Taken the W3Techs latest stats on WordPress market share – 58.8% as of 27, February, 2017 , it seems that it is clearly set on capturing the whole industry and becoming its one and only king platform. In spite of Drupal being at the honorable third place, its 6% market share apparently doesn’t look impressive, or convincing enough to stop many users from wishing to go ahead with their Drupal to WordPress migration. If you are one of them, we are here to provide some tips and guidance to help you make your move a total success!
Moving from Drupal to WordPress: Consider This
1. Know reason, goals, and scope of your migration
You should know why you’re moving and what you’re expecting to receive once the migration is finished. No, nobody is going to demand this from you as the kind of explanation for moving away from Drupal. What is meant here is the following: you must have solid reasons to migrate to WordPress – it might be the lower maintenance costs, user-friendliness or the need to, say, redesign the site and using it as an opportunity to switch to a more suitable platform.
So, you should understand that switching platforms means that not only your backend will be different. It is also very likely that the front end will change, too. Moreover, due to severe differences between Drupal and WordPress, some custom functionality will need to be recreated as opposed to simply imported.
So, the whole point is, a migration is a great chance for a complete makeover for your website, but it will give great results only on condition that you know for sure what you want to receive in the end.
Think about the following:
- whether you would like the WordPress site to closely resemble the previous one or be different?
- What new features/functionality you’d like to add?
- Which functionality is necessary to keep?
- Whether to migrate users details or have them register anew once the migration is over etc.
- How much content there is to migrate?
- Is there anything you want to leave behind?
- How many custom post types your website has?
This info will help you get ready for the migration and be able to precisely communicate your vision of the new website to the team helping you handle the task.
2. Understand that content migration is a part of the whole process
You shouldn’t be fooled by the assumption that once all your content is ported over, the migration can be considered done. It is a complex process, and while data migration is the heftiest part of it, there still will be things to attend to (see the previous point for clues).
There are a number of automated tools like aisite that can cope with moving your content from Drupal to WordPress literally in minutes. However, no software is capable of handling custom fields or custom content types, altering the theme, adjusting the layout etc. It will still be necessary to do manually. So, making your site look and work as you want it to, is way not a matter of minutes, and in some cases – not even days. Be ready to allocate some time to get things straight and always remember what you’ll get in the end (again, refer to point 1).
3. Migrate Drupal content to a clean WordPress installation
It is no use, or worse – can interfere with the data import if you try to set up the appearance and functionality of your WordPress website, and then simply move content over from Drupal. Each platform is unique, and there will be certain adjustments needed once the import is over. So, in order to save your time and efforts, it is best to adjust the settings after the content has been migrated.
4. Take care of SEO
Last, but not least, or, rather, the most important aspect of the whole migration, if you value the SEO juice your site has accumulated. What you need to consider is the following:
- If your domain name won’t change, and if applicable, try to preserve your URL structure by configuring it for WordPress before the migration. In other words, have WP build the URL exactly as Drupal did (is must be clear that it concerns user-friendly URLs). This way, rankings will be kept intact.
- In case your domain name will change or you’re altering a website structure, it is imperative to have an SEO plan in place in order not to lose visitors and rankings. Using 301 permanent redirects is the measure that will point out to your new address if anyone tries to reach you at the previous one. You may want to consult an SEO specialist for best practices of handling this part of the migration.
Certainly, migrating from Drupal to WordPress is a complex process, and requires thorough preparation, expertise, and experience. But it is still no rocket science, and if you make a research, plan everything have a professional team and helpful tools – it will produce a great outcome.
P.S. aisite automated migration tool is there to handle the data import part and our techs can help with the specific migration needs and customizations. Free Demo is always available, and you can use it even if you don’t have a WordPress site installed, no credit card required.