What’s The Best Practices for Website Migrations?
Yes! You’ve hit and actually surpassed your milestone of growing your ecommerce business. Things are looking up. You’re getting the kind of traffic and conversion rate you’ve been hoping for. Growing your ecommerce business is great news, until you realize that your current platform can’t handle the increased traffic.
When this happens, it’s time for an upgrade.
Some people are able to make the right choice the first time when it comes to enterprise e-commerce platforms, opting for a platform that can support growth without robbing your pockets in transaction fees. Others fail to plan for growth and find that their current platforms cannot support the growth of their online business.
If you fall in the second category, you may be planning for the migration of your website to a new ecommerce platform. This can seem like a nerve-wracking process. It is both time consuming and complex.
Website downtime can be costly to a business. In 2013, ecommerce giant Amazon experienced a 30-minute downtime due to a website crash. This resulted in an estimated loss of $66 million in revenue.
Therefore, going dark for hours on end during the migration is something you want to avoid. The transition from one ecommerce platform to another doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It shouldn’t cost you a whole lot in revenue, either.
The following tips will help to make the migration as painless as possible:
1. Begin migration before canceling your current hosting plan
One of the most common mistakes ecommerce website administrators make is canceling their hosting plan with their current host before the transfer of their website to the new servers is complete. The transfer may take several hours or even a day or two. If you cancel your plan before completing this process, you’ll experience several hours of downtime and lose a lot of revenue as a result.
It is a good idea to let your current host know that you’ll be moving to a new host. However, give yourself adequate time to make the migration successfully before canceling your current plan to ensure that customers can still make transactions while you migrate.
2. Create and download backup files
One of the key steps in migration is moving the data from your current host servers to the new servers. You will have to create backup files of your website and download them. This process will depend on the interface you use. Your database will be downloaded in compressed format.
It is important not to decompress the files. This is a process that your new server will complete once the files have been uploaded.
3. Redirect links
Link building is part of any effective SEO strategy. The growth of your website could be the result of wise and effective link building over months or even years. Losing the links that you’ve accumulated over the years could destroy your ability to rank for relevant search terms.
Run a site check of the links on your website using a site explorer tool, such as Moz’s Open Site Explorer. You can also check on the link status of your website from your Google Search Console account.
Set permanent redirects of your links so that they point at the same pages on the new site as they did on the old site. Visitors coming to your site using these links will be redirected to the new pages and will never notice the difference.
Make sure everything on the new site works just as well or even better than the old site. Test all aspects of your website. Pay special attention to interactive features that customers are likely to use. Identify problems early and ensure they are addressed before the website goes live.
Remember that over 40 percent of consumers will abandon your website for the competition if it takes over three seconds to load. Don’t risk losing revenue by staying with a server that cannot meet your needs. Don’t risk migrating without taking heed of the tips provided above.