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How To Migrate a Site To CS-Cart And Save Positions In Search

When do you need a site move?

Migration from one CMS platform to another is becoming more and more common, despite the scale of the event. And there can be many reasons for this. WordPress projects can get frustrated with limited functionality. Shops on Bitrix will want to move because of inconvenient management. And the startup business on Tilda or Wix can simply grow in scale and the capabilities of such designers will not be enough.

The problems most commonly faced by e-commerce sites are:

  • The site loads slowly, customers leave;
  • The server often crashes for various reasons;
  • Lack of technical resources to handle large bursts of traffic;
  • Outdated functionality, lack of necessary functions;
  • There is no possibility to modify the platform to suit your needs;
  • Weak usability and inconvenience of using CMS;
  • Weak technical support or documentation;
  • The site is poorly ranked and promoted in search engines.

If you encounter these problems regularly, moving to a different CMS can solve them. And it is important not only to eliminate current problems, but also not to acquire new ones. Maintain positions in the search, do not lose old customers, continue to use custom tools. In a word, to save everything that is acquired by overwork.

Is your store outdated and it runs slowly?
Order store migration to CS-Cart

What is site migration

Many, seeing an updated site, confuse the concepts of site migration and redesign. Both that and another about updating. A redesign can take place without moving to a new platform, or it can go in parallel with migration.

The goal of the redesign is to make the site more attractive and improve the user experience of the customers. The main task of the migration is to expand the possibilities of working and managing the site.

An example of a website redesign without changing the platform

The whole e-commerce site migration process is a data transfer:

  • Catalog;
  • Files, images, videos;
  • User accounts;
  • Integrations;
  • Payment and shipping settings;
  • Additional functionality for marketing and promotion.

To move to the CS-Cart platform, you can use 3 ways, which are described in detail in this article:

  1. Migration on your own. If you have your own in-house development team, you can use the detailed CS-Cart instructions and transfer data about products, orders, users via export/import.
    Many marketing tools, integrations, payment methods, delivery will have to be configured manually.
  2. Use the services of a paid service. For example, Cart2Cart can transfer data to you. The preliminary cost of the service can be calculated in the online calculator. But integration with external services, payment, delivery will also have to be configured again. And in case you have custom improvements, you will have to use the services of developers.
  3. Book a turnkey migration. In this case, not only all the data will be transferred, but also all the functionality, settings with third-party services, payment methods, delivery are made.

How the site will be migrated by the Cart-Power team

In order to transfer your store to CS-Cart, we will conduct a detailed audit and draw up a migration plan.

Preparation

  • Conducting an assessment of the current data on the site. The evaluation will help you find out and compare data from the old database with the CS-Cart database.
  • Determining the functionality of the website. Depending on the platform, some functions may overlap, for example, access rights management. Some tools may differ from those familiar to the customer. And for some things, it will be necessary to draw up a technical specification in order to implement it on CS-Cart, for example, equipment rental.
This is excerpts from migration technical specification descript. We describe in detail what will be moved (e.g. products data with images, metadata, characteristic values) and in which time.
  • Installing a working copy on a test server. Your store will be completely copied and will continue to work while we migrate on the test server.

Migration

  • Data. Migration of text data occurs by transferring a prepared database. Since the structure of the database on different platforms may differ, a special script is created for automatic migration.
  • Design. On CS-Cart, you can choose a ready-made design theme and customize it for yourself. Ready-made themes meet the main requirements of usability: simplicity and convenience for visitors. If the task of moving is a global change in appearance, you can order custom design development. First, page prototypes will be assembled, and after verification, they will be integrated into the site.
Prototyping Example
  • Functionality. If the functionality of the platforms are the same, then you only need to configure it on the new platform. But this does not always happen. Then we will carry out an individual development. In order to implement the necessary functionality, a technical specification is drawn up. After that, the logic of work is agreed with the clients and given to the work of the developers.

