Website Migration Checklist to Stay Organised

Website migration can be a daunting task, whether you’re moving to a new hosting provider, switching domain names, or redesigning your entire site. However, with a well-planned checklist, you can ensure a smooth and successful migration without any hiccups. In this article, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive checklist to help you stay organised and make the process as seamless as possible.

Pre-Migration Preparation

Before you start the process, it’s crucial to take some preparatory steps to avoid potential issues down the road.

  • Backup Everything: Before making any changes, create a complete backup of your website, including files, databases, and any other important data.
  • Set Up Staging Environment: Create a staging or development environment to perform tests and ensure everything works correctly before going live.
  • Notify Stakeholders: Inform your team members, stakeholders, and regular visitors about the upcoming migration to manage their expectations.

SEO and Analytics

Maintaining your website’s SEO rankings and analytics data is vital.

  • Keep URLs Intact: If possible, maintain the same URLs for your pages to preserve SEO rankings and backlinks. If you have to change URLs, set up proper 301 redirects.
  • Update Internal Links: Check and update internal links to reflect the new structure of your website.
  • Update External Links: Reach out to webmasters of websites linking to yours and request them to update the links to your new URLs.
  • Update Google Analytics: Migrate your Google Analytics tracking code to the new site to continue monitoring website traffic.

Content Migration

Ensure that all your website content is accurately transferred to the new location.

  • Manual Content Backup: Manually back up your content and media files to ensure no data is lost during the migration process.
  • Automated Content Migration Tools: Depending on your CMS, consider using automated migration tools to streamline the process.
  • Verify Content Integrity: After migration, review the content on your new site to check for any missing or corrupted elements.

Design and Functionality

Make sure your website retains its appearance and functionality post-migration.

  • Responsive Design: Test your new site on various devices and browsers to confirm that it maintains responsiveness.
  • Forms and Applications: Test all forms and interactive elements to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Third-party Integrations: Verify that any third-party integrations (e.g., social media plugins) still function as expected.

Performance Testing

Check the performance of your new website to ensure optimal user experience.

  • Load Times: Test the load times of your pages and optimize as needed.
  • Broken Links: Scan for broken links using tools or plugins and fix them.
  • Browser Compatibility: Ensure that your website displays correctly on different browsers.

Testing and Debugging

Thoroughly test your new website and address any issues that arise.

  • User Testing: Conduct user testing to gather feedback and identify potential problems.
  • 404 Pages: Customize your 404 error page to help users navigate to the right content.
  • Form Submissions: Test all forms to ensure data is being captured and stored correctly.

DNS and Domain

If you are changing your domain name or hosting provider, take care of these aspects.

  • Time of Migration: Choose a time of low traffic to minimize disruptions.
  • TTL Settings: Lower the Time-to-Live (TTL) settings on your DNS records before migration.
  • Monitor DNS Propagation: Keep an eye on DNS propagation to ensure a seamless transition.

Post-Migration Checks

Once the migration is complete, there are some final checks to perform.

  • Crawl Your Site: Crawl your new site to check for any lingering issues or broken links.
  • Monitor Traffic and Errors: Keep a close watch on website traffic and error logs in the days following migration.
  • Communicate Post-Migration: Inform your stakeholders and users that the migration is complete and provide them with any relevant post-migration instructions.

Website Migration and Transfer

Moving your website can be complex, but with a well-structured checklist, you can minimise the risks and challenges involved. By preparing thoroughly, testing diligently, and addressing issues promptly, you’ll have your website up and running smoothly in no time.