The Full Information to a Profitable CMS Migration [+ Checklist]

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Your web site virtually definitely operates through a content material administration system (CMS). That’s a software program platform for creating, managing, and publishing digital content material.

And there might come a time when your present CMS merely doesn’t minimize it anymore. Maybe it’s not performance-friendly, doesn’t scale nicely, or is just too costly.

When this occurs, it’s usually sensible to contemplate migrating to a unique CMS.

On this information, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step tutorial to carry out a CMS migration. We’ll additionally contact on the primary the explanation why you would possibly wish to migrate to a brand new CMS (regardless that your present one appears superb). 

Plus, we’ll go over some search engine marketing (Website positioning) concerns to remember earlier than you resolve emigrate.

What Is a CMS Migration?

A CMS migration is the method of migrating an internet site from one content material administration system to a different. For instance, migrating your web site from WordPress to Webflow.

Migrate old content management system to new content management system.

Why would it’s good to migrate?

Widespread causes embody:

  • Entry to extra options: Whereas CMSes usually have related options, your small business’s particular wants would possibly warrant performance that’s not obtainable on the platform you’re utilizing (e.g., multilingual help, superior Website positioning capabilities, and many others.)
  • A must scale: It’s widespread to outgrow your CMS platform as your small business grows and also you begin getting extra web site visits. Requiring you emigrate to 1 that may deal with larger visitors.
  • Improved efficiency: Some content material administration programs merely present higher efficiency by way of web site loading speeds. And a sooner web site can enhance the person expertise (UX) you present to guests.
  • Price discount: Whereas CMS platforms often aren’t prohibitively costly, typically it is smart to modify to a different CMS to avoid wasting on prices. As an illustration, enterprise-level CMS options can get fairly dear.
  • Enhanced safety: In case you have any safety considerations concerning your present CMS, choosing a platform with upgraded safety can provide you peace of thoughts. Assume two-factor authentication, granular person permissions, and common automated safety updates.

Earlier than you resolve emigrate, you need to know {that a} CMS migration can each positively and negatively influence your web site’s Website positioning.

How Can a CMS Migration Influence Website positioning?

Migrating to a unique CMS can lead to a number of Website positioning advantages. Giving your web site a better probability of rating increased in natural search. 

Additional studying: The Significance of Website positioning: 10 Advantages of Search Engine Optimization

Listed below are just a few widespread methods a CMS migration would possibly positively influence your web site’s Website positioning efforts:

  • Cellular-friendliness: Your new CMS might need higher help for responsive and mobile-friendly design, an vital rating sign in Google Search
  • Web page load pace: Migrating to a CMS that provides higher web site efficiency can lead to enhancing web page load paceone other Google rating issue
  • Navigation: A CMS that makes it simpler for guests to navigate your web site can lead to a greater web page expertise (how guests understand the expertise of utilizing your web site). Which in flip would possibly assist Google prioritize your web site in search outcomes.
  • Structured information: Higher implementation of schema markup will help your web site align extra carefully with Google’s structured information tips. Making it eligible to look in Google’s wealthy outcomes.
  • Multilingual help: In case your web site is accessible in a number of languages, a CMS that provides higher multilingual help will help you make sure that search engines like google index all of your multilingual pages. And show the proper web page variants for related natural searches. This helps you maximize search engine visibility in worldwide search outcomes—and consequently enhance your international visitors.

There may be cases when a CMS migration negatively impacts your web site’s Website positioning. Listed below are just a few attainable points:

  • Damaged hyperlinks: If the URLs of your pages change through the migration, this would possibly end in damaged hyperlinks—which level to pages that don’t exist or can’t be accessed. Having too many damaged hyperlinks doubtlessly indicators to Google that your web site isn’t updated or repeatedly maintained, which may deprioritize it in search outcomes.
  • Lack of rankings: For those who don’t use the identical URLs on your pages after you migrate to a brand new CMS, search engines like google might not acknowledge them. That means you threat a loss in natural search rankings. 
  • Indexing points: In case your new CMS makes it troublesome for Google to crawl your web site (to know what your web site is about), Google might take away sure pages from its index. Which might make them ineligible to indicate up in search outcomes.
  • Duplicate content material: It’s additionally attainable that you simply recreate the identical web page a number of occasions by mistake through the migration course of. Duplicate content material in your web site dangers a Google penalty or pages not getting listed in any respect.

