Blog or Website Move Checklist

Thinking of moving your website or blog? This post explains the moving steps.

It doesn’t matter whether you are moving from HubSpot, Drupal, Blogger, MoveableType or a custom CMS. The project process described below will prepare you and your team for a successful project.

Share the URL

If you need our help, here is a personal request. Some  website move inquiries don’t offer the website or blog web address. Crazy right? Even if you are inquiring as an agency or are unlikely to move, let us give more useful information by looking at your project directly. This way you get more accurate information and avoid surprises.

Time to call the website movers.

Confirm All Log in Information

We will need to log in to the host and any current Content Management System (CMS) to grab all of your data. (We have also performed migrations without being able to log in.)  Log in information may include most or all the following;

  • Current host
  • Current CMS – this includes database access
  • Future host
  • Future CMS
  • Domain name registration account. This is needed to update the A Name record which points visitors to the new site
  • Third Party accounts –  Analytics, Social Sharing, RSS, integration with CRM and email lists and so forth.
We suggest that you create unique accounts for vendors. This allows you to revoke access at any time. Once the vendor account is deleted or the password updated, this also removes the vendor from the list of people to contact if there is a hiccup years after the project is completed.

If you need help choosing a Future web host, we can offer suggestions based on your requirements.

Export or Full Migration Services?

We can do anything, but we generally see three major types of move projects.

  1. Export the data only.
  2. Move the data and duplicate the current design
  3. Migrate the data and create a fresh new design

Special Functionality

Review any features or special functionality on your current site and decide whether you want it on the new site. Each CMS has unique features.

We have a surprising number of inquiries about websites with a Login, but when asked, we are told we never use that and don’t want it on the new site.


During a migration project, two websites exist concurrently.  The current live site and the destination site.

At a specific point in time your content will be exported and moved from the live site. After that time anything that gets published on the live site, by definition, was not moved.

We have a couple of ways to make sure that nothing gets lost.

  1. Some clients may “double post”. This means posting any new content on both the live site and the destination site.
  2. High volume publishers pay a modest fee for an extra export the day of the switch over to gather any new content and include it on the destination site.
  3. Some clients opt to stop publishing. This may last for a week.
Whether you are publishing on the Internet or not during your project, you should keep writing content.  Once the new site goes live, you can immediately post or schedule the articles that you have written. This avoids the let down of a new site launch looking stale because it does not have any fresh content.

301 Permanent Redirects

Most projects include a change in the URL. The two most common reasons are;

  1. Shortening the URL or
  2. Moving from a sub-domain to a sub-directory.

Here are examples of each;

  • A shorter URL – –
    •  gets shortened – to
  • Switch from sub-domain to sub-directory – –
    •  is changed to –

The 301 Redirect points traffic from the old URL to the new improved URL instead of letting the server show an error message when the old URL is no longer available.

Broken Link Search

Most sites are not perfect. In fact often more than one programmer, designer or SEO has left their fingerprints on a site. After the export as the migration wraps up is the perfect time to validate all the links on the website.  We have software that will list any links that are not working. This could be a link to a page you no longer have or to another website that has shut down. Cleaning up broken links is a great way to enhance your search optimization and your user experience at the same time.

Change the Domain Name Server Settings

Once the blog is moved, the design is complete, the links are verified, the redirects are in place and everything else checks out, it is time to “go live”. Love that term.   There are a couple of ways this can happen. Either way, the point is to direct the traffic at the new site files.
  1. A Name Record – if you changed hosts you probably got a new IP address. Edit the A Name Record by removing the old IP address and entering the new one.
  2. New Home Directory – if your site is still on the same server the IP address does not change. The Home directory will be redefined to point to the folder where the new site resides.

Go Live

These are the major components of  site move up to the point of “going live”. The project continues, but that is for another post.
Please feel free to use the comment section below to leave your questions and remarks. We want to be sure you have all of your questions answered before you “Go Live” with your migration project.
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