Today we welcome Taras Kopchak, Marketing Manager at Cart2Cart, who has some tips to make migrating your online store easy and secure.
1. Find the right time
Analyze your store statistics and pick the time with the lowest traffic. This will help to avoid revenue loss and possible inconveniences for your customers, especially if you plan to set the store to maintenance mode during the migration procedure. For most stores, traffic usually drops on the weekends and increases in the middle of the week. However, it often depends on the products and services you sell, so be sure to verify this via Google Analytics.
2. Make a backup
Make a backup to ensure your data is safe in case of any unforeseen circumstances. This is especially important if you’re manually migrating a store. However, even if you automate the migration process with services like Cart2Cart, where the data is simply copied and left untouched, it’s still recommended to backup your information before performing any serious manipulations within your online shop. You can either use such tools as phpMyAdmin, a backup option from your hosting provider, or the one integrated into your current store back office.
3. Prepare a SEO strategy
Many stores experience a temporary drop in organic traffic following their migration. This is usually the result of lost meta information and changes in URLs. Prepare your post-migration SEO strategy to minimize these temporary effects.
Even though services like Cart2Cart allow you to migrate SEO URLs within most shopping carts, sometimes keeping your old URLs is simply not possible. If this is the case, we recommended setting redirects from your old store URLs to the new ones, so that users can access your new store using old links effortlessly. In doing so, you create 301 redirects, which will help you to preserve your current search engine rankings. Otherwise, in their next website crawl, Google’s spiders will encounter countless 404 pages leading to a negative traffic. (This issue resolves on its own if left alone; however, by being proactive, you prevent any major dips in your onsite traffic.)
4. Enable Maintenance mode
(Recommended but not necessary)
To ensure data is transferred accurately without a single hiccup, you’ll most likely want to set your original store to maintenance mode during the migration. By doing so, you’ll ensure nothing impacts the process of data transfer, while letting visitors know you are overhauling your site. However, if using Cart2Cart, there's a possibility to keep your store live for customers without being worried anything goes wrong. Since automated migration does not affect the performance of your current store, you may continue running the business without a hiccup throughout whole migration procedure. No downtime!
5. Test your shop
Your newly migrated store will definitely require some fine tuning after the data transfer, so you’ll most likely continue to sell using your old shop for a while. Naturally, in this case you’ll receive new entities after or during the migration, such as new orders or customers. If you used a service like Cart2Cart, you can migrate those entities by using Recent Data Migration additional service that permits to transfer new data added after the initial data transfer only. It costs 50% of a standard migration price and can be launched multiple times whenever needed.
Shopping cart migration is always a tough challenge that requires a complex and thought-out approach. Even though data the transfer itself can be significantly simplified with the help of automated services as Cart2Cart, re-platforming doesn't end with the last entity migrated. The qualitative switch needs to be preceded and followed by select tasks aimed at setting and tuning every detail of your new online store, as it should be. Good luck!
eCommerce platform migration estimate
If you’re ready to start migrating your online store to the latest version of PrestaShop, check out this price estimator. It’s a great tools to help you decide if you’ll migrate manually or with an automated service:
Cart2Cart is a leading automated shopping cart migration service with over 6 years of market experience and thousands of migrations and happy customers under its belt. The service supports 65+ eCommerce platforms, and permits users to move products, customers, orders and additional data within a few hours.