The Complete Guide to Transitioning Your Website

Connor McCarthy - Director

November 20, 2023

In the fast-paced digital landscape, the need to evolve and adapt your online presence is inevitable. Whether you're rebranding, changing your domain, or simply upgrading your website, a seamless transition is crucial for maintaining and improving your search engine visibility. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Before You Begin

Before making any changes, create a backup of your website to safeguard against unforeseen issues during the transition.

Navigating the Transition

Create your new website in Webflow, paying close attention to replicating the structure, content, and URLs of the old site.

  • Use Webflow's "URL Redirects" feature to implement 301 redirects for each old URL, ensuring a one-to-one mapping with the corresponding new URLs.
  • Verify that the redirects are functioning correctly by testing several old URLs, confirming they lead to the appropriate new pages.
  • Ensure all design elements, including images and multimedia, are consistent between the old and new websites.

After the Migration

Generate a Sitemap

Generate a new sitemap for the new website in Webflow and submit it to Google Search Console to facilitate efficient indexing.

  • Maintain both the old and new websites in Google Search Console to monitor the transition and address any issues that may arise.
  • Use a web crawling tool to identify any remaining old URLs on the internet and ensure they properly redirect to corresponding new URLs.
  • Update internal links on the new website to point to other pages on the new domain, ensuring a cohesive user experience.

Canonical Tags

Implement canonical tags on the new website, directing search engines to consider the new URL as the primary version to avoid duplicate content issues.

  • Review and update the robots.txt file for the new website to ensure optimal search engine crawling.
  • Utilize tools to identify and fix any broken links on the new website to maintain a smooth user experience.
  • Continuously monitor Google Search Console for crawl errors, indexation issues, and other potential problems on both the old and new websites.

Ensure Backlinks work

Reach out to websites linking to your old domain, asking them to update their links to reflect the new domain.

  • Ensure consistency across online profiles by updating social media accounts, online directory listings, and other external references with the new URL.
  • Review your content for outdated information and make necessary updates to align with your new website's messaging.
  • Adjust tracking codes, goals, and settings to align with the new website and maintain accurate analytics data.

301 Redirects

Ensure each redirect points directly to the final destination URL, eliminating any unnecessary redirect chains.

  • Keep a close eye on website traffic and search engine rankings throughout and after the migration, addressing any issues promptly.
  • Regularly check and update contact forms and other interactive elements to ensure they function correctly on the new website.
  • Engage with user feedback and address any concerns or issues raised during the transition to enhance user satisfaction.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the intricacies of transitioning your website with confidence, ensuring a successful evolution in the ever-changing digital landscape. Embrace the process, stay vigilant, and watch your online presence thrive in its new iteration.

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