WordPress website migration, partial migration- an expert talk

WordPress Website Migration: An expert Talk on Partial Migration

I want to partially migrate my WordPress website with half of its landing pages to a new domain. What should be the ideal process that will not hamper the organic performance?

Migrating a website or product, its landing pages, and documentation to a new domain is a complex process. And it’s important to take steps to minimize any negative impact on your organic performance. Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you out:

Plan your website migration

Before you begin the migration process, it’s important to plan it out. Identify the pages and content that need to be migrated, and create a detailed map of the new URLs. This will help you ensure that all pages are properly redirected to their new locations.

Create 301 redirects

One of the most important steps in migrating a website to a new domain is to create 301 redirects for all of the old URLs. This will tell search engines that the content has permanently moved to a new location, and it will help preserve any existing link equity.

Test your redirects

Once you’ve created your 301 redirects, it’s important to test them to make sure they’re working correctly. You can use tools like the Redirect Mapper to check that all of the old URLs are correctly redirecting to the new ones.

Update internal links

After you’ve set up your redirects, you’ll need to update any internal links on your website that point to the old URLs. This will ensure that users are directed to the correct pages on the new domain.

Update external links

Reach out to any external websites that link to your old pages and request them to update the links to point to the new pages on the new domain.

The best to is to email them and ask to replace your old link with the new one explaining your migration process. Don’t forget to mention to ask them for any help they needed from you in return.

Monitor your organic performance

Once you’ve completed the migration, it’s important to monitor your organic performance to ensure that your website’s visibility and traffic haven’t been negatively impacted. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your website’s performance and make any necessary adjustments.

Monitor broken files and 404 errors

Monitor broken files, missing images, and all 404 errors to ensure that no pages were missed during the migration.

Update your sitemap

Update your sitemap to reflect the new pages and URLs on the new domain. You can easily update your sitemaps using WordPress SEO plugins like Youst or Rank Math.

Note: This is a general guide, and the actual process may vary depending on the specifics of your website and migration. It’s also important to work with a developer who is experienced in website migrations to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

What other factors should I remember?

Here are a few additional factors you should keep in mind when partially migrating a product with its landing pages or a website to a new domain:

Verify your new domain with Google Search Console

Verify your new domain with Google Search Console to ensure that you can track your website’s performance and submit your sitemap to Google.

Update your structured data

Make sure to update any structured data (e.g. schema.org markup) on your pages so that Google can correctly understand the content on your new domain.

Check your tracking codes

Verify that your tracking codes, such as Google Analytics, are properly set up on your new domain to ensure that you can continue to track your website’s performance.

Monitor your backlinks

Keep an eye on your backlinks to ensure that they’re not lost during the migration process. You can use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic to monitor your backlinks.

Monitor your website’s speed

Make sure that your website is loading quickly on the new domain. Slow-loading pages can negatively impact your organic performance.

Communicate the changes

Communicate the changes with your audience and customers, and update them on the new location of the product and its landing pages and documentation.

Test your new website

Test your new website thoroughly to ensure that all pages are working as expected and that all links are redirecting properly.

Be prepared for some temporary losses

Be prepared for some temporary losses in terms of traffic and ranking during the transition period, it’s normal, but with proper implementation and monitoring of the migration, it should recover quickly.

It’s also important to note that this process is complex and time-consuming, so it’s important to work with an experienced developer to ensure that the migration goes as smoothly as possible.

What to look for while optimizing pages on the new domain?

Check the 8 points given to properly optimize your new site for SEO

  1. URL structure
  2. H1, H2, H3, etc
  3. Keywords
  4. Meta title and description
  5. Images/videos and other files
  6. Links
  7. Canonical URLs
  8. Schema markup/Structural data

What is the regular % of traffic losses for Partial Website migration?

It is difficult to estimate the exact percentage of traffic loss that a website may experience after migrating to a new domain. This actually varies depending on the number of factors like-

  • Size and complexity of the website
  • Quality of the redirects and
  • The overall execution of the migration

In general, if the migration is well-planned and executed, traffic loss should be minimal such as 10%-15%. According to Google, if the redirects are set up correctly, the impact on traffic and ranking should be minimal.

Monitor your website’s performance during the migration process and after, to identify any issues and make any necessary adjustments to minimize any negative impact.

It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong, and to communicate the changes with your audience and customers, that way they know where to find your product, landing pages, and documentation.

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