Planning Your Next eCommerce Website Migration?

An eCommerce website migration isn't like a normal migration

If you've ever moved a WordPress site from one host to another, you've likely used tools to help you do it. There are some amazing tools out there like BlogVault. I know because we use them (as do other hosting companies) at Liquid Web and Nexcess to migrate WordPress sites to our platforms. But normal websites and eCommerce stores aren't the same. And when you step into the world of an eCommerce migration, you have other things to think about.

Let me explain.

Four Things To Focus on with eCommerce Migrations

Now these tips work for any eCommerce platform you're migrating to, and any host you're using (even though I strongly recommend WooCommerce).

Focus One: Choose a Partner with Experience

I've told you before about how to choose a WooCommerce consultant or agency. Experience counts. Make sure you get someone who has the background with your platform and your kind of store. When you pick a partner, make sure you've already pulled together your own store data so you can talk about.

  • What kind of data am I talking about?
  • How many visitors is your store getting?
  • How many transactions are you doing? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?
  • What's the average cart value?
  • Does your store have predictable traffic peaks?

You'll need this because everyone can tell you that they've done store migrations before. But have they done eCommerce migrations for stores like yours?

Focus Two: Content & SEO Matters

The worst mistakes on store migrations happen after the migration is complete. What happens is that a few days or weeks after the migration, you start to notice a drop in traffic or transactions. That's because backlinks disappear, people get routed to pages that no longer exist, and all sorts of SEO challenges. At that point, you're playing catchup.

What you have to do is create a content inventory of your posts, pages, and products. Then, make sure that they're all mapped to your migrated site. Every single item needs to be mapped. It's easier to say than do, but it's critical!

Some Helpful External Resources (from DYNO Mapper):

[tweet “When we @nexcess / @liquidweb work with @WooCommerce stores, we see page performance improve just by changing platforms (sometimes from 20 seconds to 2 seconds).”]

Focus Three: Performance is Everything

At Nexcess / Liquid Web, we've worked on thousands of WooCommerce sites. In just about every case, there is room for performance improvement. We've seen page performance improve, just by changing the platform, from 20 seconds to 2 seconds. Things start with speed tests (normally using tools like GTMetrix) and go from there. Tools like this allow you to see where a store is slow.

  • Look for slow running queries
  • Evaluate poor performing plugins
  • Find blocking JavaScript calls
  • Make sure to compress images

Focus Four: Iterations for Order & Customer Data

Lastly, you have to think about your customer and order data. And that's what I was talking about in the video above. It's not a one-and-done kind of thing. You want to bring over all the data you can – by making a backup or export and bringing it over to a new site. But even as you work on all of the other tips above, orders will be coming in. That's what makes an eCommerce migration tricky.

So that will mean doing a lot of SEO and performance tweaks with a subset of the migrated data. Then, going back and grabbing another snapshot. Test everything (including URL paths, scripts, etc) again. Which takes time. And then when you're ready for the final migration, you grab the data again.

Successive iterations is key to a good eCommerce website migration.

Want to move your WooCommerce store to our custom Managed WooCommerce platform? Email me.