Predominant CMS Migration Points

There are just a few widespread CMS migration issues you need to be conscious of earlier than you progress ahead. These embody:

Lack of Information

Migrating to a brand new CMS can typically outcome within the lack of vital information (e.g., content material, stylesheets, and many others.)

That is why it’s essential to again up all of your information beforehand. And create an in depth CMS migration plan that takes under consideration all attainable dangers.

Lack of Performance

Not each CMS gives the identical options. So it’s good to watch out when selecting a brand new CMS platform.

Make a listing of all of the options you would possibly want from a CMS (e.g., a WYSIWYG editor, multilanguage help, and many others.) Then, be sure that your new CMS helps all of these options earlier than trying emigrate.

Right here’s Squarespace, an instance of a WYSIWYG editor:

Squarespace editor

Format and Design Points

Your web site design and structure may not switch completely out of your outdated CMS to the brand new one. Owing to variations in how the 2 platforms work.

Listed below are some points skilled in a migration to WordPress:

an example of issues in WordPress "Contact Us" page

The problem may be a fast repair—like altering fonts. Or one thing you’ll want to rent a developer for e(.g., transforming how the web site seems on cellular units).

CMS Migration Step-by-Step Guidelines

On this part, we delve into crucial steps to comply with when migrating to your new CMS. We offer a helpful guidelines beneath.

CMS Migration Checklist in 5 Steps

1. Select the Proper CMS

Your first step is to make sure the best platform on your web site’s wants. 

Listed below are just a few standards you may think about to find out what is going to work greatest for you:

  • Scalability: Discover a platform able to maintaining with your small business development. See that it has options you want now and others you’ll require sooner or later. Plus the power to deal with rising quantities of web site visitors.
  • Ease of use: You don’t wish to spend further time or cash coaching your crew on the right way to use the brand new CMS. So go for an intuitive interface
  • Customization capabilities: This will imply options like customizable web site templates. Or customized performance by means of extensions or plugins. Select no matter your small business requires.
  • Website positioning-friendliness: Search for a CMS that provides Website positioning-friendly options like meta tag customization, customized URLs, and XML sitemaps. These are essential for serving to search engines like google perceive what a web page is about, crawl your web site successfully, and decide how a web page seems in search outcomes.
  • Safety: Some platforms supply extra superior security measures (two-factor authentication, automated safety updates, and many others.) for shielding your organization and buyer information
  • Buyer help: Search for an answer that provides a number of help choices like e mail, telephone, and dwell chat. So you’ll be able to shortly deal with any points you expertise whereas utilizing the CMS.

2. Do a Content material Audit

Subsequent, you’ll wish to carry out a content material audit and create a list of all of your present pages. It will guarantee no pages get forgotten through the migration course of.

You’ll additionally wish to create a plan of motion for every web page. And decide whether or not you wish to embody it within the migration course of.

In case you have a small web site, create a listing of all of your web site pages manually. 

For big web sites, a software like Screaming Frog Website positioning Spider will help scan your web site and retrieve a listing of all present pages.

From right here, you’ll must resolve the very best plan of action for every web page:

  • Maintain: Pages you wish to migrate to the brand new CMS
  • Merge: Any pages which have related content material and would possibly profit from being mixed
  • Delete: Irrelevant or pointless pages to eradicate from the migration

3. Again Up Your Current Information

Irrespective of how ready you’re, there’s all the time a threat of a CMS content material migration going unsuitable. 

That’s why you need to again up all of your present web site information earlier than trying emigrate. It will possible embody:

  • Textual content material
  • Photos and movies
  • Any databases related to working your web site
  • Customized code, scripts, and stylesheets

You are able to do a handbook backup by downloading the info to your pc. 

