When you know it’s time to change your website
A guest post by Brooke Faulkner.
There comes a time when your website, as it exists, cannot continue. You then have to decide whether to perform a site migration, or slash and burn it to the ground?
How do you make those decisions? What do you do when you know it’s time to change your website?
Never fear — you could salvage some of the good bits. Whether your site is functionally dead or it’s time to rebrand everything, it’ll be okay.
Migration moments that change your website
Migration is not the end of the world. Perhaps you’ve rebranded, gone secure, or shifted parts of your website in a major way.
Changes to your URL could be a good thing. Like securing your website to a https version, for the encrypted protection and SEO advantage. Whatever reason you have to migrate your site, there are a few things you’ll have to do to:
- Prioritise redirects
- Inform Google
- Maintain the quality of your site
A migration often means “killing” your old pages or website, and keeping your SEO and marketing in mind will keep the transition seamless for your users.
When it’s all dead and gone
Did your site get hacked? Or are you ready to push it off a cliff and watch it burn? Luckily you can metaphorically do all of this and keep the powerful assets most of the time.
Your new website, whether it’s reborn out of a rebrand or the result of a hack, will need to reclaim its traffic sources. Media sources like social media, pay-per-click marketing, and directories all need to be changed to match your current site and branding.
Remember to change your links. The more prolific media sources should be updated manually, such as your Facebook page. And there are plugins available to catch every other altered link on your blog to prevent those 404 error pages.
Picking up these useful pieces is vital towards maintaining your audience. Updating the external indicators can be just as important as your online work. Have you remembered to tell everyone you’ve changed your website, or are they still trying to find the old version?
After you’ve decided to change your website
Migrations are a great way to rebrand yourself, to move to https, or to update your domain structure. However, they can create a minefield of issues, so checking with a developer or SEO consultant will help you to maintain your traffic and organic rankings.
It might be time to move along. Make sure you take with you what you can when you change your website, and point your users to the renewed version.
About the author
Brooke Faulkner is your typical internet nerd. She loves all things technical and is an avid consumer of science podcasts (eh hem, radiolab anyone?). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found chasing her boys around the house with the vacuum. Follow her on Twitter.
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