THE MAIN CHALLENGE – Migrate 470 pages and 8000 links from HubSpot to WordPress in 6 weeks.
See how we made the seemingly impossible happen in 5 weeks.
Live website, especially a big one, is a complex entity with defined infrastructure and hierarchy, and is made of several big, semi-autonomous components. For the purposes of migration, we had to split Cactus Mailing’s website into logical parts, and although the parts had to be transferred independently, they had to keep interacting with each other. We needed to preserve its inner structure, so splitting was an important part of the whole process.
The big components were:
1 : Site pages
2 : Blog posts
3 : Landing Pages
4 : Forms
5 : Contacts
6 : Automation Services
7 : Tracking Services and Analytics
We had to make a decision about choosing a platform for each of those parts. Site pages were the easy part, as Wordpress is a simple and effective alternative to HubSpot. Blogs also were to be imported into Wordpress, as using a single platform for as many components as it can cover is a good idea.
For landing pages, we chose instapage as it provides an intuitive drag-n-drop environment as well as tracking analytics. The forms had to be transferred to SharpSpring, as no alternatives providing identical functionality and being in the same cost range were found. Following the strategy of using the same tool for multiple benefits, we wanted to use SharpSpring for automation, contact management, and tracking analytics.
The first week we started the process of site page migration. This process went smoothly, and most of the pages were already on WordPress by the end of the week. Inner links turned out to be a bit of an issue, as every page was linked to others and some URLs only redirected the user to other pages.
The solution was to manually change all of the links. This was an acceptable solution because the number of pages wasn’t too big (40 for the first phase - the pages visible on the main menu - and 148 in total).
The plans for the second week were fully finishing the migration of site pages, and starting the process of blog post migration.
We tried to split the overall content in 3 places - Wordpress (for blogging and site pages), Instapage for landing pages and thank you pages and Sharpspring for marketing automation.
During the first half of the second week the migration of site pages was complete, so we had a skeleton to work upon. According to the plans for the second week, we had to start importing the blog. Having worked with the links on the site pages, we understood that the approach we used, that is, manual URL change was no longer efficient as We had to import over 300 posts with more than 4000 links, so manual would take forever to complete.
After a couple days of research, we found a technical solution for the matter. We used WordPress’s HTML Importer 2.0 plug-in for automation of the import and regular expressions for the URL changing process.
Due to the unforeseen issues with post migrations, the import of the blog posts got suspended, and no posts were imported during the second week. This messed up our plans and progress a lot and we had to change future plans accordingly, so the third week was dedicated solely to blog migration.
By the end of the fourth week, all of the landing pages were imported, although the forms had to be recreated, and their number was still larger than initially expected. The plans for the fifth week included creating the forms, and testing the automation services provided by Wishpond.