How to migrate to new site without loosing all urls and such?

Hey guys,

Preface:
Not a english native so I hope you understand me.
I am in charge of our companies website in webflow. I am no expert and self taught in webflow, I do however have a trained ux design background. I am saying this as a preface to tell you that I am a total noob.

So far I have only worked with relume library and templates, but I am not profound in webflow enough to understand everything that is going on.

Question:
We want to start from scratch - we hired an external designer to build our website based on figma wireframes.

we want to improve our current website and Now we want to do it ourselves and bought a template.

Sorry for the noob question and maybe I don’t understand it fully but, how can we basically start from scratch within the new bought template / site without and how can we migrate all the important settings (I assume ULR tree and seo setting would be relevant) without losing our google ranking?

Would it make more sense to stay within our active site, and then just copy paste the new design into it? Was hoping to avoid this so we can really start from scratch and get rid of the chaos that accumelated.

Any help appreciated! Again sorry, I am a noob

If you build a new site, the process is basically the same as migrating from Wordpress or another platform.

Main tips-

  • Build your new site separately
  • Use your old site as a guide, particularly regarding page titles, headings and content. You want the same “search value” in terms of what the page delivers to users
  • Match up URLs where it’s easy, e.g. you may be able to do that with main pages like /about and some CMS pages if you’re exporting and importing CMS content e.g. /blog/great-article-102

When the new site is ready, get a full map of your previous site’s URLs. You can create this from the sitemap.xml if it’s auto-generated. Load that list of URLs into a Google sheet, column A. Then do the same for your new site in column B. Match them up. Identify every path that needs to be redirected.

Add a hosting plan to your new site, and build out your 301 redirects. Finsweet’s browser extension can help, you can import a CSV directly. Make sure it only contains items that need to be redirected. Learn and use Webflow’s wildcards where that’s applicable, e.g. collection pages where the collection slug has changed /blog/ → /blogs/ but the article slugs have not changed.

Test your new site, under its my-new-site.webflow.io staging domain. Test all the key URLs.

Once the new site is ready, you can remove your domain from the old site, add it to the new one, and shut down your old hosting. Not here the transfer-hosting doesn’t really work since there’s no overlap window that gives you time to upload and test your 301 redirects. So, a bit cheaper to just transfer the hosting plan and work fast on your 301’s, but if you encounter problems…

There are pros and cons to both. I prefer merging the template into an existing Webflow project piece by piece if the site is complex or has complex integrations. In your case, I think building a new site and redirecting sounds like the right choice for you.

1 Like

thank you so much for taking your time and explaining everything in such detail! I was pretty lost and you helped me at least understand it better!

about the state of the current website. I would say it is chaotic and we want to build from scratch, we do however have a full cms and ecommerce plus plan - would you say, I also have to build those two from scratch in the new site?

if I would try to migrate the new template into the current site, how would I go about that in the best way possible?

Thank you!

Yes, you’d be doing a lot of exporting and importing data.

My team doesn’t use Webflow’s Ecom but you’ll want to be especially carefully there- do some export and import tests early on. It used to be that variants could not be exported/imported.

You might also get a lot of value out of Powerimporter Pro which is designed to simplify getting data in and out of the CMS, through the API.

If you decide to stay within the current site, here are some notes that might help. Just remember your existing site wouldn’t be cleaned or simplified at all- it would get much more complex with an entirely new set of classes and naming conventions, layout rules, global settings… you’d really want to know what you’re doing.