Your internet hosting supplier may also supply an choice to again up your information robotically. Right here’s Wix’s backup interface:

Wix’s backup interface

If WordPress is your present CMS, obtain a plugin like UpdraftPlus or Jetpack VaultPress Backup to automate the info backup course of.

Right here’s how this would possibly look with UpdraftPlus:

UpdraftPlus’s backup interface

4. Migrate Your Information to the New CMS

The precise course of you’ll use subsequent will depend upon the CMS you’re migrating to. 

Most platforms (reminiscent of WordPress and Squarespace) have supporting documentation on their official web site on one of the simplest ways emigrate.

Some platforms would possibly supply done-for-you CMS migration providers (e.g., Wix Enterprise), built-in CMS migration instruments (e.g., Squarespace), or automated CMS migration help (e.g., instruments like CMS2CMS).

5. Carry out Testing and High quality Assurance Checks

Completely check your web site after finishing the migration to test that every little thing is working correctly.

Right here’s a helpful QA guidelines you’ll be able to apply:

  • Make certain the web site hundreds accurately and shows all important parts
  • Examine for formatting or structure points
  • Check out web site navigation through the web site menu (if current) and different hyperlinks
  • Assess whether or not photographs and movies are displayed correctly
  • Test that web site search, buttons, varieties, and different interactive web site parts work as supposed
  • Attempt making a person account and logging in (if relevant)

You also needs to go to your web site in several net browsers to ensure it’s working as supposed with each common program. Or use a software like BrowserStack to automate the method.

BrowserStack interface

Picture supply: TrustRadius

It’s additionally vital to test your web site for efficiency and technical Website positioning points. That is the place Semrush’s Web site Audit software will help.

Enter your area URL within the software web page and click on the “Begin Audit” button.

"yourdomain.com" entered into the Site Audit search bar

The software enables you to customise settings for the audit. Corresponding to together with or excluding particular URLs from the audit, specifying the person agent for the web site crawl, and many others.

However you’ll be able to follow the default settings most often. 

Merely hit the “Begin Web site Audit” button to start the audit. The Web site Audit software will then analyze your web site and current you with an in depth report.

Within the high left, you’ll see a rating on your total web site well being.

"Site Health" widget in Site Audit tool

If the software finds any points along with your web site, you’ll be capable of assessment them by clicking on the “Points” tab above.

Issues page in Site Audit tool, showing a list of errors, warnings, and notices

You’ll see three classes of points:

  • Errors: Critical points to repair as quickly as attainable
  • Warnings: Problems with medium severity
  • Notices: Points that aren’t very problematic however can be good to deal with

Click on on a problem to see a listing of pages containing that particular downside.

a list of pages that have too large HTML size

Or hit the “Why and the right way to repair it” hyperlink subsequent to a problem to get an evidence and answer.

"Why and how to fix it" window in Site Audit tool

When you’ve made certain there aren’t any extra points current and that your web site works correctly, publish the web site in your new CMS and cease utilizing the outdated one.

Incessantly Requested Questions About CMS Migration

What Are the Advantages of CMS Migration?

Migrating to a unique CMS can enhance your web site loading pace, help you entry further options (multilingual help, superior Website positioning capabilities), and strengthen your web site’s safety.

What Are the Dangers of CMS Migration?

Among the most typical dangers related to CMS migration embody lack of web site information and performance, structure and design points, and Website positioning issues.

How Do I Migrate My Content material Administration System?

Begin by creating a list of all of your present content material. Then, again up all of your information and switch it to the brand new CMS. 

Lastly, check your web site to ensure it’s working correctly in your new platform.

How Can I Enhance My CMS Migration?

The easiest way emigrate to your new CMS with none points is to first doc all of the steps wanted. You’ll additionally wish to think about and deal with any dangers related to the migration beforehand.

Migrate to a New CMS Efficiently

A CMS-to-CMS migration can go easily for those who comply with the steps we’ve outlined above. 

Our information, alongside instruments like Semrush’s Area Overview and Web site Audit, could make the method a seamless and easy one.

Get began with a free account in the present day.

This submit was up to date in 2024. Excerpts from the unique article by Kristina Azarenko might stay.