HubSpot will not Move a Blog from HubSpot’s CMS to a New URL

Half a Bubble Out, an internet marketing and consulting firm in Northern  California called with a unique set of circumstances that required the migration of two HubSpot blogs.

This was especially intriguing because weeks earlier I had been contacted by HubSpot to learn whether I would be interested in helping their clients move from various platforms into HubSpot. I laughed because this is exactly the opposite of what we have been doing since 2009. I expressed interest and was immediately asked whether I had any experience and admitted none. Now here was the opportunity change that answer to from none to one.

Here is the situation:

Their client is in the building maintenance business and has two blogs, one focused on Home Owner’s Associations and the other focused on Home Construction and Maintenance. These are both HubSpot blogs living on sub-domains. The primary website is not on HubSpot, just the two blogs.

It was determined that splitting the blog apart, moving one blog to a new domain name would allow them to better capitalize on that one line of business.

bike on bridge over water
Migrating.

HubSpot explained that they do not support migrating one blog to a new domain name and advised them to migrate out of HubSpot, into WordPress and then back into HubSpot. We were contacted to complete both migrations. We accepted the projects.

During the migration process, while using the HubSpot WordPress Importer, we found that it added /wordpress/ to the URL. This is not what the client expected their URL string to look like, so we figured out a way to avoid allowing the importer to add the /wordpress/ to the URL and re-ran our migration script.

We also found that the HubSpot WordPress importer did not bring in meta titles and meta descriptions. Instead, the post title was placed in the Meta Description box in the HubSpot Admin. Our team made sure that the meta data was pulled from HubSpot, was in WordPress, and then we confirmed that it did not make it back into HubSpot. HubSpot explained that it did not pull in meta data because it is not native to WordPress.

Unfortunately, the only immediate solution was to copy this data in manually. This is a defect that HubSpot will need to investigate and remedy.

In addition, it was discovered that about 10% of the blog posts we pulled from HubSpot and migrated into WordPress did not make it into HubSpot using the HubSpot WordPress importer. The titles were imported, but the content was left behind for unknown reasons.

And near the end of the project we learned that because the original blog was hosted on the “old” HubSpot CMS and not the “new” COS, individual blog posts cannot be redirected from the old URL to the new URL. We learned that HubSpot will first need to migrate the old blog from the CMS to the COS before each of the 301 redirects can be established for each post on the new domain name. This kind of interdependency was not expected and impacted the project timeline.

If this sounds like more than you want to tackle, we would love to put our experience to work for you or your client. The best way to reach us is to fill out the Blog Wranglers contact form and leave a note.

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6 thoughts on “HubSpot will not Move a Blog from HubSpot’s CMS to a New URL

  1. Do you publish any sort of guide for folks who would like to migrate a blog but would also like to understand the process, whether they do the work or they hire someone else to do it? Found your blog through Empire Avenue.

    1. Hi LuAnn, We have never been asked to write a guide. HubSpot makes changes and improvements regularly and we find we need to keep on our toes to accommodate these changes. For example, years ago, migrations were simpler. Today, most clients have CTAs (calls-to-action) and landing pages. Some clients want to move these, others do not. Some have just one, while one client had more than a dozen unique CTAs and landing pages. There is an overall process, but there are also numerous customizations required for each move.

  2. Thanks for the useful info. I always wonder why people try to make it so complex. It’s a divorce – let’s hope everybody can still play nicely together because you never know when you are going to need to sit at the same table.

    1. Steve, it may be a new offering and the kinks are still being worked out. Over the years, I have learned that proprietary systems have to be locked down to some degree to be successful in serving a huge customer base, otherwise it becomes unsupportable.

  3. This is why I have always hosted my own blog, and have advised clients to do so, and not use a 3rd party platform. Granted the “ease” is there, but the downside is the struggle you and your clients are going through to maintain control of their content and data.

    mp/m

    1. Mike, Thanks for your comment. Lot’s of folks agree with you on the Open Source benefits. This was a very unique, almost outlier case, which made it interesting to me.

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