How to transfer the site to a new engine

Table of contents
  1. Reasons for moving a site to another engine
  2. Things to Consider Before Moving a Site
  3. Preparation of high-quality technical specifications
  4. Control over the implementation of TK and analysis of results
  5. Preparation of technical specifications for site transfer
  6. Stages of website transfer from one CMS to another
  7. What to do after moving to a new engine
  8. Analytics system setup
  9. Setting up robots.txt
  10. Generating the correct sitemap.xml file
  11. Changing all internal links to valid ones
  12. Page indexing rules
  13. Site transfer recommendations

Your own website can bring amazing results to a person or a company and contribute to the rapid development of a business. However, a fairly significant number of people are faced with the fact that their resource takes more time, effort and money than contributes to the achievement of the tasks assigned to it. The reasons for this can be completely different, one of the most common is the fact that the CMS used does not meet the needs and expectations of the site owner. In this case, it may often be necessary to change the site engine , because continuing to work with the used CMS can be difficult, expensive and ineffective.

If you are faced with the fact that the existing site is no longer able to cope with its tasks, perhaps it's time to think about how to move the site to another engine ? In this article, we will take a closer look at this issue. From the article you will learn:

  • When is it worth carrying out a site transfer to another CMS .
  • What needs to be done before starting the site transfer.
  • Step-by-step instructions for migrating a site to a new engine.
  • What steps should be taken after the site has "moved" to the new CMS.
  • Important tips and recommendations that will allow you to transfer a site from one CMS to another as easily and efficiently as possible.

Reasons for moving a site to another engine

It is worth remembering that moving a site from one engine to another is a rather laborious and often expensive issue, so most experts recommend resorting to it only in extreme, exceptional situations when the platform for creating an online store has ceased to satisfy your needs. Practice shows that a number of problems and inconveniences can be eliminated without having to transfer the site to a new engine - let's pay attention to a few examples:

  1. A certain CMS is more familiar than the one you are currently using. For example, a person may know WordPress well, but have a site on OpenCart and think: "I'd better transfer my resource to a more familiar and convenient system for myself, and I won't know any problems." In fact, it is much easier, faster and less risky to master the intricacies of a new CMS for yourself, rather than to move the site.
  2. The lack of free plugins is also prompting some to think about changing the CMS. In reality, everything here needs to be carefully calculated: in many cases it will be easier, faster and cheaper to pay for the necessary plugins than to move to a new engine.
  3. The site does not correspond to the style and image of the company - it is better to spend time and money to refine and improve what you have, rather than make drastic changes.
  4. Fear of a site being hacked. It is worth being honest here - if the attackers wish, then they can hack and damage any resource . Even government websites and websites of large companies sometimes suffer from attacks by cyber intruders, and changing the CMS in this matter, unfortunately, will not help much.

It is true that in some cases you can do without changing the CMS of the site and still not lose anything. At the same time, there are objective situations and reasons in which such a move is not only justified, but even necessary. Let's pay attention to the most common ones.

  1. An HTML site does not suit your needs. Resources developed in HTML are quite reliable and user-friendly. But their peculiarity is that such sites are intended for a small number of pages. If you plan to constantly fill your own resource by posting new pages with information or products on it, then it will be easier to work with the standard engine.
  2. A self-written site no longer meets your needs, and it takes too long and expensive to modify it. Do not assume that self-written sites are definitely bad. Some of these resources are used quite successfully even in large online stores. The difficulty lies in the fact that sometimes it is impossible to make the necessary changes to self-written sites, or it is very difficult to do it, which negatively affects the usability of the site and its promotion. In such a case, it may be advisable to migrate the site to the new CMS and continue working at full capacity.
  3. Website builder no longer meets your needs. Quite a large number of people and companies, thinking that it is easier and cheaper, create their first website using a constructor. Often, later, it is found that such resources are very difficult to promote in search results and it is problematic to implement the desired changes in them. Sometimes the best solution to the issue will be just changing the CMS.

Making the decision to change the engine of your own site is one thing. A completely different question is how to properly plan and carry out the work so that the implemented changes bring the most positive effect? Some site owners, having made a decision to change the CMS, immediately get down to work - this is a risky option that can adversely affect the performance of the resource and negatively affect both internal and external optimization. There is a list of actions that need to be taken before starting work on changing the site engine. Let's pay attention to the key preparatory stages.

Things to Consider Before Moving a Site

In most cases, one of the key reasons for moving a site to a new engine is that the CMS used does not provide an opportunity to customize and implement the desired solutions for complex SEO promotion. Calculations show that in most cases it is financially profitable to allocate a budget to change the engine used, rather than abandon organic traffic and attract customers through contextual advertising, the cost of which tends to increase.

