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Best Practices for Moving a Website


This summer, my wife and I bought our first house. To all our friends and family who offered to help with the move, we'd say, "Thanks, but we really don't have that much stuff." Apart from our furniture, clothes, bookcases, tech, and some other necessaries, we thought we lived a fairly minimal lifestyle. That is, until move-in day came around.

During the move, we found plenty of stuff we forgot we owned, and stuff we realized had no use in the new house. For example, some of our furniture wouldn't fit in the new place. I mean, the space was available, but it just didn't belong in the new design ideas we had. We also found things we would much rather donate or throw away than take with us. What's more, we overlooked some new stuff we needed to buy: new deadbolts, insect spray, drywall putty, and particle masks for safety when cleaning. We only moved a few miles away, but it felt like traveling to another continent with the amount of trips here and there to get everything set back up in a new space.

My desire, and the desire of everyone on the MonkDev team, is to help you avoid those extra "trips" when redesigning your website with Ekklesia 360. If you're planning to rebuild with us, we'll help you make the transition as smooth as possible. Our on-boarding specialist will help you make sure your original content is not only integrated with your new design, but also remains as visible as before.

Still, a carefully planned list of your original content and it's desired place in your new site will help you save time and energy once the launch date comes around.

To help you with that list, here are our most frequently addressed topics when it comes to moving content from an existing site to Ekklesia 360.

Redirecting domains

If your site's domain name will be changing along with the new launch, don't give up the registration of the old name just yet. Plan to keep it registered for another year after the redesign launches, and let our team know about it. We'll make sure that anyone attempting to visit the old domain will be redirected to the new domain.

Quick Tip: Keep your old url for the next year and let MonkDev redirect it for you.

Redirecting key pages

Let's say you have a few very popular pages on your site you know your visitors are bookmarking. Maybe it's a landing page for the latest Bible study, a small group's activities calendar, or a frequently updated news bulletin. Though your site's navigation tree will likely be changing significantly, it's still possible to make sure those old links are still valid. Make a list of significant pages and their original URLs, and our team will redirect them to their new version if there is an equivalent page. To be exact, a "301" redirect can be used to tell search engines that the old URL has changed permanently and probably won't ever be used again. With this technique, your search rankings will be preserved for those pages.

Quick Tip: Make a list of popular page URLs on your current site and have them redirected to their new pages on the new site.

Importing page text

If you'd like to import large amounts of page or blog text from another site, our team will be glad to review your data and provide an estimate for an import. You can send us a copy of the data in CSV, XML, or TXT format. Or, if you have a folder of individual documents, our team can help create pages from those.

Quick Tip: Ask us about content migration options.

Transitioning podcasts

Personally, I love podcasts. It's like having a radio station of only my favorite content I can play anytime. Too often though, podcasts end abruptly or restart under a new name, causing some confusion and lost interest. If your podcast's audio or video files are stored on your website, we can help transfer those to ensure you can pick up your podcast where you left off without losing any subscribers.

Quick Tip: Let us help transfer podcast media to avoid lost subscribers.

Moving media files

If you're planning to re-use HTML from some of your original pages, images, PDF documents, and other files may appear broken if those aren't moved over as well. Though our cloud media storage solution has a unique URL format for media files, we can make sure your media files are linked up again.

Quick Tip: Re-link or redirect media URLs when using old HTML content for new pages.

Checking your work

Especially with large sites, it's helpful to take advantage of a few online tools to catch problems with pages that may have broken links or other problems. Tools like Fetch as Google, Bing Webmaster Tools, and the W3C Link Checker can help you find and clean up any remaining problems after launch.

As you can see, moving your website isn't as scary at it might initially appear. If you're interested in learning more or ready to get started on your new website project, contact us today to get started.