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How to transfer website to a new CMS, save positions and improve SEO (part 1)

With the right approach, moving your site to a new CMS will improve the performance of your site and make it easier to maintain. This process requires care, accuracy, and experience. If the site's tools are out of date, we recommend that you do it as soon as possible.

Site structure during transfer

On the one hand, changing the site structure can be one of the main problems that can solve with the help of a transfer. You should register the page types in advance and clearly structure their position in the new engine. On the other hand, it is important to keep the previously implemented solutions.

New page URLs

The engines have their own URL generation algorithms. However, human-readable URLs required. It is advisable to make sure that the new URL is the same as the old one. Of course, this done only if the old URL is correct. If you change the address, you must correctly configure a 301 redirect to avoid traffic loss.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, write URL patterns ahead of time based on the original information.

You should also check each URL carefully. Otherwise, damaged links or duplicates may appear, which will affect the site's ranking.

New link configuration

Any site, even with a small history, is usually to manage to collect pages that return the server code 301. We are talking about redirects - redirects to another page. When transferring sites, it is necessary to transfer all redirects so that visiting these pages does not lead to errors and loss of traffic.

The table of all redirected links must be pre-built. Then there will be no problems when transferring small sites. Difficulties arise when working with such resources, which include tens or hundreds of pages. In this case, we recommend using several services and programs at the same time. For example: Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Notepad ++ and Netpeak Checker.

Using Google Analytics, we upload a separate list of all URLs that used to enter the site. It is desirable that the “organic search” of the “Channels” subsection be at least one year.

Ahrefs' service allows you to get information about all pages on the site that are linked by third-party resources (column of URL of the link). We also load the selected snippets into the table.

We remove duplicates using the TextFX function in Notepad ++ and then get a table with specific URLs.

It is necessary to check the server response code of the URL addresses that we collect for this purpose, the Netpeak Checker service will come in handy. So, we will find out on which pages the code 200 given, that is, available.

The resulting table required to test and configure the redirection. This will save you from losing traffic.

After the site has been migrated, the same checks will help determine if the redirect configured correctly: all new pages should also return the appropriate server response code.

Website design when transferring a site

In order not to lose the position of the site when transferring to another CMS, it is important to keep the appearance that the user likes best. It is desirable to have a successful and memorable design. The exception is a radical renewal of the resource. But in most cases, such changes not required.

If design templates or an old CMS used to create the original version of the site, saving the design can be difficult, in which case you will need the help of a professional designer. Or you can try to find suitable templates for the new CMS.

We solve this problem with a unique optimized quick template that allows you to quickly change parameters and keep the original design. The probability of maintaining the original appearance reaches 90%.

Loss of content when moving a site

Content isn't just text, images, and video. In addition to the semantic load, the promotion in search engines depends on the content. Removing content always results in loss of traffic. Therefore, you must be saving it completely or change to something useful to the user.

It is very important to back up all pages and content of old resources before migrating your site to the new platform. This can be done either by using the functionality of the old CMS, or by using the server control panel, which allows you to store all the files and databases of the site.

Make sure you have a backup before starting the site transfer. If it failed to create, then send a request for archiving to your hosting provider.

Usually, during the work on the site transfer, we work with a separate, specially created, version of the site and do not make changes to the original one. We carry out all work on our own hosting. This avoids unforeseen technical situations.

Google Analytics settings

Don't forget that your Google Analytics setting will need to update. We recommend that you prepare in advance for this process by writing down the specifics of the filters you use, event settings, and goals.

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