This episode has been a long time coming; I have wanted to share why I switched my website to Shopify since it happened, back in July, and I can’t wait to share what this was like! I was very nervous to do it, so I wanted to walk you through what we really experienced going through the migrating process ourselves. That’s why episode 91 of the Product Powerhouse Podcast is about moving our own website to Shopify!
In this episode of the Product Powerhouse Podcast, I’m sharing the importance of understanding the migration process of a website before switching platforms and actionable steps you can take right now to put your concerns at ease around migrating your own website.
Some of the talking points I go over in this episode include:
Why I switched platforms for my website, and why we chose to do it when we did in July.
What my worries and concerns were switching platforms, and how I got through it.
My favorite tips for migrating your own website, including plugins and things to look out for.
The power of a good 404 page, what it is and why you should try to customize it.
Migrating a website can be draining and cause anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. It’s a big project and will take time but with these tips you’ll be back up and running in no time. So be sure to tune in to all the episodes to receive tons of practical tips on growing your product shop and to hear even more about the points outlined above.
______________________________ The following is the unedited transcript of this episode.
The time it was gonna take us to reformat and clean up stuff. So I guess I mean part of it's not even done yet. But when you move over from a different platform, things change, like, for example, featured images on my blog posts weren't all the same size. And that really bugged me on WordPress, I had it set up differently on Shopify, they needed to be all the same size. So my assistant went through and created a lot of new Featured Image graphics on Canva, so that we could replace the ones that were the wrong size and cleaned it up. So it looked really streamlined. I knew all of that would take a long time.
You're listening to product powerhouse, a podcast to inspire and empower you while you build a powerful product based business that fuels your passion and feeds your family. I'm your host, Erin Alexander, I run an E commerce web design agency that helps shop owners build, grow and scale. This podcast is all about actionable strategies specifically for your product based business. So friend, grab an iced coffee and let's chat because DIY in your business doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of the product powerhouse podcast. Today's episode has been a long time coming. We're talking about when I moved my website from WordPress over to Shopify this fall. I think it was September. Going through that migration process myself was interesting learning experience. I thought it was great. And I've been meaning to come on the podcast and make an episode about that. But it just kept getting pushed back and pushed back. So I'm finally taking you along the side. What it was like migrating my own website over to Shopify. I'm going to tell you why we did it, what my worries were kind of the process, we ended up going through what we ended up doing some of my favorite tips for migrating. This is not my first time talking about migrating on the podcast. Because it's a big deal. This is one of the things we end up helping most people with this is like, say it's our specialty, we help you get from one platform over to Shopify. So this episode I think will be really great, more in depth maybe like what we really experienced to go into the process ourselves. This fall or the past fall, fall 2021. We and I say we my team and I moved our website, the product powerhouse website over to Shopify. In the past, I have been on every website platform there is when I very first started my business I started with WordPress, that site got like hacked almost where it was full of all these spammy links. I shut that down immediately. That's when I learned about Squarespace. And then I dove straight into Squarespace. I love Squarespace. I was a Squarespace designer for many years. Then I kind of branched out and I started doing more. So I had I had gone back to WordPress because I liked some of the flexibility of blogging aspects of the platform. So I had moved back to WordPress, just because it didn't cost me anything extra I was already paying for hosting. And Elementor is the program I was using to have my website on WordPress. I was paying for that for clients. And so it seems like I might as well take advantage of a too and not pay an extra fee to be on Squarespace. And then last year, my WordPress site kept breaking all the time, all the images would disappear. It happened so frequently that I was so frustrated, and then it broke. And it was down for a long time. And I didn't realize it and I was really embarrassed. And like as a web designer, you don't really want to have a broken website. It's not going to be no one's going to book from you when your website your own website isn't working correctly, right. And at that point, I had already been selling my digital product, the SEO workbook we have on Shopify, I was using the cart system because I loved experimenting with it with the program I had been designing with for clients. And I felt like I might as well just go all in on Shopify, I'm already in it with my customers or my clients. I'm already teaching people I love the platform. I'm not really getting anything out of WordPress. So I decided to move over to Shopify. A big reason why I thought it was time and it was going to be okay to move over to Shopify is that the new version, Shopify 2.0, which I have talked about a lot was out and I was using it and the theme I like, had these options had the Shopify 2.0 compatibility. That was a big game changer because it made it easy for me to create sales pages, which would have been more difficult prior to the update. Not impossible, but more difficult. And I really, really loved that they take care of all the hosting and security because that was a nightmare for me with my clients that are on WordPress. Anything hosting backups, updates at Raise me crazy. Okay, this is constant. So when I was trying to decide if this was going to be a good decision for the product powerhouse website, those are the things I was thinking about. I was worried about Shopify not being specifically a blogging platform, it does have a blog in you can get good traffic to the blog. But it is a little bit more limited in what you can do on the blog post. However, I