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What is a Website Replatform? 

Your website is often the very first way your audience gets to know your brand, so if it isn’t working for you, it might need a little sprucing up. That can be for several reasons, but the important thing to remember is this: you must keep up with the times if you want to meet your audience’s expectations and stay competitive. 

If your website’s slow, doesn’t have the functionality you need, isn’t scalable for the traffic you’re getting, or poses some security threats, it might be time for a website replatform. 

Keep reading and we’ll help you figure out everything there is to know about your website replatform. We’ll even give you some tips for choosing your next content management system (CMS) and let you know why it’s important to give your content a facelift as part of a content migration.  

What is replatforming?

Website replatforming, also known as website migration, is the term used for the process of overhauling and upgrading a website. In simple terms, it’s when you shift from your current content management system (CMS) to a brand-new one. Bear in mind, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a re-design. It could focus more on repositioning your website’s technology so that it better succeeds in the ever-evolving internet landscape. This overhaul might encompass its technology or infrastructure – or both – and can be used to give your online presence a fresh start or new lease of life. 

Now, you might think that your website is absolutely fine and doesn’t need to change, but replatforming becomes necessary as technology evolves and user expectations change. In time, if left as it is, your website may begin to show its age. 

Here’s a replatforming example. Let’s say you have a retail website that was built on an older CMS platform which lacks the flexibility to handle the demands of modern e-commerce. You’ve noticed slow loading times, a lack of mobile responsiveness, and difficulties in integrating new payment gateways or third-party apps. To address these issues, you decide to replatform your website.

In this scenario, replatforming might involve migrating your website from the older CMS to a more robust and scalable e-commerce platform like Shopify or Adobe Commerce. This transition can allow for:

  • Enhanced performance: The new platform offers faster loading times, improving the user experience and reducing bounce rates.
  • Mobile optimisation: The replatformed website is automatically responsive, ensuring it displays and functions well on various devices, from smartphones to tablets.
  • Seamless integrations: You can easily integrate the latest payment gateways, shipping options, and other e-commerce tools to enhance the shopping experience.
  • Scalability: The new platform can accommodate your business’s growth, whether you’re expanding your product catalogue, adding more customers, or expanding into new markets.
  • Security: Modern e-commerce platforms often have robust security features and regular updates to protect your website and customer data.

By replatforming your website, you aren’t necessarily changing the look and feel of your site dramatically, but you are significantly improving its performance, functionality, and adaptability.

What is the difference between a website replatform and a website rewrite? 

In short, website replatforming involves upgrading your website’s technical infrastructure while also updating and optimising its content. The main goal is to address technical issues like outdated technology or security concerns and often includes tasks like migrating to a new content management system (CMS). Content may be rewritten or updated as needed to align with the new platform, ensuring the website is both technically improved and has effective content that matches the new design.

In contrast, a website rewrite goes deeper into your website’s content, focusing on alignment with your brand, SEO best practices, and user expectations. It involves not only creating fresh content but also revisiting and optimising existing content comprehensively. Unlike replatforming, it doesn’t change the technical foundation of the website, leaving the core technology stack unchanged. This results in content that’s on-brand, SEO-friendly, and user-centred, while retaining the existing technical setup.

Why replatform a website?

The internet is constantly changing. A piece of technology that was revolutionary five years ago might be completely outdated or in need of an update today. Think back to the proto-chatbots from the late 90’s and early 00’s, like Ask Jeeves, and compare them with ChatGPT. The difference in their ability to contextualise information and provide accurate answers is staggering. If anything, ChatGPT is finally delivering on the promises Ask Jeeves made but could never truly realise — seamless and intelligent interactions with users while providing accurate information. Even the founder of Ask Jeeves seems to think so.  

In the face of such rapid technological progress, it becomes inevitable that websites, too, must adapt if they want to remain effective. Just as the early 2000s proto-chatbots have given way to the advanced capabilities of ChatGPT, your website should evolve to meet the latest changing demands.

When should you replatform? 

How can you tell when it’s the right time to consider a website replatform? Easy. Look out for these key indicators:

  • Declining Performance: If your website experiences slow loading times, frequent crashes, or other performance issues, it may be a sign that your current platform is struggling to keep up with demands.
  • Outdated Technology: Is your website built on outdated technology or an old CMS? Keeping up with modern web standards and security protocols is crucial for your online presence.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: As cyber threats evolve, older platforms may become more susceptible to security breaches. Regular updates and security patches are vital for protecting your website and user data.
  • Changing User Expectations: It’s not surprising that the preferences and expectations of your users will evolve. If your website has stopped meeting the needs of your target audience, it might be time to consider an update, including content and design.
  • Inflexibility: Does your current platform make it challenging to implement new features, integrate third-party tools, or scale your online presence? Flexibility is essential in today’s digital landscape.

If you keep an eye on these, you’ll be in a far better position to make an informed decision about whether replatforming is necessary. This will make sure your website remains effective, secure, and competitive. But that’s not all. 

What are the benefits of replatforming?

A website replatform comes with a myriad of benefits. Among these, improved user experience and enhanced functionality stand out. When you invest in upgrading your website’s platform, you’re not only ensuring that it remains technologically up-to-date, but also actively working to provide a better experience for your visitors. 

