Are you starting to outgrown your current web content management system or blogging platform? Migrating your website or blog to a new content management system can be an intimidating task, depending on how much content your current site has. But no matter what the reason for the move (capability, cost, support, etc.), there are a few steps that you should ensure are handled carefully while performing the migration. First things first:
Get Your Content
Whether this means getting into a database and downloading all of the previous content or posts, or copying the content manually, don’t shut the old site down until you have a copy of everything that you’ve done in the past.
Grab Your Old Sitemap
You may be building a website from scratch, so a lot of these pages might not be getting transferred to the new system. That’s okay, this step will make sense, I promise.
Set up New Pages/Posts
Within the new content management system, build out your website like its being built from scratch. When naming pages, consider the SEO value of each page name (be descriptive, but to the point). Copy the old blog posts into the new system and take note of how the URL is generated. (www.URL.com/blog/blog-post-title)
Set Up Redirects
This is probably the most important, and often times painstaking piece of migrating to a new CMS. Each blog post from the old system should be set up as a redirect to the new URL. For instance, if your old blog created URLs like this: blog.URL.com/blog-post-title, but the new CMS creates them like this: www.URL.com/blog/blog-post-title, then you want to make sure you redirect the old URL to the new URL as to not lose any link value. URLs from the old site (you grabbed that old sitemap, right?) should be setup as redirects to new, corresponding pages on the new site.
Migrating systems can be a daunting task. Have a plan before moving forward with any content migration to make sure each detail is preserved, and a whole bunch of 404’s aren’t created in the process.