It’s been said before that breaking up is hard to do. This may be the case in the context of relationships but it shouldn’t be hard to break up with your old website. The key to preventing complication is to put together a game plan on what needs to be done.
Below are the steps to take when transitioning from an old website to a new one:
Before getting started:
- Set your goals for your new website. Meet with your web team and decide what you want to accomplish with your new website. Be specific and detailed. Create a list of “Must Haves” and “Wants” for your new site.
- Find out if it is necessary to get a new website or if you can accomplish your goals by making changes to your current website or website provider. If you like the backend interface of your website and your current website company, you may be able to change the look and add some features to your website and reach your goals without starting over with a completely new website.
If you decide to build a new website:
- Point your domain name at your new website. If you manage your domain name, it is just a matter of changing the DNS settings. If a company manages it for you and you are moving to a new website provider, you will need to transfer your domain name to your new website provider.
- Move email addresses. If you have email @YourDomainName and are moving your domain name from one company to another, you will need to set up your email addresses with your new web company. Talk with them prior to launching your new site so there is minimal downtime of your email.
- Set up redirects from your old website to your new website. When you build a new website, it is very common that all the internal pages of your website will have different urls than the pages of your old site. If you do nothing, this can lead to visitors receiving “Page Not Found” errors and you losing your search rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines. It is very important to set up redirects for your new site. For more information on this, please click here.
- Let people know about the change. It can be a shock for your visitors to all of a sudden see a new website. If you have an email or newsletter list, give them a heads up by emailing them in advance that the change is coming. If you don’t have a subscriber list, a week prior to the new site going live you may want to post something to your website letting people know that your site will have a new look in the near future. In addition, once the new site is live, make an announcement to your subscribers to generate excitement and traffic to the new website.
Do you have other suggestions on what should be done when getting a new website? Add your suggestions or comments below.
We at OurChurch.Com want to help you make the transition to a new website as easy and stress free as possible. We can help you with every aspect of the transition to make sure you and your organization can focus on your mission and goals and let us take care of the technical details. If there is anything we can do to help you accomplish you mission online, please contact us by clicking here.