In order to achieve the most positive effect from the activities related to the transfer of the site to a new engine, already at the stage of preparatory work, it is best to involve a qualified CEO specialist who can not only competently draw up a technical task for a programmer, but also control the correctness of its implementation. The entire complex of preparatory work can be conditionally divided into three stages :

  1. Preparation of technical specifications to be implemented on the test version of the site.
  2. Monitoring the implementation of the recommendations provided in the TK, and analyzing the test version of the site.
  3. Preparation of technical specifications directly for transferring the site to a new engine.

Each of these stages has a list of tasks and activities that need to be completed. Putting them together, you get a complete checklist of the preparatory stage for moving the site to the new engine.

Preparation of high-quality technical specifications

As a rule, it is best for a SEO specialist to write the terms of reference for the programmer. In this case, you can achieve the maximum efficiency of changing the CMS and, which is very important, the indexing of the resource on the new engine will be quick and smooth.

Task number 0 in the preparation of the technical assignment should be that the SEO specialist is well acquainted with the capabilities and features of the new CMS - this will provide an opportunity to implement changes as quickly and efficiently as possible, as well as achieve the best results from the changes made. What must be included in the terms of reference for a programmer? The main points are as follows:

  • Creation of a new site structure with all types of pages. This point in the TK is relevant if you were not able to implement the desired structure on the old CMS, it did not support the creation of certain pages, or you decided to expand / update the structure of your own resource .
  • Formation of the structure of new URL addresses for each page of the site. Of course, the ideal would be to achieve that the page addresses do not change when changing the site engine. In practice, this is almost impossible to achieve. Therefore, even before starting work on the transfer, it is necessary to set templates for generating the URL of each type of page.
  • Instructions for the implementation of meta tags. On some sites, meta descriptions are written manually, while on others they are generated automatically. In the event that on the previous site you manually prescribed Title, Keywords, Description, H1 - write them down in a separate table, so that you can then insert them on the new engine. In the case when the data was generated using templates, you can modify these templates (if necessary) and transfer them to a new CMS.
  • Preparation of basic technical recommendations. Such recommendations should cover a wide range of issues. These include the following: a list of pages that should be closed from indexing, wishes regarding setting up the robots.txt file, setting up and optimizing pagination pages, optimizing and setting up the server response codes, automatic generation / updating of sitemap.xml and html-sitemap, setting canonical, micro-markup optimization, implementation of a multilingual site, setting up automatic redirects (special attention should be paid to the 301st redirect ), image optimization.
  • Implementation of SEO edits. An SEO specialist can offer a set of solutions that could not be implemented on the previous engine, but quite affordable - on the new CMS. It is advisable to work out a list of such changes before starting work on the move and provide them to the programmer, in this case, you can count on the implementation of the maximum number of edits in the minimum time and with the minimum budget.

This stage of work is very important and should be approached as carefully as possible. Indeed, practice shows that a complete and correctly drawn up TK allows you to prevent many problems and achieve a positive effect from the move.

Control over the implementation of TK and analysis of results

After receiving the technical assignment, the programmer starts working on the site and after a certain time he announces the good news that the test version of the site is already ready. Of course, this is nice and cool, but you don't need to be too happy, it is better to carry out a comprehensive analysis of what was implemented from the provided TOR, and some points need to be finalized at this stage. Particular attention should be paid to the following points:

  • Agree on the site design. Some designers use layouts in their work, while others provide the customer with only a finished version of the project. If you need to make a redesign , of course, you agreed everything in advance and described your expectations to the specialist. But, nevertheless, the proposed option often needs to be improved. If you want to make changes to the site design - global or minor, be sure to record all the points and wishes on paper, then discuss them with the designer.
  • Step-by-step control of the implementation of the technical part. Do not hold out until the site is completed, and only then check the work of the programmers. Ask a specialist to show you the results in stages, as soon as they are ready - this will allow you to make the necessary edits and, if necessary, correct the work as it is done.
  • Do a mini usability audit. It is advisable, already at this stage, to check how conveniently the site menu is located, the performance of its various pages, as well as the convenience of the capture forms. If you notice that something needs to be improved, it will be easier to make changes at this stage, without waiting for a complete move of the resource.
  • Audit the test version of the site. When the site is almost ready for launch, it should be audited in order to determine the operability and, possibly, determine where improvements need to be made. The following areas deserve special attention: how well the main functionality works, whether the information on the site is outdated, whether all test pages and temporary texts have been removed from the site, whether any unnecessary links are generated (for example, a quick view block), is it correct new types of pages with dynamic URLs are displayed, the presence of cyclic redirects.

