According to Nikolai Boroda from SEMrush, “the biggest website migration issues usually come from a switch in the content management system (CMS) being used— particularly on larger sites.” With this is mind, we thought it would be useful to review what this process looks like with HubSpot…and we went directly to the infamous web design guru, Luke Summerfield—Go to Market Lead, Web and CMS at HubSpot, for all the juicy details.
In this blog, we discuss the website migration process with the HubSpot CMS.
Now go geek out ;)
What is a Website Migration?
So at some point in the life of your business or career, you will encounter the phrase “website migration.”
Don’t be alarmed!
This usually means you are ready to take your online presence and the capability of your website to the next level—so, congratulations on this positive evolution!
With that said, it’s a very serious project and you want to make sure you are working with partners that understand its complete process and the difference between a website migration and website redesign.
- A website migration is a:
- 1:1 clone of your current website transferred to a new platform with some basic system architecture work.
*HOT TIP: Some things to consider with this new platform are whether or not they include: open APIs and integration ability, easy administration, content personalization and publishing tools, templates, built-in SEO, analytics, permission controls, security, hosting, phone support, reliability, and more).
- A website design is a:
- Rebuild of the entire website
*HOT TIP: this can include things like audits, competitor analysis, UX/design strategy work, on & off- page SEO, development, content creation, lead generation, and more.
With that said, typically a website migration will also include a website redesign. So when you are starting this process, it’s a great time to consider whether you want or need to do both.
As marketing technology & HubSpot experts, we are well versed in both processes and of course choose HubSpot as our recommended platform. Why?
We’re about to tell you ;)
Why Choose the Hubspot CMS?
Whether you're starting from scratch or you're migrating from another platform, we (and HubSpot) have got you covered. Luke explained that the options with HubSpot include:
- Working on Your Own
- Creating a brand new website or completely starting over with something basic
- Recommended for startups and solo business owners
- For larger websites with more complexity
- Recommended for mid- to large-size companies
Option 1: Working on Your Own
Startups, newer companies, or SUPER old outdated website owners...I’m talking to you.
You want to start light, you don’t have a website yet, or maybe the current one has absolutely nothing worth keeping. In these scenarios, we recommend hopping over to the HubSpot CMS Asset Marketplace and choosing a template pack.
Template packs are pre-designed sets of web pages that can include templates for:
- Landing Pages
- System Pages (subscription preferences, 404 errors and more)
- Website Pages
When you visit the HubSpot CMS Asset Marketplace, HubSpot makes the experience super easy by allowing you the ability to search based on:
- Most downloaded
- Price (there are also a selection of free templates)
- Template type
The HubSpot CMS Asset Marketplace makes building a website very simple, as the structure and coding has been done for you, all you need to do is add your own basic styling, content, and images.
Option 2: Work with a HubSpot Partner Agency
So you might be thinking now, this all great sounds, but you don’t know how to add your own styling, content, and images—or you have zero time or desire to do so.
If you don’t have the knowledge, time, or desire, no worries!
This is where a HubSpot Partner Agency (like ourselves) comes in to save the day.
HubSpot Partner Agencies are experts in all things HubSpot: They have taken the training certifications, they work in the system every day, and they help their clients use the software more effectively and efficiently.
HubSpot Partner Agencies assist with any part of the website migration process mentioned above, which leaves you with more time to do what you do best—run your business.
The HubSpot Migration Team
Regardless of whether you are working on your own or with a HubSpot Partner, you also have the option to work with the HubSpot Migration Team.
Luke said this is one of their most valuable services that doesn’t get used enough!
This is basically a service that HubSpot offers to streamline the entire process.
When you purchase the HubSpot CMS (or any of the other tools) you have a couple options of how to work with the Migrations Team.
Option 1: A Template Setup
A template set up is when the HubSpot Migration’s team will look at your existing website and branding (if you have this), and build out some baseline templates for landing pages, blogs and emails.
In this scenario, you are not moving the entire site to HubSpot, but you might be using the Marketing and Sales tools, and you need a couple templates that will help with lead generation and nurturing.
