What to remember when migrating your website

I’ve been at the Big Digital conference in Adelaide this week, and one of the topics we’ve been discussing is site migration. In particular, I got to review the site for Haigh’s Chocolates, which is moving to a Magento 2.0 site soon. I’m looking at three different types of site migration, and the problems that go along with them.

One is moving from one content management system to another, or upgrading the whole site to give it a new look or feel. That’s one type of migration. They’re different processes, but you need the same skillset to successfully handle each of them.

The other two types are moving domain names, which I’ve just gone through, and HTTPS, which everyone is talking about right now. Each of these has different functions and results, but they’re essentially all site migrations.

One thing I was mentioning at the presentation is that, when changing your site, you need to watch for index bloat before you do the final move. When I did a search for Haigh’s Chocolates, I found well over 18,000 results. The problem was that Google was crawling their entire catalogue and indexing each individual page. What you should do in this situation is to block the bot from the search function. Once that’s done, you can go in and do a URL removal.

One other thing I learned this week had to do with changing domain names. Once you’ve moved to your new domain, you’ll be watching Google Search Console to track your impressions. Once they’re down to basically zero, you can manually remove your old domain. Scary, but it works. Don’t do this if you’re changing to HTTPS, because the old HTTP is connected to your current site. With a domain name switch, though, it’s perfectly fine.

This article was originally published on stewartmedia.com.au.

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