Preparation of technical specifications for site transfer

After the new URL and structure are implemented on the test version of the site, you need to start creating the technical assignment directly for the move. It is worth noting that no matter how high-quality and well-thought-out this TK would be, you will refine it until the completion of the entire stage of work. The list of work required includes the following:

  1. Backup. You need to make backups of both sites (old and new), thanks to this, you can always restore information if something goes wrong.
  2. Upload the list of 301 redirects. In this question. It is often forgotten that the old site may already have redirects - if you do not take them into account, you can lose a certain proportion of targeted traffic. To find all 301 redirects, you need to ask the programmers to unload it from the site, as well as use the special Ahrefs and Netpeak Checker tools. In Ahrefs, you can export pages that have external links via "Export".

In the resulting table, pay attention only to the "Link URL" column, which displays only pages to which there are external links.

Next, use the services of Google Analytics, thanks to which you can identify and unload the pages that bring the most traffic to the site. To do this, go to the "Channels - Organic Search" report, select the required dates (it is recommended to set a long period of time: a year or two) and the main parameter "Login page". Select the output of 500-1000 lines and click Export.

Thus, you have two tables, of which you need to make one by removing duplicate pages. You can quickly get this job done using Notepad ++ with the optional TextFX extension.

When the table with the URL is ready, it is necessary to punch access codes for each of them - this will allow you to determine exactly what status each page is in at the present time. This work can be done quickly thanks to Netpeak Cheсker.

So, after doing the above work, you will be able to detect all existing redirects. The next step is to map the pages from the old site to the pages from the new site in order to set up a 301 redirect between them. If the corresponding page is not planned on the new site, you need to correctly issue a 404 error so as not to lose potential visitors.

If a. For example, you are transferring your own small online store to a new engine, redirects for categories and subcategories in an Excel table can be written manually, and you can instruct a programmer to make redirects to product pages. A similar table of redirects might look something like the following.

In the case when the site is large, the formation of the URL can be entrusted to the programmer, and the task of the SEO specialist will be to control it. For the work to be done correctly, it is desirable that the URLs are formed according to certain rules, otherwise the programmer may not be able to figure out how to write them.

  1. Content transfer . Each site has a lot of content, which includes text, illustrations and videos. It is very important at the preparatory stage to transfer all content to a new resource, otherwise, you can simply lose it. If the site is small, give the programmer clear instructions on which page to transfer the content to. Then, be sure to double-check the work done.
  2. Verification files. In the TOR for the programmer, indicate that the verification files for Google and Yandex are left in the root folder of the site, thanks to this they will not be lost when moving.
  3. Synchronization of information. Make sure that before the final move, on the new site, all information (prices, descriptions, contacts, etc.) will be up-to-date. The fact is that it often happens that the database is transferred to the test version of the site, but is not updated - before the final transfer of the resource, this factor must be double-checked.
  4. Teamwork. When compiling a technical assignment for a programmer, it is imperative to stipulate in it who and how he should warn about the day on which the change of the site engine is planned. By default, it is necessary to notify specialists dealing with contextual and targeting advertising about the date of the move.
  5. Approval by the responsible person. A separate item in the terms of reference for the programmer needs to be highlighted from whom he should receive final confirmation regarding the date and other features of the site transfer to the new CMS.

Stages of website transfer from one CMS to another

When the preparatory part of the work has come to an end, you can proceed directly to the transfer of the site. Before we consider the stages of work, it is worth noting immediately that this process cannot be done very quickly, and if you use the services of third-party companies or specialists, its cost will tend to the price tag of making a new website from scratch. The reason for this is that there is a lot of work to be done.

Conventionally, the entire stage of transferring a site to a new engine can be divided into 6 key stages:

  1. A careful study of both site systems (existing and new), as well as an analysis of how the resource should turn out in the end. Pay attention to the capabilities and tools of the new CMS. Many users have chosen Okay-CSM for the reason that this platform is easy to use and provides ample opportunities for SEO promotion. In this matter, haste is dangerous, since you can lose sight of something important that will have negative consequences for the Internet resource.
  2. Deploy CMS, configure it and connect a full set of required modules. If certain modules were already used on the previous version of the site, you simply cannot transfer them, you will have to perform the configuration again.
  3. Design and layout of pages. If both systems use compatible template engines, the work to "pull" the design onto the site is greatly simplified. If the templates are incompatible, there is a lot of work to be done.
  4. Development of new modules or customization of existing ones. The set of modules in a particular CMS is far from always able to fully satisfy the needs of the site owner. In some cases, existing modules have the ability to modify, in others, it is necessary to create new ones. When creating or modifying a module, it is important to be very clear about the tasks that need to be solved - this will allow the programmer to do the job with high quality. If possible, it would be good for a specialist to show how a certain solution should be implemented - for this you can use third-party sites that implement your chosen solution.
  5. Testing. It is necessary to check the correct operation of the site and, in case of malfunctions or incorrect operation, find and eliminate the causes. To do this work as efficiently as possible, approach your own site not from the position of the owner or developer, but from the point of view of the user. Consider all the functions of the site as thoroughly as possible and test them for convenience and performance.
  6. Transferring all the work done to the selected server and debugging the site there. In some cases, this process takes a lot of time and effort, which may be due to the fact that the server does not support the implementation of certain solutions. In this case, you need to either look for opportunities to use the server tools, or even look for a new server that better suits your needs. In case of difficulties, you can start by contacting the server support service (as a rule, this service works on weekdays, during business hours).

