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Website Migration Checklist - The Ultimate Guide

One of the major issues for online businesses is establishing a new website or transferring to a new domain. because most business-to-client interactions are moving online 
With the increasing digital interactions, one of the major issues for online businesses is establishing a new website or transferring to a new domain.  (i.e., website migration). Loss of visitors, a decline in keyword rankings and general downtime are problems that might occur during website relocation. Companies frequently experience a downtime of between 24 and 48 hours during the website migration process and an average income loss.

The Types of Site Migration 

Different sorts of migration must be considered depending on their nature. A few of the main categories are: 

  • Site move migration 
    This scenario happens when a website completely changes its URL for the reasons listed below: 
    1. Protocol change: A website may switch from HTTP to HTTPS for security reasons. 
    2. Subdomain or subfolder change: A company may opt to relocate ccTLDs to subdomains or subfolders, in which case the subdomain or subfolder will change.
    3. Domain name change: When a business decides to rebrand, a domain name change is required. 
    4. Top-level domain name change: When businesses decide to build a global website for global exposure, this step is essential. 
    5. Site structure modifications: These are alterations to the site architecture that have an impact on URL structure and internal linkage. 
  • Re-platforming 
    Re-platforming migration involves switching a website's CMS during the process. This update leads to several adjustments to the website, including modifications to the URL structure and site design. 

  • Hybrid migration 
    On-premises mailboxes can be moved on-site using the hybrid migration technique. Like site move migration, this type involves various forms. While moving existing mailboxes to a new mailbox is made easier with hybrid migration, the complexity and danger are significantly higher than with other types.

Website Migration: The Three Phases


Step 1 

Planning: Although there may be a variety of reasons for a website relocation, it is usually best to start early. Here are a few things to think about as you get ready to migrate your site. You must first decide which types of migration you need to execute based on your requirements. Once the type of migration has been chosen, you must inform your team of the task's scope and identify the best window of time for task completion. You should make sure that not only do you have the IT and SEO expertise, but also enough capacity to execute website transfer successfully. 

Step 2 

Data backup: If no proper backups are made, you risk losing every piece of data from your former website throughout the migrating process. Therefore, one of the most crucial measures in this procedure is data backup. Some of the crucial items you should back up include the following:

Technical aspects of SEO include:  

a) Meta tags 

b) Internal 404s 

c) Broken links 

d) Alt tags 

e) Header tags 

f) Response code 

g) All of the Google Analytics goals that were put up on your previous website. 

Step 3 

Redirection: Before migrating your website, it is crucial to ensure that all your old URLs are forwarded to the appropriate pages on your new website once it goes live. To guarantee a smooth transfer you should perform URL mapping on the old website to determine which URLs on the new website should be used as redirects. For safeguarding traffic and experiencing zero traffic loss, carry out a 301 URL redirection. Redirect the outdated links to the old URLs once the list has been established. Check a couple URLs manually to be sure the redirection was effective.

Step 4 

Last inspections: Before starting the migration procedure perform a final quality assessment and verify that the new website has implemented all the UI/UX adjustments you requested. For example: 

a) Spacing issues 

b) Broken images 

c) Site navigation

To verify that all the content, both on-page and in the internal blog, has been optimally transferred to the new website examine the following: 

a) Formatting 

b) Font sizes 

c) Flow of content

Step 5 

Implementation: This is the last stage under preparation for migration. The following must be put into practice in this step:

  • Place the code on your new website and configure Google Analytics.  

  • In your new website's root folder, add a fresh robots.txt file.

During Migration

Step 1

Account Setup: For your brand-new website, the first thing you should do is set up the following:

  1. Google Webmaster 

  1. Google Analytics 

  1. Google AdWords 

Step 2

Verify Links: Due to bulk redirection, it is important to regularly check the URLs on the new site. The following should be looked for and fixed:

  1. The existence of any 404 URLs and direct them to appropriate destinations.
  2. Any links from the previous website do not point to the new one. 
  3. Verify that www. redirection for the URLs on the new website has been carried out as effectively as possible. 
  4. Check for HTTP issues and correct them by rerouting visitors to HTTPS pages.


Step 1 

Data Transfer: The last data transfer should be done after the website migration is complete. The post-migration process requires data transmission to make the new website appear identical to the old one. Check the following to ensure that the replication appears seamless: 

  1. Reinstall plugins that were previously present on your website. 
  2.  On Google Webmaster, create and update an XML sitemap. 
  3.  Re-do all the internal links on your new website's pages. 
  4.  Using Google Analytics, replace the URLs in the goals with the URLs of the new website. 
  5. Implement and address technical SEO elements such as: 
    •  Meta tags 
    • Internal 404s 
    • Broken links 
    • Alt tags 
    • Header tags 

Step 2 

Performance evaluation: It is vital to continuously monitor performance after a website has undergone a migration procedure. The following factors must be always monitored: 

  • Keyword rankings 
  • Number of indexed pages 
  • Organic traffic 
  • Organic conversions 
  • Goal conversions 
  •  Bounce rate percentage 


Even though we spent a lot of time researching and testing before coming up with this list, it is crucial to remember that website migration is a dynamic process. We strongly advise you to always stay informed to complete this task effectively.