Concluding our two-part blog Migrating Your Website: An Overview of Site Moves (Pt. 1), below, we continue discussing how site moves should be carried out in order to prevent any possible negative impacts to the site’s ranking in search engines. While the first part of this blog focused on site moves when there is no URL (address) change, here we will take a closer look at how site moves should proceed when there are URL changes involved in the process.
If you have questions about this process or need any assistance with migrating your site, contact Epic Web Results.
Site Moves When URL Changes Are Involved
When the URL of a site will be changed as part of the site move, the steps for migrating the website should generally include the following, according to Google webmasters:
- Prepare the new site – Before the site move can occur, the space in which the new site will exist has to be prepared. This can involve setting up a new content management system, transferring images and configuring the required TLS certificates on the server.
- Prepare the URL mapping – This generally involves mapping the site’s old URLs to the URLs for the new site. How this specifically plays out will depend on the details of the site move.
- Initiate the site move – When URL mapping has been accurately completed (including working redirects), the site move can proceed. Google webmasters advise moving all URLs for a site simultaneously, as opposed to migrating one section at a time. While an all-at-once site move will help Google algorithms detect and index the new site faster, it will also be beneficial for the user experience (as users will be better able to interact with the new site in its entirety).
- Monitor the site’s traffic – Once the site move has occurred, it’s advisable to monitor the site’s traffic to ensure that the migration has been smooth and that no potential problems have occurred.
Here, it’s important to point out that the above-described steps can be used for various types of URL changes associated with site moves, including those that involve:
- Protocol changes (http → https)
- Domain name changes (X.net → X.com)
- Changes to the URL path (X.com/abc → X.com/xyz).
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