Whether you are migrating your own WordPress website to HubSpot or you are with an agency looking to do this for a client, you have made a fantastic decision! The HubSpot CMS is just a way easier platform to use, with an intuitive interface, and without all the plugin maintenance. HubSpot offers a comparison here. And HubSpot makes the migration from WordPress, frankly, a piece of cake. We provide tips for going through the process in this post.
HubSpot Migration Steps:
Step 1: Build an inventory using Google Sheets or Excel of what pages you would like to migrate from your existing site. These should be your core pages (i.e. home page, product page(s), high traffic pages). It is also a good idea to check Google Analytics reporting to see if there are any pages that you have missed in your inventory. You'd be surprised how many orphan pages you may have.
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Step 2: Contact HubSpot about the migration. They will send you a list of URLs that will be migrated to the HubSpot Content Management System (CMS). Once you (and your client) approve the URLs, they will send a payment link and an authorized user will need to submit payment. This officially kicks-off the migration process with HubSpot.
Step 3: Once the migration is kicked off, a HubSpot user can go into their account and billing section and check on migration progress under “Migrations”. It typically takes about two weeks for a migration to be ready for Quality Assurance (QA) checks.
As the website is being migrated you will see pages created in HubSpot under website pages.
You will notice that these pages are not pointing to your domain yet. During migration, they will be pointing to a staging domain hosted by HubSpot.
Step 4: Once HubSpot has finished the preliminary migration, the QA process starts. You need to ensure all the pages in HubSpot match your existing website. To do this perfectly, set up two monitors side by side and click every link, look at every page, in your live site and your HubSot site. Click around in preview to make sure the pages are linking correctly, have the correct images, etc. It is advised that you have multiple people from your team do QA checks.
Note: The URL structure is very important. You want to ensure all existing pages and HubSpot have the EXACT same URL as in WordPress. A useful tool to help with your complete inventory QA checks is Screaming Frog.
[NOTE: Screaming Frog’s free version will give you a list of page urls, meta tags, and other basic data from your existing site. You can use that list to confirm the pages in HubSpot are an exact match of what is showing on the web hosted by WordPress.]
Step 5: Once the urls are all checked and you’ve finalized your QA, you are now ready to point to the HubSpot CMS.
In HubSpot, go to “Settings” - “Domains”. Select “Connect a Domain”. From here the HubSpot system will walk you through the process. HubSpot will want your website named www.xxxx.com with "www" being a subdomain.
Step 6: Once you get to the end of the “Connect a Domain” process, you will be asked to make changes to your DNS through your hosting service.
If you have an existing SSL, you can use that by following the instructions on this screen. Or you can enable the HubSpot SSL. We recommend using the HubSpot SSL for your marketing website.
Step 7: Now you need to repoint the DNS for your website to HubSpot’s DNS. Make sure you have required HTTPS. If your DNS provider supports forwarding, set up a redirect in your DNS settings so your non-www domain (such as hubspot.com) will forward to your www domain (such as www.hubspot.com).
Step 8: Once the DNS changes are made, the website pages in HubSpot should now point to your website’s domain.
Step 9: Now you should conduct another QA check. Click through the entire website and make sure all links are operational.
Step 10: Now you are ready to unpublish your website pages from the original hosting platform (WordPress).
Step 11: Lastly, check to see if any oddball redirects have been created. Go to “Settings” - “URL Redirects”. Check the domains redirects to see if they are functioning. Delete any redirects that may have been created during the process that look unnecessary. HubSpot automatically creates redirects when changing URL names automatically, and if you don't stay on top of that, it can create a bit of a mess with unnecessary redirects.
As a HubSpot Platinum Agency Partner, we have a lot of experience migrating websites to HubSpot, especially from WordPress. Our clients and HubSpot Agency colleagues find Hubspot much easier to maintain and use then WordPress, and frankly, so do we.