What to do after moving to a new engine

If you've successfully migrated your own website to a new engine, it's not time to relax. In order for the site's performance and indexing to be as high as possible, it is necessary to take a number of actions , the entire list of which can be comfortably performed on the Okay-CSM platform . The main points to look out for after moving to a new CMS are the following:

Analytics system setup

This stage includes the following: implementation of tracking codes for Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica and Google Tag Manager; set up e-commerce (refer to e-commerce projects); set up tracking processes for selected events.

Setting up robots.txt

Often the settings of this file are copied from the test version of the site, if they are not changed in a timely manner, then the entire new site will lose its accessibility to search engines and will be closed from indexing.

Generating the correct sitemap.xml file

Situations are common when the sitemap.xml is simply automatically transferred from the test version of the site to the main one. Be sure to write in the TK for the programmer so that he generates the correct copy of this file.

Changing all internal links to valid ones

After closing the test version of the site and transferring it to the new engine, you need to make sure that all new links are up to date. These links include the following: menus, links in texts, links in the next, prev, canonical attributes. After transferring the site, it is necessary to unload all such links and send them to the content manager in order to put down the correct ones.

Page indexing rules

In the TK, it is imperative to prescribe which pages should be opened and which ones should be hidden from indexing. Thanks to such a list, the programmer will clearly understand what needs to be done, and you will be able to control his work.

Site transfer recommendations

The process of transferring a site from one engine to another has many subtleties and nuances. Above in the article, we examined a step-by-step algorithm for performing this work, following which, you can count on a job done correctly and an excellent result. The new site will work smoothly, have a good loading speed and provide users with the maximum convenience in completing the assigned tasks.

As mentioned above, the process of changing a CMS is quite complex and includes many tasks and steps. Above we have considered:

  • What you need to do before moving the site to a new CMS.
  • How to carry out the move itself (step by step instructions).
  • Necessary steps to be taken after moving the site to a new CMS.

In order to perform all the necessary work with high quality and avoid the occurrence of irreparable difficulties, you can remember the following recommendations:

  1. Try not to transfer your site during the season, so you will not lose your potential customers.
  2. Schedule a site relocation at the beginning of the week, so your employees and the hosting help center staff will be in the workplace, making it easier and faster to resolve possible difficulties.
  3. Always create backups of both versions of the site - in case of any drawdowns, thanks to them you will be able to roll back the changes.
  4. Do not delete the old version of the site, just close it from indexing. This will allow you to always return to the created pages and, if necessary, easily make changes on the new site.
  5. The first time after the transfer, regularly (daily) track page positions using Yandex.Webmaster and Google Search Console, so you can quickly make the necessary changes and make improvements.
  6. If your site is large, move it to the new engine in stages - first you can move one section or subdomain, and then move on to the next.
  7. It is recommended not to perform other work on the site in parallel with the transfer - in the event of a drawdown, it will be difficult to determine and eliminate the cause.

If you decide to move your site to another CMS, follow the recommendations from the article and the work will proceed as correctly as possible! And of course, you can always order a ready-made store .


Comments 2
04.03.2020, 21:20
Здравствуйте, старый движок сайта после всяких внедрений соовсем плохо работает, например не работают функции по типу оформления заказа в корзине. Из-за этого необходимо поменять полностью движок сайта на Joomla 3.9.15. На сайте также установлен магазин старый VirtueMart 2.5, который тоже требуется поменять на новый 3.хх. На сайте в модуле K2 много материалов и категорий. Есть домен для переноса.
Перенос сайта с Joomla 2.5 на 3.9.15.
26.06.2019, 14:01
Интересная статья по этой же теме, рекомендую также почитать:
Write your comment
log in
Download OkayCMS
version 4.3.1
Subscribe to the newsletter
You will receive a selection of useful articles on working with the site on OkayCMS, discounts on modules and templates