The decision to undertake a website migration is far from being an easy one, that’s for sure. So, if you finally made up your mind you definitely need to switch from your current Drupal to WordPress, you deserve applause at the very least. And you could use some help, too, right? There are lots of tips, checklists and guides on CMS migration telling you what to do, so we won’t dwell on that.
The saying goes, ‘The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.’ And this is exactly what we are after – to point out the most common mistakes made when moving from Drupal to WordPress to help you stay away from them and migrate successfully without any hassle.
“On the spot” migration
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Though not a rocket science, changing website CMS requires certain knowledge and preparation. Therefore, swapping platforms on a whim, just for a change or out of curiosity isn’t the best idea. Even if you’ve been long wanting to do it, take the time to get ready, research the topic for best practices, suitable tools, recommended procedure etc. Plan everything carefully – and your migration will be already 50% successful before you even start it.
No decent evaluation
However tempting the new platform may look, however, big your savings in terms of time, efforts or money with WordPress may seem, you need to make sure it will satisfy your requirements and work well for your particular website.
It’s not a secret that Drupal and WordPress have a lot of differences, including taxonomy. Think about how you’re going to make your heavily customized Drupal website look and work on WP. If you have different custom post types, the default WordPress posts and pages might be not enough, and it’ll take much time and efforts to tune everything up. So, consult an expert to help you evaluate the prospective migration and all possible issues.
No website backup
It is the first and foremost thing you should do before making any changes to your website, and still there are lots of instances of exactly the opposite. It takes a few clicks to backup your website, but it saves you loads and time and efforts in case anything goes wrong – you just go back to the most recent site version instead of trying frantically to reverse the changes.
No pre-migration cleanup
Most users are vaguely aware of the fact that however smooth their migration will go, there will be some cleanup necessary when it’s done. But in most cases users don’t even think about going over their website before importing. Definitely, it’s not that critical, but why move content that should be done away with? If you take some time to review the content, you’ll get the chance to get rid of the outdated/inaccurate/irrelevant posts and/or pictures as well as make sure everything belongs where it should be. This will also mean you’ll spend less time/money for the import itself due to the smaller volume of content to be migrated.
Keeping migration in secret from visitors
You may be unwilling to unveil the technical stuff for your site audience, and it’s your right. However, failing to inform them about future site “maintenance” can result in people feeling disappointed at finding it not working properly or unavailable. Plus, it is recommended to put content updates on hold during the migration period, which can make a negative impression on your visitors. Therefore, a short post with the expected time/dates of the move and a brief explanation will be very helpful in this case.
Forgetting about SEO
Many users tend to think that since their domain name remains unchanged, their rankings are totally safe. In fact, the CMSs may have different ways of building URLs and slugs, which can result in lots of 404 errors saying “Page not found”. This will not only upset your visitors, but also can lead to indexing issues. Therefore, it is essential that you create a new sitemap as soon as possible and submit it to Google, check for 404 errors and fix them accordingly. Also, remember to set up permanent redirects from the previous pages to their new address to keep your SE rankings and, correspondingly, your organic traffic.
Expecting the site to look and work the same as before
Each platform has its peculiarities that make it different from others. No matter how flexible and customizable WordPress is, it may be unable to totally mimic your Drupal website in all the minutest details. So, instead of going high and low to make the new site totally resemble the previous one, just do what you can and focus on functionality and usability. Take any mismatches as an opportunity for some refreshing changes and improvements. It will definitely save you tons of nerves and efforts and may bring unexpectedly good results.
You think with the info above you’re fully armed now to set off with your Drupal to WordPress migration? Don’t rush. Take your time to check out aisite migration service that can handle your migration easily and automatedly. There is a free Demo to see how it’ll cope with your website, so set it up right now and get going.