What to Consider When Moving Your Site
There are a number of reasons as to why you might decide to uproot your current blog or website and move it to a different platform. Perhaps you’ve found a more affordable and/or reliable hosting plan, or maybe you started out on a free hosting service and are ready to transition to something more permanent. Needless to say, migrating your site to a new location can be a stressful event in many aspects. Between worrying about all of the internal technical issues and preserving your existing SEO clout, there is much to consider. Below, we’ll outline the key tenets of what to consider when moving your site to a new location, in the hope that this will alleviate some of the stress associated with it.
This will no doubt be the biggest change for many, and so it makes sense to address this element first. The simple act of moving the content will be easy if you are transferring from one location to another, but the content will remain on the same platform. In some cases, it can still be easy to transfer content from one CMS to another; if you are moving your site from a simple HTML solution or other CMS to WordPress, for instance, then there are plenty of tools to help streamline this process when pinging servers for your existing content. If you are moving your hosting onto an established server, then there will also likely be plenty of existing resources available to help you determine how to best configure and transfer domains, organize directories and ensure that all plugins or add-ons to the site function as intended.
What Else to Move
Besides the meat and potatoes of your content (text and images), what else will need to be considered in such a big move? For starters, you will want to be sure that you include and move any and all code and formatting along with the content, especially if you are simply moving your site and will be using the same CMS. This includes – but is not limited to – tags and categories that identify each piece of content in one way or another; your entire media library; menus, fields and various custom types of posts; and any other unique settings or configurations that existed on the prior version of the site.
Preserving Your Rankings
The most important part of moving a website in terms of integrity very well may be preserving the existing search engine rankings you possess. If your site is fairly new and you haven’t been focused on pinging servers at Google, Bing and others for SEO clout, then this might not be a big deal. In all other cases, however, it is. You’ll want to maintain your permalinks most importantly, and this can be done by keeping track of all of your permalinks via spreadsheet and then using a redirect tool that can forward all of your domain authority, traffic and overall rankings to the new site. You’ll need to add some information to the new .htaccess file of your domain, but all in all it is an easy process.