Congratulations! You’ve got a shiny new apartment website design that’s ready to launch, but there are some things to keep in mind when migrating to a new website from an old website. The transition should be smooth so that potential and current customers are still able to access your online presence. Here are some mistakes to avoid when it comes to moving to a new website.
Not being able to launch your site. Simple, but it could be a real problem. There is nothing worse than being ready to launch your site and not being able to because you can’t login to your domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy or Network Solutions). Make sure you can login successfully well before you are ready to launch.
Taking your email down. If your original website developer pointed your name servers to the web hosting company, and you use emails that match your domain, chances are MX records, which point to your email services, were set up in your web hosting environment. When you remove your hosting, you’ll need either remove (preferred) or repoint the name server. In either case, you’ll need to set up your MX records again, so make sure you know what they are before you flip the switch and set them up right after you do.
Creating dead links. When you build a new website, chances are you won’t be using the same URLs. 301 redirects will make sure users are forwarded to the new page. Without them, your users will get an error and any search engine optimization you have done will be at risk. Make sure your develop puts them in and spot test afterwards to make sure they actually did.
Sending third-party links to old URLs. If you have links on ILS listings (e.g. apartments.com or Zillow) or directory and review and ratings sites like Google My Business or Yelp, be sure to update the link so it goes directly to the new URL. Even though 301 redirects will make sure your users don’t encounter an error, it’s best to send them directly to the new page.
Launching at the wrong time. Even if you lay the best plans, things can go wrong. Don’t launch during the busiest time of the day. Launch when you have the least traffic so, if you need to revert to the old site, you’ll minimize the impact.
As always, if you have any questions or need help, we’re here!