Option 2: A Blog Migration
A blog migration is pretty straightforward. It provides you with a blog template that matches your current blog design, migrates your blog content, and gives you a defined set of page and system templates that closely resemble your website. Again, this is a standardized service, not a tailored design or redesign process. HubSpot will match your blog’s design as closely as possible using standard HubSpot modules.
Option 3: A Full Migration to the Hubspot CMS
The other option is to take your existing website and move it pixel for pixel over to the HubSpot CMS. In this scenario, the site will look the exact same on the front end, visitors will not see any differences, but you just want it over on the HubSpot platform to take advantage of all its benefits.
Benefits of using the HubSpot CMS:
- Support (chat and email for free and starter & phone support for professional and enterprise)
- Integration with your other digital tools (CRM, marketing, sales, customer service, and more)
With a full migration, it’s recommended to team up with a HubSpot Agency Partner, in case you need any customization, updates or tweaks to the site, as the HubSpot Migration Team does not offer this service.
In reality, as you go through this process, upgrades and changes always come up. So, whether they are priorities for now or later, it’s smart to have someone on your team thinking about current and future possibilities with the website. Then you can assess when or if they will be done.
Pricing for a Website Migration to the HubSpot CMS
So, you have decided to migrate your website and you are thinking about the HubSpot CMS. Let’s talk cost.
- Template Setup - $200
- Blog Migration - $500 - first 20 posts are free
- Website Migration - $500 - first 20 pages are free
In general, if you’ve priced this out and shopped around, this is fairly low cost for the amount of work that’s done, and the average turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.
*HOT TIP: Its recommended to block off a few days of "flex time" after the migration completion date. It's common there are things that need to get tweaked/updated + connecting DNS to launch live.
The length of time needed to do this is often underestimated. To be safe, schedule the launch date of your new website the day after migration is completed. Having some flex time set aside gives you the space to make the website launch a success.
“The feedback that I've gotten, when I've talked to folks that have gone through the website migration process with HubSpot is...wow, it's pixel-for-pixel perfect. I was really surprised on how exact it was” - Luke Summerfield
Other things to Consider with a Website Migration
Functionality is probably the number 1 thing to consider at the beginning of this process, meaning you want to know before you start if there are any current or future functionalities that HubSpot will not be able to do.
And again, HubSpot has your back.
Assuming you know what you want, the Migration Team will easily be able to tell you if it can or can’t happen, or if any alterations would need to be done to make it happen.
Additionally, if you run into a situation where there is a unique functionality that is not able to be migrated over, this is again a great time to chat with a HubSpot Partner Agency for guidance on next steps.
Common Anxieties About Website Migrations
The key things to keep in mind before you get started is:
- User experience
- Ranking changes
- Functionality changes or restrictions
“There's always going to be an SEO implication, no matter what you do. It’s a little bit of a rollercoaster, for the short term, but any changes and improvements you do will pay off in the long term.” - Luke Summerfield
Luke shared another really valuable tip and explained that he usually recommends that companies run an SEO campaign at the same time as their website migration. This could involve PR, link building, or content creation—basically something that will offset some of the changes that you're doing and help boost organic traffic.
He also shared that HubSpot has worked with a third party research company to do some speed tests, and they found that they perform on par, or faster than a lot of other technology solutions out there. So, moving to the HubSpot CMS will improve speed and performance, which positively impacts SEO.
You can also use the HubSpot SEO tool that’s built into the system. This audits all your pages and can identify areas of improvement during the migration process.
Another common SEO concern that’s quite important is your mobile experience, as Google ranking crawlers index mobile over desktop now. With this in mind, you have the ability to enable Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your blog posts in HubSpot.
*HOT TIP: Looking into the future, Luke said are they are thinking about AMP for website pages as well and exploring how HubSpot might be able to turn everything into an AMP page for better SEO.
Again, we want to thank Luke Summerfield for this insightful chat about the migration process with the HubSpot content management system.
Stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about the HubSpot CMS.
Upcoming posts and content will include an in-depth look at the content management features and benefits, pricing and some of the common concerns about the system.
Do you want to learn more about the HubSpot CMS?
Check out another one of our blogs on this topic, 'All About The HubSpot CMS: The Content Management System for Professionals' by clicking the button below.