The process does not have to be lengthy or frustrating. The right tools and expertise will guide you in a smooth transition. We’ll explain the various steps of preparing your website’s migration to WordPress.
Moving from one platform to another could have negative effects if you don’t take proper pre-migrations steps. For example, if you don’t take the proper precautions, you could lose some of your website’s hard-earned SEO value.
The first step you should take is completing a data assessment. This involves checking the viability of the move, what resources you’ll need to make it happen and if you’ll need to purchase additional tools or expertise.
Another consideration at this phase is how long your migration will take. While you’ll want to create some estimated schedules, your schedule should be flexible. Flexibility will give you room to adjust your plan as needed.
Some websites are more involved to move than others, and you might not realize how complicated your website is until you start planning a migration.
The final pre-migration step you should take is assessing your existing data and information. Download your site data and documents to make sure you don’t lose anything. Review your full site’s functionality to review areas you might need to plan WordPress Plugins for or make adjustments to for your site to operate on WordPress.
Preparing Your WordPress Website
You’ll need to make some decisions about the look and functionality of your WordPress website before you start moving content. The first decision is to choose a template that’s right for your brand. There are many free options with WordPress and hundreds more paid versions.
For a completely custom website though, you’ll need to hire a website designer. A designer can prepare your WordPress site for the functionality, user experience and performance you need.
Next, consider what functionality you’ll need a Plugin for. If you download and install these plugins before beginning your site build, the process might go faster as you apply the plugins to multiple pages.
Manually Migrating to WordPress
Moving from one platform to another for your website is a manual process. Depending on the amount of content on your existing website and how complicated the functionality is, this process could take a few days or a few weeks.
Before you do anything, be sure your existing website is backed up. In case something doesn’t go well, you’ll still have your original website that customers can continue to visit while you troubleshoot and adapt your migration.
The first step you should take is to upload your images and documents to the media manager in WordPress. That way, as you reach each page, you’ll have the assets necessary to build the full page.
Copy and paste each webpage’s content from your existing website to your new WordPress website. While this might sound like an easy process, don’t forget that you’ll need to establish the functionality of each of these pages in addition to the content. To do so, you’ll need to consider what plugins are necessary for special content, such as forms for lead magnets or contact us forms.
Assess Your WordPress Site Before Launch
Make sure your WordPress URLs match your existing URLs. Run your new website through Google PageSpeed Insights to see how it will perform before uploading it to your website hosting and turning it live.
The more assessments you can perform on your new WordPress website before launch, the fewer mistakes you’ll see in the production environment once you launch your new website for your customers.
Hiring a WordPress Website Development and Design Expert
Migrating your website to WordPress could be a time-intensive process. Instead, hire an expert to do it for you. More than likely, the outcome will be better as these experts know how to assess the website for SEO and usability before launch. And that way, you won’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
New Light Digital offers website design and development services and is a WordPress expert. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts to discuss your migration project.