What is Website Migration?

What is Website Migration?

Lots of websites are migrating to new platforms these days, and for lots of different reasons. To understand what Website Migration is more clearly, it is important to look first at the way in which website creation has evolved.

In the past 15 years, since the Internet went mainstream, websites have been contstructed in various different ways. In the early days they had to be hand-written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). This code is not understood to the common eye, but when loaded into a browser, like Firefox or Internet Explorer, it is displayed as a fully legible web page with images and text.

Next came a string of webpage editors, like Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage. These enabled us to generate webpages, and whole websites offline in a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) user interface, and then publish them online via FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

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At the same time, web design companies set about developing their own CMS (Content management systems). These are database programs on the webserver which store all the images and text in a database and then pull on it as required when a page loads. It was quickly discovered that this is a more efficient way of building multi-page websites with a uniformed theme, so that new pages can be created and displayed quickly without copying and pasting the branding and header images from others.

A battle then ensued between web design companies for the most efficient and user-friendly CMS. When a client had its site built by one of these web companies, it found itself bound into the CMS and often limited by its functionality. So, although it could log in and edit its own content and images, it often found it didn’t have the expertise to do so. Similarly, some of the CMS’s created by these web designers came with little or no documentation, so only the supplier itself could perform web updates – at a fee.

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In the past seven years we have seen significant development and growth of open source CMS platforms like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. Each of them have their pros and cons, but one in particular has begun to outshine the others in demand, and is fast becoming the equivalent of MS Word in the CMS space. It is WordPress.

When migrating a website to a new platform, web masters are looking for a solution which is not only easy to edit and update, but also one which works hand-in-glove with Google. This has become increasingly important as web developers’ experience and understanding of Google’s search algorythm has improved. It has come to light that there are some CMS’ which Google is prone to demote in its search listings, for example. It may never admit it, but sites written and hosted on Windows servers and running Microsoft software are likely to be ranked lower in Google’s results than those which have no apparent support from Google’s arch rival.

For as long as it has 80% of all search traffic worldwide, this will be an important consideration for webmasters choosing a new platform.

Opensource CMS platforms are clearly favoured by Google, and so the choice is between three: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

If you would like some advice migrating your website to an open source platform, we are perfectly placed to provide impartial and expert consultation in this area. Complete the form below:

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