Website Migration: A Useful Guide and Checklist for You

Running and managing a website takes a lot of effort and endeavor. Over time, as security standards shift and tech stacks evolve, the website needs to keep up. This is where website migration plays a vital role in achieving this. This blog will work as an essential guide for you. You will get to know the checklist, different aspects, and other things. 

What is Website Migration?

Website migration is the process of revamping and making major changes to a website’s location, design, structure, or technology. It also involves moving your website to a brand-new domain. 

The purpose of a website migration plan is to improve the website’s SEO performance and user experience. It increases the website’s visibility and indexability to search engines. You need to carefully consider several things before a website migration. 

When is Web Migration Worth It?

There are a few instances or cases when you have the option to think of website migration. A few of such cases are described below.

Major Websites Changes

This includes major and drastic changes to your website, such as moving it to a completely new domain and switching server locations and hosting providers.

Switching from using subdirectories to subdomains is also a top-level change. On the other hand, adapting your web pages to the AMP framework also comes under major changes.

Site Restructure

Restructuring your site is another instance of website migration. For example, translating your website content to Italian will generate a language subdomain or subdirectory of your site.

Similarly, you could migrate a website if you wish to consolidate various existing domains into one URL structure.

Site Redesign

Redesigning or rebranding your website may also require you to consider website migrations. This is because vital on-page SEO elements may get lost when redesigning. For example, if switching to a new font accidentally strips the heading tags, it will need migration. 

Moving from HTTP to HTTPs

If you decide to move from HTTP to HTTPS, you need to opt for site migration. This helps secure your website by properly encrypting visitors’ information, and Google highly recommends it.

Therefore, any change that might disrupt a website’s flow and rhythm calls for site migration.

4 Types of Website Migration

You need to know about four common types of site migration, each distinct and different.

1. Changing Your Domain

Acquiring a suitable domain, changing your business direction, or rebranding all require a site migration. During the process, you need to direct the old URLs to the new domain to preserve the rankings of the existing search engines and brand visibility. 

2. Replatforming

Replatforming your website also requires website migration. For example, if you wish to shift the content management system or platform, like moving from Webflow to WordPress, you need to migrate your website. Replatforming affects the website’s tech stack, URL syntax, and structure. 

3. Switching Servers

Switching your hosting servers also requires website migration. This will increase traffic, scale resources, enhance security measures, and improve loading speeds. Although the URLs of your website will remain the same, the IP address will change. 

4. Consolidate Subdomains

Merging several subdomains into a single domain also requires opting for site migration. This helps you consolidate SEO equity under a single domain and provide a smoother user experience. You need to do careful planning to map and redirect the URLs. 

Does it Affect the SEO of Your Site?

The process of website migration temporarily leaves a negative impact on your site’s SEO. However, it is suitable for your website’s SEO in the long term. 

Your search engine takes some time to understand the changes that you make to your website. But it eventually understands that you have made the changes to your site for the better. You should always follow the best migration practices to minimize the temporary adverse effects on SEO. This is how you should proceed with an SEO migration plan.

A Detailed Checklist for Website Migration

When thinking of website migration, you should consider a few things. Here is the checklist that you must follow step-by-step:

1. Outline the Migration Type and Set the Target

Start by outlining the migration types and specifying the reasons behind doing them. Whether the goal is to improve engagement, upgrade to a faster server, or boost the site’s performance, specify the targets to motivate the migration team to reach the target. 

Setting measurable and specific goals is essential. For instance, to improve your website’s performance, set a quantifiable goal, such as enhancing page loading time by 30%.

Setting clear goals makes every step contribute directly to them. It also helps with assigning team objectives regarding migration. Set the following responsibilities and goals:

Web Developers

Ask them to monitor and adjust your website’s structure to ensure scalability and performance.


Instruct them to align the navigation and visuals of the site with brand identity and user experience.

SEO Experts

Tell them to focus on improving and preserving the website’s search engine rankings.

Product and Marketing Teams

Ask them to keep website users up to date on on-site changes. 

2. Assess Current Content and Preserve Metadata

Make a catalog of website content by sorting the files into folders on Google Drive or similar platforms to streamline management. By backing up and indexing the content, you lower the risk of losing essential data and information during migration. 

Changing headings or alt text can affect various SEO elements, negatively impacting search rankings. Hence, you must carefully preserve and document the metadata during migration to keep SEO elements intact. 

3. Preserve Search Optimization and Site and Traffic

You will experience a traffic fall during site migration as it changes your domain links and authority. To preserve the SEO of your site, you should follow the best practices described below:

Evaluate Current Site Performance

Prior to the site migration, you need to check the site’s performance. Find high-performing pages using SEO tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to avoid drastically altering such areas. You should also do a complete website audit to determine overall site health, record current traffic, and monitor keyword rankings.

Address SEO Issues

Before website site migration, you need to resolve the SEO issues and focus on various aspects, like:

Redirect Mapping

Redirect the old URLs to new URLs. It will maintain the rankings and preserve the link equity.

Site Performance

Optimize the website to increase its responses and load time. This also positively impacts its UX.

Indexing and Accessibility

It is essential to ensure that your website’s structure does not have any crawl constraints (like duplicate content or broken links) so that Google bots can smoothly crawl and index your web pages. 

Plan a Post-migration Edit

You are required to schedule a post-migration audit to find issues and errors. Monitoring your website properly will ensure its efficacy and help you resolve issues related to SEO performance, metadata optimization, etc. 

4. Maintain Backlinks

Maintain the backlinks during website migration by protecting its online security and preserving SEO equity. Backlinks are vital as they validate your site’s credibility and increase its relevance to search engines.

Remember to document all the present site URLs using tools like Ahrefs and Semrush. You might also need to update links in various marketing materials, such as templates, social media posts, and ads.

Experience the service here.

5. Migrate Your Content

Now, you should migrate your content carefully. You are required to follow the steps described below. 

Utilize a CSV File for Migration

Export your website content into a CSV file. Uploading the file to a new CMS is easier than manually uploading it, making the whole process less error-prone.

Preserve the Content Structure

Proceed to implement the XML sitemap on your old and new websites during migration. This ensures that the site structures and content migrate effectively and accurately. It also helps Google index your website better, as the crawler understands where to place the content in the Google index. 

6. Measure the Impacts of Site Optimization Methods

Measuring your website’s performance after the website migration process helps you identify areas for further improvement and explore the efficacy of the optimization strategies used. You need to concentrate on a few key indicators, such as page loading time, time to interact, and visual element stability. 


Website migration is a resource-intensive and time-consuming process. It involves many steps, things, and procedures you must consider beforehand. Finding a solid visual web development platform is the most important thing to do before website migration. 

You are supposed to monitor vital site elements and key metrics that impact SEO. If you have a large website, it is better to use an automated tool to audit it for the best results.  

During a website migration, several necessary checks must be performed. To make the migration process smoother, you should use website migration tools. You also have the option to do additional on website migration to ensure maximum benefits. More information you can gather on this, the better it will be for you.