Hi Shopify community. TIA for your help.
I've just taken over a website that has a 12 year history and at one time ranked very well, but has been neglected for 5 years.
I want to change platforms from 3dcart to Shopify.
I also want to change the name of the company (and therefore the URL).
Does it matter in what order I do these?
Should I change the name (and URL) first and do a 301 redirect and then change platforms OR should I build the site on Shopify with the new name/URL and when it goes live, do a 301 redirect from the old URL on 3dCart to the new URL on Shopify.
Does one method help keep SEO rankings uninterrupted more than the other method?
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Hi @SHOPOWNER21 , this is Richard - CRO expert at PageFly - Shopify Advanced Page Builder
Moving domain can have a tremendously negative effect on your ranking so yes, the risk of losing your Domain Ranking is real. In this case, I suggest you opt for the latter approach - build your Shopify store first with a new name and URL, then perform a 301 redirect.
Note that there are more steps involved than just 301 redirects, you have to configure your Search Console - check out this guide from Moz: https://moz.com/blog/website-migration-guide, it explained everything I want to say better and in greater details.
If you find my comments helpful to you, like it or mark as a solution. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice day! Cheers
Yeah dunno if I wholehartedly agree what Richard said. I've done a number of SEO ecom migrations. I'm pretty confident in saying that in most cases, SEO's will tell you keep your primary domain rather than building an entirely new site on a fresh domain.
It is true though, that there is always associated SEO risk with any kind of site migration, re-platforming or move like this, but I think a new domain with redirects will actually dilute any established link equity and is likely to do more harm than good. A good migration is about both organic search risk reduction and opportunity maximization.
A much more typical approach to SEO migrations is to build the site on a staging domain, test it etc. Then when it's good to go live, make it live on the existing (primary) domain with 1-to-1 redirects. Shopify has this built in, you can just setup a store on something.myshopify.com (noindex) and that can bee a basic staging environment.
When I've done SEO migrations in the past while working at agencies, quite often it's damage control "oh shit we did a migration and we tanked, please help". But I always recommend assembling a team of specialists: analytics, ads, seo, dev, IT, project manager to plan a co-ordinated re-platforming/migration attack in advance of a migration.
Here are some good SEO migration guides:
Here is a good overview of the state of SEO on Shopify:
I'm a fan of a simple spreadsheet with tabs for each phase, with a list of prioritised tasks + owner + input + output:
I would usually add in these tips:
One thing that is not negotiable is the domain change.
Ohhh right yeah my bad, I must have skim read your original post.
All good then, yeah if there's non-SEO business reasons forcing a primary domain change then what must be done, must be done.
Yeah I would prepare yourself for an initial negative reaction with a domain change then, you'll have to expect to take a hit to organic search visibility, traffic and sales for a week or two until your new domain starts to re-surface.
Then there is the lingering risk that you may never quite make it back up to the same level of visibility & traffic. Fixing that is usually a case of investing time/money into updating and/or building your backlink profile to the new domain.