Moving a website to a new CMS is like moving house. There are so many different things you must keep in mind and forgetting any one of them can result in your encountering certain challenges either during migration or post migration, when you find some data missing or features not as per expectations.
Django to WordPress migration isn’t an easy task and therefore you must get expert help that is someone who is well-versed with all the challenges associated with this specific migration process. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that Django is a Python-based framework, while WordPress is a PHP based framework.
Let’s take a look at the various aspects of a seamless switch to WordPress from Django:
1. Pre-migration Focus
Approach Django to WordPress migration in an extremely strategic manner. Through careful planning, you will get to zero in on the potential migration risks you will encounter and can take preemptive steps to avoid these risks.
One such risk is not migrating all critical data to the new site. This is why you need to conduct pre-migration data assessment. This will ensure you are able to identify all critical and non-critical data that must be migrated from Django to WordPress. A thorough website audit needs to be implemented that will help you document the database and data structure on the site.
This will also help you figure out the scope and scale of migration and identify ideal timeframes. Thus, you can schedule your migration in a seamless manner, knowing what needs to be done and when it needs to be done; you have in-depth data awareness for an effective and successful migration.
Pro Tip: Migrate during lean season: Migrating at a busy time for the website is a really bad idea. A well-planned migration doesn’t cause a traffic dip, but why take a chance. Migrating during the less busy times, means you don’t miss out on any important traffic. E.g., if you are an ecommerce site, migrating your site during the holiday season doesn’t make sense.
2. Take Data Backup
Even the best laid plans might come undone, in a carefully planned migration process. You don’t want to end up in situation wherein, you lose data during migration (a very plausible scenario), and you have no way of getting this data back.
This is where data backup enters the picture.
All those files that you have identified through the data assessment and audit process now must backed up. This way you will have immediate access to these files if and when you do need them. To get the data back up process right make sure that you evaluate file size and check whether you can directly export files or choose the command line to take backup of your files. This is a critical step as data is the primary currency of your old website. If for some reason, you lose data, you can’t recreate it, you will need back up.
Things to do before you take data backup:
- from your database.
Checkout some of cloud-backup services you can use to backup your data here.
3. Data Security
(Note: You have taken data backup, but the services provider will also have access to your data, and you must be assured that it is being protected at all times)
Taking a backup of your data is all well and good, but what about data security? Make sure that there are strict security protocols in place wherever you are storing your data – there is a case wherein you are working with an external service provider for Django to WordPress migration and the data will be stored on their server. In such cases, don’t take security for granted.
According to IBM, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. Don’t add your money into the mix.
Also, security protocols assume importance if you are working with customers who are EU citizens. All their data is protected under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). If their data falls into the wrong hands, you will be penalized. This makes it all the more important for you to ensure the data migration company you are working with, has strict security protocols in place.
Take a closer look at their cybersecurity posture and check what protocols are in place to secure data. Do they use server protection and adhere to data security regulations? This is the critical aspect you must look at.
4. Partner with a WordPress Migration Expert
This is again a serious aspect of your migration process. Who will oversee your migration effort? Who do you trust to ensure that your objective to migrate Django-CMS to WordPress happens successfully?
Ideally, you need to work with a WordPress development company with in-depth expertise in WordPress migration, but more importantly this company should have a successfully track record of migrating Django to WordPress. As we had told you earlier, there are certain aspects, that are very specific to Django and which might cause problems during migration. This is why an understanding of Django is also crucial for a smoother migration effort.
5. Site SEO and Downtime
Something, you must have really put a whole lot of time an effort into, is your website SEO.
Your website is showing strong SEO performance, and many a times, despite many of the functional problems you are facing on Django, you don’t want to migrate to WordPress. You are scared that you will have to rebuild all that carefully won SEO value. But don’t worry – in the hands of expert SEOs your website’s SEO performance will remain the same on WordPress websites as well.
But you need to undertake some preparations yourself.
SEO is the lifeblood of your website and when you migrate, you need to spend some time in detailing your technical SEO specifications. Remember, the developers who are in charge of the migration process, must be able to understand your requirements and take action on them. These specifications are not about ‘Why’ this implementation is necessary but ‘How’ the implementation must happen.
Some of key requirements you must not forget to cover include:
- URL structure
- Meta data (including dynamically generated default values)
- Structured data
- Canonicals and meta robots directives
- Copy & headings
- Main & secondary navigation
- Internal linking (in any form)
- XML sitemap(s)
- HTML sitemap
- Hreflang (if there are international sites)
- Mobile setup (including the app, AMP, or PWA site)
- Custom 404 page
- Page loading times (for desktop & mobile)
You will get the benefit of identical URLs and all on-site optimization that is a replication of your Django website SEO. This means your new website’s rankings are not impacted in any way or form.
Another critical aspect is website downtime. In today’s world, you cannot afford any website downtime; in the even there is a downtime, you are disconnected from your customers. Businesses worry that, the migration process will result in certain downtime that will impact their business. So, make sure that you check with your developers whether the transition from WordPress to Django will result in downtime. Expert developers will ensure your Django website is active, till the WordPress site goes live.
These are just 5 of the many things that you must keep in mind before moving your site to WordPress from Django. Bear in mind that in the hands of experts, this process will be handled smoothly, without your business continuity getting impacted in any way or form. So, only work with Django to WordPress conversion experts.