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The website is a fragile system. Changing or replacing any of its parts can easily affect the effectiveness of the project or even negate all the efforts of developers and marketers that have been made up to this point. Moreover, this often happens in ways that are not immediately obvious even to specialists.

Most often, those who make decisions about moving a site to another platform underestimate the complexity of the work and the risks associated with this.
Today, even seemingly very simple-looking sites use a stack of modern technologies, such as content management systems. Not surprisingly, with global changes in the project, critical errors often occur.

Negative Consequences of Incorrect Site Migration

The consequences of an ill-conceived site migration can be quite serious. Possible problems include:

  1. Loss of positions in search results;
  2. Significant reduction or complete loss of traffic;
  3. Dropping out of the index of search engines;
  4. Decreased user performance;
  5. Errors in the structure of the site, the appearance of “broken links”;
  6. Decreased site scalability;
  7. Failures in the business intelligence system, etc.

To minimize the risks, site migration should be carried out with the involvement of SEO specialists.

What is site migration

Website migration often means completely different things. To bring certainty, let’s figure out what migration is and what aspects you have to deal with in the process of its implementation.

Transferring a site to another hosting

Moving a site to another hosting involves a lot of technical details. We are talking about changing the infrastructure, server technologies, hardware.

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What you may encounter:

  1. The hosting provider of the site is changing;
  2. The server location changes;
  3. The physical characteristics of the server (computing power, hardware) change;
  4. The server type changes (for example, the transition from Apache to Nginx is carried out);
  5. The caching system is changing;
  6. Changing (or adding, removing) CDN;
  7. Data transfer protocols, security features are changing;
  8. The load on servers is optimized using mirrors and distribution, etc.

Transfer site to another CMS

It is very rare today to find a site in the form of static HTML pages, especially if it is a commercial site. The operation of a modern site is provided by complex software (CMS). Switching from one CMS to another or changing the basic functionality of the CMS you use can be quite painful.

What you may encounter:

  1. Difficulties directly related to the transition of the site to another CMS;
  2. Adding, removing or changing plugins;
  3. Switching to another server language responsible for rendering pages;
  4. Development and implementation of new functionality in the project;
  5. Merging several projects onto a single platform (for example, transferring an independent blog to the CMS that runs the main site), etc.

Transferring a site to another domain

There can be many “pitfalls” that need to be taken into account. For example, you need to carefully check a new, just purchased domain. Especially if it was purchased right after it expired from the previous owner.
Typically, a domain transfer is associated with setting up redirects (redirects). But often accompanying changes are also required.

What you may encounter:

  1. Adding new domains to the overall ecosystem;
  2. Adding or removing subdomains;
  3. Moving part of the site to another subdomain, etc.

Replacing Templates

Almost any site uses a series of HTML templates that are responsible for the structure, layout and content of the pages. This is the logic that controls the output of the content. From time to time, templates become morally obsolete, and then they have to be replaced with new ones. Accordingly, we are talking about transferring the site to another template.

What you may encounter:

  1. Changes are made to the structure of internal navigation;
  2. The layouts of important pages (product pages, home page) are changed;
  3. Structural elements of the template are added or removed (for example, the number of columns on the site may change);
  4. Change meta tags in the “head” section (title, canonical or hreflang);
  5. Changes the output logic for a certain class of mobile devices, etc.
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Site transition to a new structure

The structure of the site is very important for promotion. It should always be modified with SEO in mind.

What you may encounter:

  1. Significant change in the number of pages;
  2. In the structure, there are new directions for content that were not there before;
  3. The focus and targeting of content is changing;
  4. Content categorization changes;
  5. The project becomes multilingual, etc.

findings

Even such a cursory review shows that site migration is a non-trivial process that requires extensive knowledge and experience. Of course, the site owner is not required to know and understand all these nuances. It’s important to have a general idea. This will allow you to correctly assess the complexity of the upcoming task, the existing risks and turn to specialists for help in a timely manner.