WordPress once ran the world when it came to building websites, especially e-commerce sites. They still do. Over 43% of all websites in the world are operated from WordPress.
WooCommerce is a plugin that offers everything WordPress sites need to sell stuff.
WordPress, in combination with WooCommerce, is quite possibly the least expensive way to run, host and manage an ecommerce business. We often design WordPress e-commerce sites, using WooCommerce tools, and manage the sites for businesses who aren’t equipped to deal with this on their own.
But if you are looking for an easier way to manage an e-commerce site that has tools to manage business tasks, you may be better off with Shopify. Shopify is easier to learn, and easier to manage.
Don’t worry if you started a store on another platform like WordPress or Wix. You can migrate your site, store, and business management tools to Shopify. Even better, we can handle the migration for you.
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Shopify has empowered countless entrepreneurs and enterprises to build and grow their online stores. WordPress started a long time ago, and while they are ultimately less expensive, their tools aren’t easy for beginners. Even intermediate users sometimes get too frustrated with WordPress and WooCommerce.
When that frustration hits a high, people often want to switch to Shopify. But they worry about the time and money it will cost to do so.
We can handle it all for you. Shopify migration means switching from one platform (like WordPress or Wix or Squarespace) to Shopify. It also means that if you already use Shopify, you can upgrade your theme, switch to a different Shopify plan and pick and choose Shopify tools you need. In this comprehensive guide, we explain Shopify store migrations and provide you with insights on how to plan, execute, and optimize your transition.
Why You Should Migrate Your Shopify Store
Migrating to a Shopify store or upgrading your Shopify plan can be prompted by various factors:
Design and Theme Changes:
Most e-commerce stores, and websites in general, change their design every 2-5 years at a minimum. Outgrowing your existing theme or needing a fresh, updated look can be a compelling reason to migrate. A new theme can improve user experience and enhance conversion rates.
As your business grows, you may need more advanced features and customization options that require switching to Shopify or one of their higher tier plans. For example, a startup may not need inventory management or shipping help. But when those orders start coming in, you will. You may also need to start running ads, which you can manage from Shopify rather than going to Google and social media ad dashboards. Every time you switch to new sites, you’ll need to login – that means managing more passwords and updating more credit cards stored in their systems.
For businesses experiencing fast growth, migrating to a platform with more tools, such as Shopify Plus, might be necessary to handle increased traffic and sales.
You can technically handle SEO by simply studying, whether you read books, articles, or take an online course. But if you wish to make your SEO strategy more automatic, and easier to handle, migrating can provide the flexibility you require.
Lowering operational costs or reducing transaction fees may prompt a migration to a different plan or platform. Shopify offers discounts on fees they charge your customers, and you, for accepting credit card payments and/or shipping.
Planning Your Migration
Before diving into the migration process, you need to create a comprehensive plan. That’s when a company like SEO Design Chicago proves to be cost effective and faster than doing it on your own. Here are the steps we go through, and we suggest you follow in you want to DIY:
Set Clear Objectives:
Define what you want to achieve with your migration. Ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. Sometimes, businesses think the goal and the only goal is “more sales.” But we can help you think more deeply. For example, getting people to give you their emails is a HUGE goal. You can then send them marketing emails, offers, promo discounts and more. Another goal can simply get people to call you, or visit your store if it’s brick and mortar. Building brand awareness is often a goal businesses have, but don’t really know how to achieve. We can help you envision ways to build awareness, by handling your social media, to helping you consider virtual events.
Backup Your Data:
Too many companies assume nothing can go wrong if they follow the right steps. But prior to any migration, you want to make sure to back up all your data, including products, customer information, and orders. Shopify provides export options to help with this. Or we can do it for you.
Choose the Right Plan:
Shopify has many different price points, all of which come with free trials. We can help you evaluate the available options to meet your requirements.
Select a Migration Method:
Look, we won’t lie: You can do this on your own. That said, expert assistance might be necessary for complex migrations. Even if your migration is simple, you will need to learn some terms like DNS. Don’t know what that is or care to know? Call us.
Doing the Migration
With a solid plan in place, you (or we) can now execute your migration:
Export Your Data:
Begin by exporting your data from the current store. Ensure that all product images, descriptions, and customer information are correctly extracted. This can be done in a staging process so it’s not live. That means any customer looking at your site at midnight won’t wonder, “What’s going on here?”
Import Data to the New Store:
Once your data is exported, import it into your new store. Pay careful attention to tech glitches, like design flaws or off center images or videos. Don’t make your new store live before you’ve fixed everything (or we’ll do it for you).
Test the New Store:
After migration, thoroughly test your new store to ensure that everything is functioning as expected. This includes testing product pages, checkout processes, and payment gateways. We test it ourselves, but we also know ways to have other third party vendors pay people to test your store. Feedback at this stage is vital. It shouldn’t come from your friends, family or employees. They like you too much. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. You need honest opinions from strangers, which we can attain for you. And then we’ll explain what their surveys mean, and how design changes can improve the problems they cite.
Redirects and Broken Links:
Broken links, which are common when you change platforms or upgrade, cause Google to lower your ranking in their search engine results pages. You need to implement 301 redirects for any changed URLs to preserve your SEO rankings. You also need to review and update meta tags and alt text as needed. If you have no idea what these terms mean, you need to reach out to us.
Post-Migration Optimization Strategies
A successful migration doesn’t end with the launch of your new store. It’s essential to monitor your new setup:
You must routinely assess your new store’s performance, including page load times, user experience, and checkout processes. All of these things, if not done perfectly, can affect your bottom line because people won’t complete purchases from you, or Google will detect problems and lower your SERP results.
One of the best ways to make sure a migration was worth it is to make sure you or your team know how to maintain a site. We offer training so that your team is familiar with the new platform and its features.
Shopify store migrations are complex, but with proper planning, execution, and post-migration monitoring, you can successfully navigate the process. Whether you’re upgrading to a more advanced Shopify plan, changing your store’s look, or migrating to an entirely new platform, a well-executed migration can breathe new life into your e-commerce business. For many businesses, doing this alone is too much in terms of costs and benefits when it comes to time and money. That’s where we come in. We can do this fast, and we don’t charge so much that it’s not worth it. Reach out so we can chat.
We start most conversations with a free SEO analysis. Once we get the results, we will meet with you to talk about if Shopify is right for you, or if you should upgrade your Shopify plan.