Should I be worried about a traffic drop after changing to new host?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Elena 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #3620

    Elena
    Keymaster

    After procrastinating for about 6 months I’ve finally gone and moved my site! Hooray!!! Thanks Elena for the detailed instructions 🙂

    …But I have a potential problem! The name servers switched over yesterday, and today my traffic is about 66% what it usually is at this time of day.

    Is it normal to have a temporary traffic drop after switching hosts, or could it be something more permanent?

    #3621

    Elena
    Keymaster

    Hello onthefence, great to hear from you again.

    No, seeing drop in traffic is not normal. Have you checked all your pages? Are you sure they are all transferred and loading without problems?

    Have you switched to WordPress directly? If so did you remember to include your Analytics code?

    When we switch from SBI to pure HTML with simple Httrack copy we don’t see any difference in stats. When you change your template or switching to WP drop in traffic is possible although not necessary.

    Another thing that comes to mind is that there was Penguin update over the weekend. Some sites seem to be hit very hard, so I don’t know if this could have affected your site too. Update itself was launched on October 4, but I once was hit 5 days after Panda update and was released with another Panda update one year and two weeks later. Some say if you lost traffic within 4-5 days after announced update you are still likely to be hit by that update.

    #3622

    Elena
    Keymaster

    Thank you Elena! I’m embarrassed to say I was panicking over nothing – just a slower than usual first half of the day. It’s evened out and looks set to be not much different to usual, thank goodness. It seems the big move has made me paranoid!

    That’s interesting about the Penguin release, I thought something must be going on. I had a big jump in traffic a few weeks back (too late to be Hummingbird) that seems to be sustaining.

    No, I have not switched to WordPress directly but I’m really looking forward to it!!! I’ll be following along with your trusty tutorials again, for sure :-). How long do you recommend waiting? Is a couple of days too soon?

    Thanks again for everything!

    #3623

    Elena
    Keymaster

    I am glad to hear your traffic is fine 🙂

    I would wait for at least a week or so then slowly convert one page at a time starting from homepage and low-traffic pages. It’s really hard to say what’s the best way to do this. In theory there should be no negative effect as long as you have good theme, keep all links in place, same site structure, and same URLs. It’s recommended to keep same layout too, so if for example you have now content –> right sidebar find a theme that have same layout and not something like left sidebar –> content. You can change this later of course but since you are switching to new CMS now, changing layout at the same time may be too many changes at once.

    #3624

    Elena
    Keymaster

    OK, I will try to be patient and wait til next week!

    I’m in the process right now of adjusting my chosen theme’s stylesheet to make it look very similar to the old version of the site, and creating code snippets that I’ll be able to copy and paste straight into widget areas. I’m very organised!

    This will all take quite some time, so the transition will be nice and gradual. To start with I won’t have any categories or tags, but will instead use the 3 tier style direct links using navbar made from a plain-text widget. Once it’s all converted and my SBI pages are posts, I’ll go back and categorize everything and create a more blog-like structure to the site, and also do a redesign.

    The one thing I’m really unsure about is what to do about xml sitemaps and RSS feeds. Will there be 2 different versions of each during the transition, and will my old subscribers remain subscribed to the wordpress version?

    #3625

    Elena
    Keymaster

    There are plugins that will update your XML sitemap automatically. You will only need to install it and connect new sitemap URL in your webmaster tools and it will do the rest. I can’t tell you what plugin does it but I know that I’ve seen this. Just Google it.

    For RSS your RSS URL will change with WordPress. If you are using posts (not pages) it will update automatically without you having to do anything. If you choose to use pages you will need an additional plugin to display pages in your RSS. As for subscribers I am not sure. If they subscribed using feedburner there is a way to change URL of your feed in Feedburner so in my understanding they will remain subscribed. If they used something else I am not sure. There must be solutions but I didn’t research for them to be honest. Maybe there is a way to redirect your old feed. I really don’t know. Try to Google it too.

    #3627

    Elena
    Keymaster

    It’s all very confusing. From what I gather, you can do a 301 redirect on the RSS feed and subscriber’s feed readers will automatically change to the new feed… or at least I think that’s how it works.

    I’ll report back if and when I find out for sure!

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