decided that was worth it. I was also worried about losing traffic, I have a few blog posts that perform really well. I often show up at the top of search results for flow desk in Shopify support or like blog posts. And I didn't want to lose that. And when you migrate from one platform to the other, there's some URL structure changes. That means like the links that point to different things on your website change. And you have to be really careful about those to make sure they get to the right place on the new website. And there's usually like a little downtick in traffic, as Google has to kind of crawl your website and figure out, oh, you moved it from this platform to this one. And it has this different structure, because every website platform you use is structured differently. I didn't want to lose that traffic. But again, I decided that all the things I was going to be that were going to be easier on Shopify, like not having to do updates, being able to create better landing pages was worth that downtick in traffic. And when you just do a simple migration like that, the traffic will usually come back pretty quick. It doesn't take long for Google to figure out what's going on. And then the the traffic, you had the search results, you had usually go back up pretty quick. And I've noticed that the traffic on my site now is is fine. It's what it was prior to moving. I was also worried about the amount of blog posts I have due to the podcast. Every single podcast episode has its own blog post on my website. And there are other blog posts because I was blogging prior to starting the podcast. And sometimes I write a blog post that's just a blog post and not a podcast episode just kind of depending on what the purpose of things are. And I was worried about the number of posts because like I said, Shopify is not specifically a blogging platform, it is for E commerce. I was also worried about having extra code from WordPress. So anytime you do a migration from one platform to the other, each platform speaks its own language, WordPress and Elementor is what I was using, they use different code than what Shopify does. So when you migrate that content, sometimes that code lingers around. And that is very true. Like I still have access code that I don't need in my blog posts, that code came over when I migrated, it's not hurting anything, it just looks messy on the back end, so I have not gone through and fixed it. I probably will prioritize that sometime this year, I'll have my assistant gopher and helped me clean up that code. Just because it's messy. It's not necessarily hurting anything. I like to just keep everything clean and organized. So that was one of my other fears about moving it over. The last one is the biggest one the time it was going to take us to reformat and clean up stuff. So I guess I mean, part of it's not even done yet. But when you move over from a different platform, things change. Like for example, featured images on my blog posts weren't all the same size. And that really bugged me on WordPress, I had it set up differently on Shopify, they needed to be all the same size. So my assistant went through and created a lot of new Featured Image graphics on Canva. So that we could replace the ones that were the wrong size and cleaned it up. So it looked really streamlined. I knew all of that would take a long time. And probably there are some blog posts that aren't perfect. Like I know, for example, sometimes the featured image in the blog post isn't always centered. It bugs me but I haven't gone back to check them all to make sure it got centered. If you've used the Shopify text editor, it can be a little tricky sometimes to get images to center I have no idea why I usually go in and coated in instead of using that center button. I did have a lot of worries and fears over moving to Shopify, from being on WordPress. So if you're going through this process, trying to decide if Shopify is right for you, I know that having those fears is completely normal. You just have to really remind yourself why you're wanting to make that decision and what value it's going to bring when you're going through all these like, you know like the pro con list. The cons you got to do the pros outweigh the con. That was the biggest deciding factor for me that I knew that all the pros I was going to get, we're going to pay off. So we ended up going through this process. It was me and my two assistants. They helped me go through the whole thing. We moved all of our content. I always Use the tool cart to cart. It's a migration tool that connects to platforms. I've talked about this before. So I've done another episode on migrations before. And that's episode number 47. If you need to go back and listen to it, it's a great episode. You can also check out this cart to cart tool, I'll have the link in the show notes. But you can use our referral link, it's product powerhouse.co/cart, to the number to cart, it's fantastic. That really does save you so much time because it moves all of the content from your site. So blog posts, customer orders, products, page content, it works with a ton of different platforms, it's not perfect. Like I said, you get extra code, sometimes it doesn't always want to connect. Recently, I was doing a migration for a client that we were trying to connect PrestaShop over to Shopify in it, it didn't work, we ended up having to do the migration the long hard way. Not happy. Not happy about that. But we love Carter cart. So we did end up moving the whole website over we did have to go through and clean up all the blog posts, images, they weren't all the same size. But this was also a great opportunity to clean up pages, I was no longer using like old offers, and old redirects that didn't work anymore. So that was a great time to like really streamline everything that was happening on the product powerhouse website. Because as you know, when you've been in business for several years, those extra pages start to accumulate on your website, because we just move on to the next thing, we never go back and clean up the others. This also gave me an opportunity to to redirect old offers to new offers that are more relevant. That's a big one for for me, you know, I've tried a lot of things, not all of them stick. And so there would be links to things that didn't, didn't even exist anymore. And that is still true. Actually, I saw a few links recently going to the product per house club that is no longer in existence. So that's something else we need to clean up. So keep in mind as you're going through your migration, that you've probably will always have things on your website you need to clean