Webflow Migration 101: The Ultimate Guide to a Seamless Move to Webflow

July 18, 2023
Webflow Migration 101: The Ultimate Guide to a Seamless Move to Webflow
Table of Contents

Whether you're looking for more functionality, a sleeker design, or an easier website platform for your team to manage, migrating your website to a platform like Webflow can be a fantastic move. 

But here's the thing: moving your website isn't just a click-and-drag affair. It's a delicate operation, sort of like relocating a virtual house, with all the planning, packing, and care that goes into a move. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process step-by-step, so you can avoid common pitfalls, protect your hard-earned SEO rankings, and make the switch without breaking a sweat. So, grab a coffee, get comfy, and let's dive into how you can successfully plan to migrate your current website to Webflow.

Why does having a migration plan matter?

Ditching your old website platform and migrating to Webflow without a rock-solid strategy can lead to a hot mess. It's like packing up your house to move without boxes or a plan — you'll probably lose your favorite socks and it's just total chaos!

For websites, this mess means things like broken links, lost data, your website not working right, and the big one, your search engine rankings taking a big hit.

All these problems can make your site harder to find, ruin the user experience for your visitors, and could even cost you money in lost opportunities.

But hold on, don't panic! Sure, it seems like a mountain of a task, but if you map it out and stick to the plan, you can dodge these setbacks. A rock-solid migration plan makes sure all the good stuff on your website gets moved over to Webflow without any glitches. 

And hey, it's not just about keeping the status quo - a top-notch migration can actually be your golden ticket to improving your SEO rankings. It's the perfect opportunity to give your website a spring cleaning, snip out the unneeded bits, level up the user experience, and get your site supercharged for better Google rankings.

So, with some savvy planning and by following best practices, moving your website to Webflow can turn from a huge stress into a huge success.

What to expect during a Webflow migration

When you're getting ready to migrate your website to Webflow, there are three main phases to consider: before, during, and after the migration.

Before the migration

Before the migration, it's all about preparation. You'll need to back up your data, audit your current website to identify key pages and features, research your competitors, ensure that Webflow supports all your needs, and plan your 301 redirects. This stage is all about creating a solid game plan. 

During the migration

During the migration, you'll be in execution mode. You'll design and structure your new Webflow website, transfer SEO elements, set up 301 redirects, and test everything in a controlled environment. 

During this phase, it's all about attention to detail and ensuring that all the pieces are in the right place. 

After the migration

After the migration, it's time to go live and monitor your website. You'll need to watch your analytics, test redirects, submit your new sitemap to Google, check SEO elements, fix any broken links, and announce the launch of your new site. 

This phase is about observation, quick troubleshooting, and celebrating your new Webflow website. Through every phase, remember to be patient, stay organized, and keep an eye on the end goal: a successful migration that maintains or improves both your UX and your SEO performance.

Right after you migrate your website to Webflow, you might notice a little dip in your search traffic. Don't freak out, this is normal! 

It's like when you move house and it takes a bit for everyone to learn your new address. Search engines need a little time to crawl and index your new pages, and users need time to get used to any changes. This dip typically lasts several weeks to a month, but it can vary based on the size and complexity of your website, and how well the migration was executed. 

Now for the good news: if you've done everything correctly, after this initial dip, you should see your traffic start to pick back up. Within two to three months, not only should you regain your previous levels of traffic, but you might even see an increase, thanks to your shiny, optimized, and user-friendly new site on Webflow. So hang tight, monitor your stats, and keep optimizing - good things are on the horizon!

How to successfully migrate your website to Webflow

If you're feeling a little daunted by the process, that's totally okay! You’re moving house so there is a lot to pack, a lot to organize, and a lot to set up. 

But fear not, this comprehensive guide will be your trusty compass, guiding you through every step of the migration process, from the initial  prep work to settling into your stunning new Webflow abode. 

We've broken the process down into the three phases we’ve discussed: before, during, and after the migration. In each phase, we'll go through key steps that will help you maintain your SEO rankings, ensure a smooth user experience, and take full advantage of all the amazing features Webflow has to offer. So, strap in and let's get started!

