your internet site is the subsequent step, and these exams must be done on mobile and desktop gadgets.

Check out the pursuing regions to make sure that they’re working correctly:

  • Downloadable content
  • Forms
  • Entire checkout system
  • Stay chat function
  • Mailing lists
  • Navigation

You want to make sure that all of your site’s options run adequately. If you appear throughout any troubles, proper them as vital.

10. Observe analytics and conduct any required cleanup

You have attained the final action, but it’s significant to bear in mind that this is an ongoing method. About time, you’ll want to look in your Google Lookup Console for:

And you’ll want to evaluation your analytics or search term rankings for your top pages. Customarily, you’ll want to view your maximum targeted traffic-producing webpages and see if they’ve knowledgeable a loss in targeted traffic. If they have dropped major rankings and visitors, start off examining key challenges, these as:

  • Improper redirects
  • Sluggish load times
  • Lost inner links
  • Missing meta tags

You will want to maintain a close view on Google Research Console’s Coverage tab, which will demonstrate you any important mistakes on your pages and warnings. As these glitches pop up, go by them just one by a single and correct them.


Site migrations require a whole lot of diligence and time to execute adequately. While there may well be a handful of techniques that you can include to the record previously mentioned to streamline the migration procedure even further, they’re a great foundation to establish off of.

Thoughts expressed in this posting are people of the visitor author and not essentially Research Engine Land. Workers authors are shown in this article.

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About The Creator

Ludwig Makhyan is a contributor for Search Engine Land, masking natural and specialized Search engine optimization. His background is in world-wide-web advancement and digital internet marketing. Ludwig has around 20 several years of experience in website layout, coding and promotion. He is the co-founder at MAZELESS, an enterprise Web optimization agency.

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