up. It's not always about is it absolutely perfect. It's more about like, can they get to the content, they'll figure it out. Also have a great 404 page. Just as a side note, a 404 page is a page on your website that says hey, this page no longer exists. What I like to do is have a search bar that says maybe you can find something similar, have my little search bar. And then I could show recent things or relevant things that are more popular. Like here's our contact page, if you'd rather get in contact with us here similar products or similar blog posts. Since you couldn't find the one you were looking for use that 404 page to your advantage. In most Shopify themes, you can customize it now. Especially if you're using a Shopify 2.0 theme. If you can't, you can, you can have a developer create it for you. And it's not a big deal. It's really valuable. That 404 page can be a really good place to spend a little extra money so you don't lose those customers. This is especially true if you have products that are seasonal that you turn on and off. Because if you had done any promotion for a seasonal product, and someone sees an old promotion, and they click on it, but that product is like a draft product, now they're just going to get a four or four page. So you could really use that 404 page to your advantage to try to keep people or get them interested in something else if the one that they landed on initially didn't work out. I got off on a tangent there. So we did end up changing all the blog posts, we did end up removing old pages I also simplified opt in. So that was a big one. I used to think I needed to have a bajillion different options, you've probably had that thought too. I have since gotten rid of them. And I usually focus on one main opt in right, I just added a new one. So there's kind of two floating around. But I like to keep my options now for a long time. And that is the plan. So I got to clean up all the opt ins, I got to go into my email lists and clean out like different forms that I was no longer using. Just this like going through this process to simplify what was happening in my different like tech tools like on my Shopify website on my flow desk background. Simplifying, all of that was such a relief. It gave me such a sense of like knowing what was really important to my business, I was able to kind of forget about all the things I had tried that didn't work out and just start fresh through this migration which I loved that opportunity. A couple other things when we migrated. I use the turbo theme I talked about this on a previous episode I used the turbo theme from out of the sandbox. I love it. It's very flexible. It has a lot of different options and pages and page templates. It's compatible with Shopify 2.0, meaning I can have different sections all across my pages. There are some things I don't quite love, like for some reason there are no sections on blog posts, which I love might have my developer add those. But I really liked getting to explore this in my own business like as a different type of business because I don't sell products. Personally, I liked being able to use Shopify for something different and kind of explore the different options within Shopify because it is so powerful. One of the other things I loved and was excited about is that Shopify integrates directly with think if ik Thinkific is a course platform, so that you can sell courses for on your website, like a product, the checkout on Shopify, and they get access to your Thinkific classroom or whatever you want to call it. I was excited about that, because I am launching a one stop DIY shop for people who are wanting to learn to really leverage the power of their Shopify store that is coming out on February 21, to 2022. And so I was really excited to have that option to integrate over with Thinkific to house my course and not have to kind of like piece things together for my digital product that use a PDF, that works fantastic. You can sell digital products on Shopify really easily. So just integrating with the core software was just another like icing on the cake. So then I don't have to like have a separate website that students need to go to. I'm excited about that. Another thing that I've done recently, very recently, like last week, is I set up a trip wire between my Shopify often so an opt in, that's on my website that I use through flow desk, I now have a tripwire that goes to a special product page that has a product with a timer and a special discount that if you purchase it within the next few minutes, I think 15 minutes, then you can get a special discount. I wasn't sure this is something a lot of service providers do and a lot of course creators, and I wanted to give it a shot. And it was very simple using Shopify, especially like the benefits of Shopify 2.0, it was really easy to get that tripwire setup and I'm really excited about it. I've gotten several sales. And it's been very cool to see how that works on Shopify. So if that's something that you would like to know more about how to like set up a tripwire, using Shopify and your email service provider, let me know, I would love to create that kind of content if you're looking for it. All in all, I'm very excited about our migration over to Shopify, using Shopify as my own website. As someone who builds Shopify sites all the time, it just seemed to make sense, like why am I not using Shopify? And it's just because I didn't want to go through the hassle of what I thought it would take to get over, but I'm very happy with it. It's working really well. Even though I'm not a product based business. I have a single spin fantastic. So if you're thinking about migrating, definitely check out episode 47 of the podcast. You can also visit the product powerhouse YouTube channel, we are doing a couple of YouTube videos on migrating and going through that process and what it looks like for different shop owners and using the Carter cart tool. I obviously can't show every single platform you're using but I think the whole process will be really helpful and interesting. If you want to check out those videos. They're coming up on our YouTube channel on YouTube or product powerhouse, the same. Okay, that's it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed this. And I would love to know if you're migrating over to Shopify, if you're thinking about it, if you need support around it, reach out, we'd love to talk to you about it. I'm always happy to hear from podcast listeners. And if you're listening and you love the podcast and you haven't written a review yet, I would so appreciate it if you did. Thank you so much. I hope you have a great day.