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Step-by-step guide to website migration

Considering a website hosting migration but unsure what the process involves? Fear not – we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive step-by-step guide to make the transition seamless. The intricacies involved in migrating websites are nothing new to HM Agency Scrum Master Mitesh Pandey – let’s find out how he ensures that the journey to Altis Cloud is seamless and stress-free.

From enhanced performance and speed, to scalability, security, and cost efficiency, there are plenty of reasons why enterprise organisations might benefit from migrating their website to a new hosting provider. We often encounter reservations related to the time, hassle, or disruption a migration might cause, but let me put this to rest – when a migration is done well, there’s no reason why it can’t be a smooth, hassle-free process for everyone involved!

Sometimes, knowing what to expect is half the battle. Each migration might look a little different depending on the specificities of an organisation’s existing setup, but generally the roadmap below is a solid formula for success. Let’s dive in!

Migration phase one

Initial setup: laying the foundation for success

Communication is key for setting expectations and making sure we’re fully aligned with your team’s goals.

  1. Share access credentials: Provide access credentials to your current site, including hosting, plugins, and any third-party integrations. This ensures that our team can access the necessary components for migration.
  2. Share analytics accounts: Share access to your Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager accounts for seamless migration of analytics data. This allows us to maintain continuity in tracking and analysis post-migration.
  3. Environment setup: Our team will set up the development, staging, and production environments on Altis Cloud, ensuring a robust foundation for your website. This includes configuring servers, databases, and necessary software components.
  4. Establish communication channels: We’ll set up communication channels (normally via Slack) to facilitate seamless collaboration between you, our delivery team, and our support teams. This keeps everyone is on the same page throughout the migration process.
  5. Craft launch plan: For a migration process that is well-coordinated and executed efficiently, you’ll work alongside our team to craft a comprehensive launch plan with clear action items, responsible parties, and deadlines.

Migration phase two

Development and staging user acceptance testing: navigating the initial stages

The process is underway, and development and staging environments are taking shape.

  1. Plugin, theme, and database migration: It’s time to get website components transferred smoothly! Migrate plugins, themes, and database to the development and staging environments, resolving any compatibility issues along the way.
  2. User data import: We’ll maintain user continuity and deliver a seamless transition for your audience as we transfer user accounts from the current site to the development, staging, and production environments.
  3. Content transition: Next up is a transition of media imports across all environments, including images, videos, and other multimedia content.
  4. Testing: We’ll make sure all functionalities are working as expected before proceeding to production by performing the set up and testing on development and staging environments, including Single Sign-On (SSO) configuration.
  5. Performance benchmarking: To provide a baseline for performance comparison post-migration, we’ll capture Lighthouse scores of the existing site for benchmarking purposes.
  6. Address any concerns: Before moving to production, our team will identify and address any concerns from the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on pre-production environments.

Migration phase three

Production preparation before DNS switchover: getting ready for the big move

It’s time to box everything up, the move is imminent.

  1. Content freeze: We’ll avoid any changes to the site during the migration process by implementing a content freeze then exporting the latest database.
  2. Deployment: It’s time to deploy to the production environment and configure SSO, which prepares the production environment for the final migration.
  3. Data import: With the production environment up to date with the latest content, we’ll transfer the latest media files and database content to the production environment.
  4. DNS configuration: We’ll then reduce current DNS Time-To-Live (TTL) on the live site to support the upcoming launch. This minimises downtime during the DNS switchover.
  5. SSL certificates: Our Altis team will handle all SSL certificates. This ensures that your website remains secure throughout the migration process.
  6. Domain setup: To confirm your domain is properly configured to point to the new Altis Cloud environment, we’ll assist with domain setup from Altis Cloud Dashboard and configure DNS with your IT team.

Migration phase four

Production UAT: final checks and balances

The last few checks are underway, and the finish line is in sight.

  1. Validation: We’ll check everything is functioning correctly before going live, then validate redirects and conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on the production environment.
  2. Client sign-off: Ready for launch? We’ll check you’re happy and obtain sign-off for the production environment then schedule the go-live time.

Migration phase five

Launch day: it’s go time!

The big day is finally here, and we’ll be by your side as the big red button is pushed.

  1. War room setup: Just to be on the safe side, we’ll establish a dedicated space around the go-live time with all stakeholders involved for prompt actioning.
  2. Greenlighting the launch: we’ll ensure Google indexing permissions and execute the DNS switchover.
  3. Transition verification: Conduct regression testing and verification on the production site for a smooth transition. This ensures that everything is working correctly post-migration.

Post launch support for continued success

Your website is migrated, but we don’t stop there – the Human Made team is on hand whenever you might need support or advice.

  1. Performance monitoring: Capture Lighthouse metrics for performance evaluation post-migration, allowing for ongoing monitoring and optimisation of your website’s performance.
  2. Issue resolution: Address any lingering issues promptly with any post-launch fixes and support that might be requried.
  3. Retainer agreement: Discuss how best to keep your website in top notch condition through regular updates and maintenance by establishing a retainer agreement for ongoing support and maintenance post-launch.

Whether you select Altis Cloud or another hosting provider, migrating your website doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With this step-by-step guide and the support of our experienced team at Human Made, you can make the transition with confidence, knowing that your website is in safe hands.

Download your free website migration checklist

Short on time? Download our comprehensive checklist in PDF format and save it for later.

Reach out to learn more about how we can help streamline your site migration to Altis Cloud.