Migrating a website is a daunting task with many considerations and stakeholders, especially for large businesses with extensive content libraries and editorial workflows.
Whether you’re migrating from a WordPress website or a different platform, use our website migration checklist to cover the crucial things you should consider before migrating your business-critical website to WordPress VIP.
Website migration doesn’t have to be scary, even for a business with a massive digital portfolio.
But to execute a successful migration, you must fully understand the scope and nature of your migration project. You can use our checklist to get started.
Preparing for your WordPress VIP migration: a checklist
Due to the nature of website migration, it’s highly likely some of the below-mentioned steps may overlap, or even happen simultaneously. It’s okay to move the steps around a bit, but the key is to start by forming your migration team and outlining your goals to establish a solid foundation for the migration.
1. Form your team and define your goals
Who are the primary stakeholders for the migration? Gather your team—including leadership, marketing, sales, and web developers—and work together to clearly outline your goals for your new CMS.
During this step, identify potential challenges and highlight any remaining concerns about the migration process and/or CMS platform. Common challenges and concerns include: learning the WordPress platform, interference with SEO performance, and a lack of internal resources to complete the migration.
The goals and challenges you determine during this discussion should be top-of-mind during the project planning process.
2. Create a project plan
Migrating a website is complex, so your team should be on the same page about each aspect of the migration.
- What is your desired date for launch? Is it flexible or firm?
- Are you migrating your content manually or transferring content through an application programming interface (API)?
- What will the approval process look like at each stage for key stakeholders?
- Will your team need training on the WordPress VIP platform?
- Who is performing the quality assurance review after migration?
VIP TIP: Take detailed notes and send recaps after each meeting for the team to reference later. Cataloging your discussions with key takeaways helps you stay organized.
3. Audit your current content
Performing a content audit is a tedious—but crucial—part of preparing for your website migration. If you don’t have a complete content library, create an organized list to log and track all of your hosted content (you’ll want this after the migration to make sure you didn’t miss anything).
If you haven’t done a content audit recently, this is also a great time to perform a ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial) analysis to identify anything that:
- Needs to be updated for accuracy or SEO optimization
- Could be repurposed into other formats (video, webinar, ebook, blog, etc.)
- Should be discarded entirely
- Once you’ve cataloged your content and understand the scope, you can establish your ideal content functionality.
4. Perform a technical audit
You have your content goals and project plan, now you need to identify the format, tools, and integrations necessary for making them a reality.
With WordPress VIP, many crucial functions—like security, caching, and dynamic sizing—are already built into the platform, so use this step to determine any extras you’ll require.
If you’re not sure where to begin, use the following questions to prompt your team discussion:
- Are you using a single stack, headless, or hybrid format?
- Would you prefer a single site or multisite setup?
- Do you need a new domain, subdomain, or subdirectory?
- Will you have any 301 redirects?
- What plugins and integrations will you need?
- What are your security must-haves?
- What performance metrics do you want to track?
A TYPICAL WEBSITE MIGRATION PROCESS
- Project plan
- Establish an RFP (if using a third-party agency)
- Content audit
- Technical audit
- Migrating the content
- Quality assurance and review
A final word on migrating your site
This checklist acts as a launch point for navigating the confusing and challenging process of website migration.
No two website migrations are alike, so the process, timeline, scope, etc. will vary, and may change as things progress. Because it’s a complicated process, keeping your team positive and flexible before, during, and after migration will help things run smoothly.