Website Migration Checklist

5 Step Website Migration Checklist for Webmasters

Are you planning a website migration? This simple checklist will make your website migration headache free.
website migration best practices
Step 1) Keep the existing URLs as-is, as much as possible and over communicate this already with development team
  • The development team will replicate your existing category and product as well as CMS pages URLs as-is.
  • The HTML code may change in the source code, however, the URL and the content will remain as close to current as possible.
  • Treat this as a migration, not as a site enhancement for apple to apple comparison.
Step 2) Mapping of changes
  • If changes on the URL level are needed, you need to build a mapping of existing URLs to new ones. This 1:1 mapping is needed every time there are any changes.
  • We’d also have a log of all images as well in addition to the product pages and content pages.
  • This is extensive work and detail oriented project manager is recommended here.
  • Consider having a code freeze at certain time to stop adding content on the existing website.
Step 3) Set up redirection
  • We’d apply 301 Permanent Redirection from the old URLs to new ones
  • Based upon the server, technologies would be different however result is same – we’re looking HTTP 301 Permanent Redirection
Step 4) Update all marketing destination URLs
  • Update Paid ads destination URLs, as redirection is not good here
  • Same on PLA feeds
  • Amazon / Affiliate etc
  • Update Preferred Laning Page for Google / Bing under SEO
Step 5) Monitor 
  • Keeping URLs same will minimize your pain as the impact will limit to the source code HTML only.
  • Anytime, there is a change in URL, there will be a more noticeable impact. We have to monitor those changed urls and make sure you get back to where we were as quickly as possible.
  • Use GA / GWT / SEO software  to measure/monitor and take necessary steps as needed. Determine these KPIs beforehand with Management.
Follow these 5 Step Checklist for Website Migration which will help build your new website with least possible negative impact from Google from organic.

God speed!

About Ujjwal Bhattarai

Ujjwal is an engineer by education, a programmer by hobby, and an internet marketer by choice. Other than 1 minute chess, and biking, his passion includes SEO, SEM/PPC, CRO, and Web Development. As a lifelong student of Internet Development, he is hopelessly addicted to Internet, and sincerely believes after fire, wheel, and decimal point, internet is the fourth most important invention in the human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @uj2wal or at his Google+ .

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