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Did You Make These Mistakes When Changing Web Developer For A New Site

Top Left Designs Web Development Gold Coast

 

Did You Make These Mistakes When Changing Web Developer For A New Site
   
   

Choosing a new Website might seem like a good idea to bring a new fresh approach to your Web marketing and online presence. This is not an unexpected decision made by so many businesses. Sometimes it is a good reasons however, if you are going to do so, there are some serious pitfalls you may find yourself in.
Before rushing in on such a decision we strongly suggest, unless of course you have had a serious fallout with your Web developer, that you share your concerns and expectations and ideas with your incumbent Web agency. 

Some of the reasons for starting your would include:

  • They already should have an intimate and close knowledge of your business. To acquire this again takes considerable investment of time by anyone knew.
  • They know your website, the features included in the business rules that underpinning all of this. This sort of knowledge is not easily transferred.
  • Your web developer probably knows of improvements that could be made but was unaware of your concerns or was even afraid to suggest fear of suggesting further costs to you.

You may find that by opening up your Web developer all sorts of options and opportunities may arise. Too often, each party is as guilty as the other in not maintaining open dialogue. You should probably also understand that your developer is looking after many clients and there is a limit to how much time they can spend reviewing client sites in their own time.

If you have approached your Web development agency and still wish to transfer your website to another developer, there are a few matters you have to bear in mind.

Changing CMS Platforms

As open as you might think website technology might be, the truth of the matter is, that changing your CMS platform from 1 to another i.e. WordPress two Jorma or business catalyst, is not always possible and certainly not straightforward. There are significant differences that exist across these platforms which do not make this transfer as simple as you might think. Each platform delivers content by way of static pages, rich media, data and online stores quite differently in many cases and the ability to transfer this content and most importantly, functionality, can only be done manually.

Be sure that your new developer includes the cost of transferring all content and matching site functionality to your satisfaction. The biggest challenge can be in moving online stores from one platform to another. In some situations sticking to the same shopping cart may not be the right solution and you need to consider the transfer of product information, customer data and what you wish to do with your sales history transactions (invariably this last set of information is not transferable at all in most shopping carts).

Your New Site

if you have satisfied yourself that your new developer can satisfactorily transfer your site content and functionality to the new website, you invariably include new design layouts. This can be an expensive exercise depending on platform of your previous site and that of the new site. An aspect very often overlooked when doing this is the naming conventions applied to your new website pages and products. Each of these is by what we call a URL which is the unique address used by your Web browser to present your site content. You want to ensure that any content transferred maintains the same URL address for that content between the two sites. The reasons for this are explained below.

Maintaining Your Google Index Entries

Establishing ranking for your content takes considerable effort in these rankings are tied to entries in Google based on your URL. If you recreate an existing page in your new site with a different URL, then you run the risk of losing your rankings in the search engine.

The other factor that must be addressed is the Meta data associated with each page. In need to ensure that is this information existed that it is also included in your new pages stop if it didn't exist then be sure you knew developer can rectify this shortcoming in your new site content.
Fixing Lost Pages

For various reasons, balanced or otherwise, your new developer may choose will be forced to use new URL naming conventions on your content.

If this is the case, then you will end up with a very long list of error conditions in Google's index which will lead to your site rankings dropping away to nothing. Google's Webmaster tools reports on these entries so this helps you identify content that will most likely show up with a 404 missing content error. These need to be fixed by way of URL redirects.

URL redirects can be set in a number of ways and you must ensure that your Web developer checks of these problems and is able to address this before they set the new site live in Google starts indexing the new site rather than your role stop.

Real-Life Case Study

We have recently reviewed the site of a business that was convinced that by changing Web developer in poor sales performance issues would be alleviated by promises of better things and fresher designs stop

As is commonly the case, the new developer had no experience with the previous CMS to move the whole site to an alternative platform. This resulted in new URL is in many instances, a different shopping cart platform and the decision to put a new page design in place across the site. For reasons known only to themselves, they also change the homepage the site replacing it instead with a splash page that presented their logo and a button to enter the site. No matter data has been sent and no content or the search engine spiders to identify. Consequently Google sees nothing but a site on its homepage.

The Consequences

As would be expected, this client has lost considerable ground and comparing their rankings at the end of 2013 for their original site to the new site after being in place for over a month, we see the damage that resulted in the chart below.

Checked Search Engines

This table lists all search engines for which rankings have been found in the top 30 results.

Search Engine

Listings On Page 1

Listings On Page 2

Listings On Page 3

 Bing.com.au (Only from Australia)

10

6

0

0

0

3

 Google.com.au (pages from Australia)

16

6

5

2

1

1

 Yahoo.com.au (Australia)

8

4

5

2

0

6

Total

34

16

10

4

1

4


The first column shows results for their original site and the second column (in red) shows results for the new site analysing the same set of keywords.

It should also be noted that the majority of the Page 1 rankings were on the domain name itself which of course would be expected.

Serious work to clean up the Google index entries, set matter data and rebuild the reputation and rankings is required. They will also need to ensure the appropriate URL redirects are set up as many are led back links and now wasted pointing to URLs that don't exist.

You might not think this should happen because surely your new Web developer would manage all of this for you. The truth of the matter is, they generally offer a low entry quote to win your business and in order to do so they need to cut corners and take shortcuts.



Search engine optimisation techniques and tips for anyone who is serious about their website. SEO is not for the feint hearted and it requires consistent application of a wide range of techniques and initiatives to be applied on a regular basis. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your website through a better understanding of what SEO is about and what is required. Through a growth in your own understanding you will be able to deliver a better web solution and improve your chances of attracting greater and better qualified leads to your website.

This post is original content presented by Top Left Designs, a web design and digital marketing agency based in Southport on the Gold Coast and servicing clients in the Gold Coast and Brisbane regional area. Top Left Designs sets out to remove the frustration and confusion faced by business owners seeking to maximise the return on the website investment by providing a comprehensive web solution to their business needs.