Editor’s note: Migrating from your existing platform to WordPress isn’t a straightforward task. There are numerous aspects one must consider when considering Sitecore to WordPress. However, partnering with a WordPress Custom development company like EbizOn can ensure a hassle-free and seamless Sitecore to WordPress migration.
Are you considering moving your Sitecore website to WordPress? We know numerous factors must have contributed to your decision to transfer your website. Whether you consider expanding your eCommerce business, adding new features, or modifying your design, moving to WordPress is the best decision.
Migrating to WordPress is among the best decisions a digital user can make. WordPress is the most extensively used content management system (CMS), and the platform is often updated to reflect the most recent developments in online publishing.
This famous CMS platform powers over 40.79% of the world’s CMS websites. And the number is rising every passing day.
Why Choose WordPress?
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that allows users to set up and manage a website without any coding knowledge. Moreover, one can customize every aspect of the website using this software.
This CMS platform was first created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. Initially, WordPress started as a simple platform designed for users looking to develop basic blogs and post them over the Internet. Over the years, WordPress has become a robust, effective tool for building nearly any website.
Benefits of Migrating to WordPress
Setting up and managing a WordPress website offers numerous benefits to individuals and businesses.
Ease of Use
Most people agree that WordPress is the most user-friendly CMS. It is quick and easy to manage and doesn’t necessitate a deep understanding of coding. Your marketing team can easily upload and resize photos, publish new posts and pages, and amend already published text.
WordPress has thousands of add-ons, often known as plugins because it is so frequently used. Most of them are affordable or free, offering a wide range of valuable features, including e-commerce, form processing, social network integration, forums, galleries, and slide shows.
Search Engine Optimization
Your website must be searchable to score highly on Google and other search engines. WordPress sites frequently score highly for their keywords, primarily because they are updated often and because WordPress contains a number of tools and plugins for content SEO (search engine optimization).
WordPress has outstanding blogging features because it was explicitly designed as a blogging platform. Blogs are an excellent option to bring traffic to your website. WordPress also links other pages to your website when you add a blog post. The search engines will index new pages automatically added to your website in the form of archives, categories, and tags. In addition, search engines prefer websites that are updated frequently, and blogs are the easiest way to do this.
On that note, the following part covers everything you need to know about migrating from Sitecore to WordPress, from the initial planning and strategy stages to the deployment and training phases.
Site owners must consider a more extensive picture before actually moving forward to migrate Sitecore to WordPress. One must undertake numerous steps to carry out the entire process effectively.
Create a Specific Deadline
Migration of an enterprise-grade website takes time, ranging from a few weeks to months. The time depends on the size of your website, the volume of information, and the complexity of its functionalities.
The timetable for your move should therefore be one of your initial considerations. If your annual Sitecore license renewal is due in the coming months, now would be the right time to begin planning your migration.
You must ensure that you’re carrying out the migration during a period when business isn’t hectic. Moreover, focus on avoiding a last-minute hurry and renewal payment.
Reconsider Your Design
Another critical thing that store owners must decide is whether to retain the existing Sitecore layout or opt for a completely new design during the migration process.
Ideally, redesigning is the ideal choice as, often, the existing interface is outdated or incompatible with the current web design standards.
Rebuilding an enterprise-level website will take longer and cost more money overall. However, if you are already investing money and resources in switching to WordPress, why not opt for a new design that exceeds users’ expectations and delivers an exceptional performance?
Identify Features and Functionalities You’ll Need
You might be aware of numerous features offered by Sitecore, specifically created for each business. However, there are high chances of certain features installed in your existing website that isn’t being used. Hence, it makes sense to remove them during the conversion process; otherwise, it can result in software bloat.
Moreover, identify your existing third-party integrations and whether you need to retain them on your new WordPress site. Remember that WordPress can connect effectively with just about any external, third-party solution while offering a greater range of third-party integrations than Sitecore.
Perform Website Backup
Before you begin the migration, ensure you perform a complete backup of your Sitecore website. This will prevent data loss in the event of any issue during the migration process.
Take Inventory of Your Content
Make a spreadsheet with your website’s current URLs and content and go over it. This will help you identify and remove duplicate or outdated content.
Preserve SEO Aspects
Website migration often leads to a slight drop in the SEO rankings. Even though a minor drop is expected, website owners must prepare for SEO preservation. Doing this will keep your Sitecore site’s SEO intact and won’t affect your search engine rankings in the long run.
- Create a complete list of every URL on the website, its associated title, and meta descriptions.
- Create 301 redirects for old URLs and ensure they point to the new ones, passing all the SEO juice.
Setting Up WordPress Environment
Opting for a managed hosting provider like WordPress VIP means that your WordPress environment will already be set up. Hence, clients shouldn’t worry about the installation and database configuration processes, as your WordPress environment will likely be set up.
The first step is to choose whether you want WordPress single sites or multisite for your new CMS.
The websites that are part of the WordPress multisite network might have their own domain or URL and are viewed as distinct, complete websites by search engines. Despite using the same database, each site has a unique subset of the database tables.
You’ll need to match up all the WordPress plugins with the features you’ve determined you need for your new WordPress website.
The most significant advantage of using plugins over a unique hardwired code is because WordPress plugins are user-friendly and may be used by users of all technical abilities. As a result, your marketing staff won’t require constant assistance from engineers to use your CMS.
Website Testing and Deployment
Ensure careful testing of your WordPress website’s design, SEO, and usability before making it live. Validate that the new website’s interface functions flawlessly (on desktop and mobile), as expected, and that there is no data loss.
Also, ensure that before deploying, all current SEO points are addressed. Make fresh Robots.txt and sitemap files with updated structures.
After the migration, monitor the website’s performance to ensure there hasn’t been a noticeable drop in traffic and rankings. Examine all essential SEO factors, including internal links, broken links, redirects, and more.
Finally, your content has been transferred, and your brand-new WordPress website is prepared to go live.
Considerations Before Deployment
Determine if you want to make changes to your sitemap as per the new structure. Your sitemap may need to incorporate any new pages or remove outdated ones. If so, prepare the adjustments to your sitemap right away!
Preparing Integrations List
Consider if you plan to add any software to your new WordPress website for added functionality. Or are you going to use the existing Sitecore integrations?
Even though Sitecore has a robust built-in MarTech stack, WordPress comes with various integrations, outperforming Sitecore regarding CRM and marketing capabilities.
Next, ensure your DNS domain points to your new hosting provider.
For instance, hosting DNS with a managed cloud hosting provider like WordPress VIP will require contacting their service team via a support ticket. The team will then set up DNS management, allowing you to self-service create DNS entries that replicate your existing setup.
Once completed, you can verify and switch to their nameservers. Ensure this process is completed a week before launch. This will allow you to manage DNS for numerous websites within the same WordPress.com DNS instance.
WordPress caching is the fastest way to increase website performance. Store owners can leverage plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache to cache their WordPress posts and pages as static files. These are then served to the users, decreasing the server’s processing load.
To Sum Up
Moving from Sitecore to WordPress is by no means an easy operation, and there is no set procedure for doing it perfectly. It depends on your website’s complexity, functionality, and features.
Nevertheless, migrating to WordPress will offer you more control over your data, save a ton of money on licensing, and be able to scale your site any way you see fit, so it’s worth the time and money investment.