Migrating your e-commerce shop is an important step – but can sometimes be a tricky process.
If you're planning to migrate your store to PrestaShop 1.7, you’ve come to the right place. But before you get started, here’s a short tour of the steps you need to consider for project success.
1. What’s my migration project plan?
It’s not easy to carry out any project effectively if there’s no organization or method in place. To approach your migration project as a whole, the first step involves planning each stage thoroughly, analyzing the project environment, estimating the time involved, the workload and the effort required to complete the project successfully.
Choose the right time to launch your migration project, avoiding any period of increased activity (see 2019 e-commerce calendar). Some store migrations can indeed take several days between implementation and going live, due to the complexity of the database or the adjustments to be made and specific tests to be run.
Our top tip
The main focus of migration is to enjoy a properly maintained product and new functionalities, particularly in terms of ergonomics and SEO. But it’s also an opportunity to rethink your website and its ecosystem, to consider its changes going forward, to plan for the future. Are you contemplating an international rollout? Do you want to include a blog as a way to optimize content production based on your products? All relevant considerations before beginning the migration process, to ensure your e-commerce site remains in step with your own vision.
2. How do I estimate the risks involved?
Ahead of the migration, you need to make an inventory of the versions of modules and templates used, together with any redirects or custom developments made. Not all elements can be transferred automatically to the new environment. Take stock of all the different elements that make up the store and then check their compatibility. The risk of data loss, particularly for incompatible modules, must be taken into consideration at this stage in the project.
Be ready to adapt, renew or invest in new functionalities that comply with the latest version of the software but also with current e-commerce usage and trends. Similarly, remember to list all elements to be moved across to your new store so that nothing is overlooked: database of customers, suppliers, images, products, categories, etc. Various automated data import tools are available, so don’t hesitate to make use of them.
3. How can I protect my site during the migration process?
Loss of data during the migration process is not uncommon. To keep this risk to a minimum, you need to plan for and respect the testing stage.
Before you begin your project, remember to back up your store data and settings, and consider employing an expert to create a test environment (pre-production site) in order to evaluate the migration process without making any actual changes to the live site. This will allow you to identify any potential malfunction or data loss, and to correct any errors with full peace of mind. Lastly, don't forget to check the migrated data in order to be sure that they fit with your specifications.
4. Which migration tool should I choose?
It is essential that you choose the appropriate tool for the migration process. Consider using automated tools, which reduce the most time-consuming tasks and can prove very effective for large volumes of data, or for multi-store projects. The different data backup and migration modules listed on the Marketplace Addons PrestaShop are available to suit your budget and the complexity and nature of your project.
The Migration Pro module is one the most competitive for your migration project. With excellent value for money, it ensures easy, fast and effective data migration. Since no technical developments are required, you can securely configure and upgrade your shop to the latest version of PrestaShop with ease.
5. What's the right SEO strategy?
It is not uncommon to experience a marked drop in traffic following a migration, usually resulting from a loss of meta-information and URL changes. To maintain your shop's SEO value, lay the foundation by developing a post-migration SEO strategy, to limit these momentary side effects.
For this, we advise that you redirect all the URLs of your former shop to the new one, for easy access: home, product description, category, e-commerce CMS pages... This step allows you to create hundreds of 301 redirect links, which will help you keep your place in the search engine results. Otherwise, in the next Google analysis, the indexing robots will countless 404 pages, which will hurt your traffic.
We recommend that you consider all the options that will allow you to maintain your shop's SEO value, so that the transfer is as successful as possible.
6. Will I need support for the PrestaShop 1.7 migration?
The migration process can be technically challenging and may require support. Don’t hesitate to consult a certified PrestaShop expert who will be able to guide you towards the best solutions and the most suitable configurations, in order to carry out your project with ease (before, during and after the migration).