Before the migration

Backup Everything: Make sure to make a backup or copy all of your current website's data. This includes any text, images, scripts, etc. Think of this as your safety net in case anything goes awry.

Website Audit: Take a good, hard look at your current website. Understand what's working, what's not, and what's bringing in those sweet, sweet visitors. Make note of all the little details like URLs, meta tags, content, and links.

Find Your MVPs (Most Valuable Pages): Figure out which pages are killing it in terms of SEO. These are the ones that get a lot of traffic or rank well on search engines.

Spy on the Competition: Don't reinvent the wheel. Take a sneak peek at what your competitors are doing right. Maybe you'll get some ideas on what you can do better when you move to Webflow.

Choose Webflow with Confidence: Make sure Webflow supports all the features you need. Good news is, Webflow is super SEO-friendly with options for custom URLs, editing meta tags, and creating XML sitemaps. If you need custom features beyond Webflow's standard offerings, reach out to a certified Webflow Partner, like Belt Creative.

Make a 301 Redirection Plan: This is like your roadmap from your old URLs to your new ones on Webflow. This is super important to keep your current SEO rankings intact.

Set Up a Test Environment: Create a private, test version of your new website on Webflow. It's like a dress rehearsal before the big show.

During the migration

Design and Structure: Make sure your new Webflow website looks good and is easy to navigate. Consider UX/UI best practices, and the journey that your customers will take on your website. Don't forget to include all your key pages and make sure they're organized in a way that makes sense.

Keep Your SEO Juice (and get more juice): Transfer all the SEO goodness from your old website to your new one and look for opportunities to improve. That means things like creating a good URL structure, setting title tags, meta descriptions, creating headers, and including  keywords in your content.

Activate 301 Redirects: Time to put that 301 redirection plan to work! This helps to keep your website's SEO power when moving to Webflow.

Test Everything: On your test site, make sure all your buttons, links, forms, and everything else work just like they should.

Update Your Internal Links: Make sure all your links are now pointing to your new URLs on Webflow. You don't want any of them ending up in the void of the internet.

After the migration

Go Live: Once you're sure everything works perfectly on your test site, it's time to unleash your new Webflow website to the world.

Watch Your Stats: Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to keep an eye on your traffic and rankings. If you see anything weird, like a sudden drop in visitors, it might mean something went wrong with the migration.

Test Your 301 Redirects: Check all your redirected URLs to make sure they're working just right.

Tell Google About Your New Sitemap: Submit your new XML sitemap to Google through Google Search Console and Bing through Bing Webmaster Tools. This helps search engines find and index (or re-index)  your pages more quickly.

Check Your SEO Elements: Make sure all your pages on Webflow have the correct SEO elements in place.

Fix Any Broken Links: Use a tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs to find any links that don't work and fix them pronto. You want to keep your visitors and Google happy.

Shout It from the Rooftops: Let your users know about your awesome new Webflow website. You can use emails, blog posts, or your social media channels for this.

Remember, you might see a small dip in rankings at first, but if you've done everything right, your website should bounce back and could even rank better than before. If your site is super large or complex, you might want to get a professional or a digital agency like Belt Creative on board to help out. They've got the know-how and tools to make sure your move to Webflow is a breeze.

Getting started on your migration to Webflow

And there you have it - your comprehensive guide to migrating your website to Webflow! This journey might seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it's more than manageable - it's a fantastic opportunity.

Remember, migrating your website isn't just about shifting your content from one place to another. It's about optimizing, improving, and setting the stage for better performance. 

If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, or if you're dealing with a particularly complex website, remember that help is just a click away. Belt Creative is a certified Webflow Expert specializing in migrations and SEO. We've guided countless websites just like yours through successful migrations.

Ready to make the move to Webflow smoother, faster, and worry-free? Get in touch with us at Belt Creative. We're here to make sure your migration is a huge success.

Additional resources to help you migrate to Webflow: