SEO Tips Before Moving to a New Website

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Sometimes when doing business, it becomes necessary to change web sites.  This is a common practice; however, it is important to know a few basics before doing so, as there can be some problems associated with this.  Having the appropriate knowledge and planning accordingly is the best course of action.

The first step is to check with your current hosting service.  Whether you’re  simply switching servers or you’re going to move to an entirely new host, it is a good idea to ask if they can move your files.  Many times, the host will perform this service; and sometimes,  free of charge.  If you do decide to engage with an entirely new host, it is important to remember that the script paths might not be the same.

Before actually completing the move, you should devise and write out a definitive plan on paper.  This plan should include the many tasks that will need to be completed and the due dates for each.  It can be beneficial to place this plan into a computer program, such as Microsoft OneNote, so as not to forget important deadlines.

Next, you should check links and scripts to be sure that they are functioning properly.  Sometimes there can be minor glitches in script pathways or links may not be functioning properly.  Often, an individual will leave this to fix at some other time; but, as they build up over time, many things can go wrong.  This is especially true if you want to move a website.  Minor glitches must be repaired before attempting to switch servers or change hosts.

Most websites incorporate a subscriber portal that allows visitors to sign up for such things as email notifications, RSS feeds, and ezines or newsletters.  When getting ready to switch websites, it is very beneficial if subscribing members are notified of the switch.    This notification should happen approximately three weeks before the actual date of change-over.  Since many people tend to just skim through their inboxes, it is a good idea to send this message more than once over the course of the next few weeks.

As stated earlier, script pathways may not be the same from server to server or from host to host.  It is important to make note of every single script on your site so that you can be better equipped to make necessary changes.

When changing hosts or servers, you may also need to change files or folders.  This can have a negative impact on traffic because search engines do not update their listings like clockwork.  This can cause visitors to receive a 404- File Not Found error message.  So, if the individual does need to make changes to file names or folders, it is most beneficial to employ a 301 Redirect.  This service allows visitors to actually visit the old page and automatically be transferred to the new site.

For any questions or concerns, or to see how we may be able to help when changing websites, Contact Us.  We would be happy to help or to simply point you in the proper direction.

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