Demonstration and transfer to the live version

  • Testing. A series of tests are carried out during the migration, after the final build on the test server, and after the transfer to the production server. Functional testing checks the logic of all functionalities, according to the Technical Specification or the old CMS. Layout testing checks for compliance of the appearance of the site with the layout. Cross-browser and cross-platform testing checks for correct operation and appearance on various devices, types and versions of browsers and on different operating systems.
A small piece of the test report. How many case tests have been completed, how many have been successful, blocked, done with errors, type of error.
  • Demonstration to the client. After we have made sure that the site is ready to move to the working version, the fully working site will be shown to the client. And also training was provided for new modifications and functionality that differ from the old platform.
  • Transferring from a test version to a working one. The new site will be fully migrated to the new platform and tested again.

Myths and fears of moving to another platform

  1. There will be no sales on the site while the transfer is in progress.
    All major work will take place on a working copy on a test server. At this time, your store will work as usual, taking orders. After we make sure on the working copy that everything is working properly, the new store can be transferred to the working “live” version. During this period, the site will be unavailable for 2-4 hours. These works are planned for the period of the least activity of visitors.
  2. The site will be an exact copy of the old one.
    The task of moving to another platform is to improve the design or functionality of the site. It makes no sense to create a complete copy of the previous one if you want changes. The data can be completely transferred, but the functionality is added, and the design is updated.
  3. Our design will be completely different from the old one.
    The design of the new site may differ from the old one. Ready-made templates may not be similar to the previous version of the store. But if you wish, you can use the service of developing an individual design and keep the old design, if this is important.
  4. All earned positions in the search will fall.
    Moving a site will affect SEO performance. The only question is how much. If you follow the right tactics, then the positions will quickly recover and improve. Below we dwell on this issue in more detail. In any case, our SEO specialist will work with you to help you avoid major mistakes.

How to save positions in the search during the transfer

There will be a drop in positions in the search results after the move, but if you follow the rules below, it will be less painful and will recover faster.

1. You need to keep the structure of folders and links as identical as possible to the old site. For example, if on the old site the “interior doors” catalog was located at site/catalog/mezhkomnatnyie-dveri/, then it should also be located at the same address on the new site. We do the same with product cards and service pages.

2. If there was some section/page on the old site, but it will not be on the new site at all, then you need to register a 301 redirect from the old url to the one that is as close as possible in meaning, on the new site.

3. If you plan to rename a category or page on the new site, for example Doors with a mirror -> Mirrored doors, it is advisable to keep the old url. If it is impossible to save the old url, write a 301 redirect from the old url to the new one.

  • So that the positions of organic traffic do not fall.
    Solution: After the transfer, you should pay special attention to the page addresses. Many platforms have their own logic for assigning addresses. Make sure that unnecessary postfixes or slashes do not appear. Check meta tags on important pages: Title, H1, H2, Description, and mentions of your site on all resources and make sure everything works correctly.
  • To avoid broken internal links.
    Solution: The site content may contain internal links that lead to the old address. There are tools for this, such as Screaming Frog, which allow you to crawl broken links and redirect them to the desired URL.
  • To avoid indexing issues.
    Solution: Don’t change the title tags. If the directory structure will change, do not combine pages into large groups. Compare all pages from Google Analytics, and install redirects on links from other sites, advertising campaigns. Transfer old redirects and their settings.
  • To avoid conversion issues.
    Solution: Be sure to transfer the analytics counters (Google Analytics, Yandex Metrica) to the new site. If you’re having conversion issues, carefully configured event tracking in Google Analytics can help you figure out the issues. You can view the entire customer journey from entering the site to making a purchase.

Practice cases

Migrating an ecommerce site from one platform to another is a complex task. It takes a good strategy and the experience of a team of technical experts to successfully move and not regret it.
The Cart-Power team will help you complete all the migration steps as scheduled, regardless of the reasons why you were not satisfied with the previous CMS.

  • Asicor clothing store on Bitrix has launched a demo version. After the test period, the client realized that the site management did not meet the usability requirements. Navigation is complicated and not modern. After discussion with the manager and comparisons, the client chose the Multi-Vendor Ultimate. At the moment, we have transferred all the functionality to the client.
  • From the modified OpenCart platform, the E-moonshine online store moved to CS-Cart, as it grew into a specialized marketplace. Now it is a full-fledged online platform, with automatic geolocation, which combines manufacturers and sellers from different cities.
Is your store outdated and it runs slowly?
Order store migration to CS-Cart

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