With a revamped platform, users can navigate your site more smoothly, access information more readily, and interact with your content more intuitively. This, in turn, leads to increased engagement and greater user satisfaction, ultimately leading to an online presence that actually entices people. 

But the important thing to remember is that while these benefits are all great, replatforming is necessary for many businesses – and sometimes it’s no longer simply an option. 

For example, imagine you run a hotel comparison website with a decade-long history. Recently, you’ve been facing some critical issues because technology has outpaced your ability to keep up. 

Firstly, your website’s performance is a concern, particularly its sluggishness on mobile devices. Nowadays people seek an attractive and intuitive browsing experience, and it’s hard to keep their attention when your design looks outdated. Integration has also become a significant challenge, hindering your ability to offer seamless travel experiences and frustrating users with search and filtering options. 

Then there’s the lack of mobile-friendliness which is driving potential customers away. And to top it all off, your content and SEO practices require updates and there are also security concerns because your website no longer meets industry standards. Replatforming is not an option but a necessity if you want to modernise your site, ensure you stay competitive, and offer travellers a user-friendly platform for hotel bookings that they want to return to.

What should make up a replatforming checklist?

Replatforming your website is a bit like giving your online presence a makeover. It’s a substantial project, but if done right, it can breathe new life into your site and keep it competitive. Here are the essential steps to follow:

Step 1: Know your goals

Start by figuring out what you want to achieve with this replatforming. Are you looking for better performance, improved user experience, or enhanced functionality? These goals will guide the entire process.

Step 2: Take stock and clean up

Analyse your current website. What features does it have? What’s working well, and what isn’t? Identifying pain points and limitations is crucial for making informed decisions about the new platform. You can then conduct a thorough content audit. Decide what needs to be kept, updated, or discarded. A clean slate makes for a smoother transition.

Step 4: Safeguard your data

Before making any big moves, make sure you’ve got backups of your current website and data. You’ll want this kind of insurance to ensure nothing goes wrong during the transition – you don’t want to be left without a website.

Step 5: Design & development

Now it’s time for a bit of creativity. Design a fresh look for your website. Create or customise templates and layouts to match your vision. You might also need to integrate third-party tools or services.

Step 6: Consider functionality

Your website’s functionality is its backbone. Rebuild or adapt features like e-commerce, forms, or user accounts to fit with the new platform and the changing values of your audience. Since new functionalities can lead to complications with your site architecture, thorough testing is a must to ensure everything works seamlessly.

Step 7: SEO strategy

To maintain your SEO rankings, develop a strategy for handling URLs and metadata. Make sure search engines can find your content on the new platform. Regular SEO audits will help you stay on track, along with proper procedures around redirects and content that needs to be transferred. 

Step 8: Thorough testing

This is the quality control phase. Test everything rigorously to catch and fix any issues that may have cropped up in the move. Your website should look and perform beautifully across different devices and browsers.

Step 9: Content migration

When it comes to the content migration itself, if you want to simply move the same content across you’ll need to ensure the new website retains its structure and formatting. If it doesn’t, then you will need to either do some editing or rewriting. If your replatforming has added new pages or consolidated different pieces of content, then this becomes a necessity. You will also need to update internal links to match the new site structure.

Step 10: User testing

Let a select group of users test the new site and gather their feedback. This will help iron out any kinks and ensure a user-friendly experience. It’s also a good idea to get internal teams to try to break the website – it’s vital that all of the issues are ironed out at this stage. 

Step 11: Launch day

Choose a date for your big reveal. Make sure everything is in top shape, update DNS settings, and monitor the site closely post-launch to catch and address any issues as they occur.

Step 12: Post-launch care and training

Your website needs continuous attention. Monitor its performance, security, and user feedback. Keep improving and optimising. Don’t forget to train your team on the new platform and create documentation for maintenance and updates.

Step 13: Shout it out and listen for feedback

Promote your revamped website everywhere you can such as through socials or any other marketing channel. Let your audience and stakeholders know about the exciting changes. Collect feedback after the relaunch and use it to fine-tune your website further if needed. Just remember, once the site is up and running – it’s important to trust the data over anecdotal feedback. 

Which platform should you choose? 

Deciding on your new platform is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in the website replatforming process. It will depend on a number of factors, including which industry you’re in, your current site architecture, and which CMS you are moving from. 

Legacy Content Management Systems (CMS):

Websites built on older CMS platforms like Joomla, Drupal (older versions), or even custom-built CMSs may benefit from replatforming to more modern CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal 9, or a headless CMS for improved performance, security, and user experience.

E-commerce Websites:

E-commerce sites that have outgrown their current platforms or are struggling with slow performance should replatform to more robust solutions like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Adobe Commerce to enhance scalability, security, and user-friendliness.

Static Websites:

Static websites may consider replatforming to dynamic CMS-driven platforms like WordPress or Ghost to gain content management capabilities, dynamic functionality, and the ability to implement better SEO practices.

Bespoke Web Applications:

Custom web applications that are difficult to maintain, lack scalability, or face security concerns may undergo replatforming to modern web development frameworks or cloud-based solutions like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

Blogs and Publishing Sites:

Blogs and publishing websites using older platforms or lacking SEO optimisation might replatform to WordPress or other SEO-friendly CMS platforms for better content management and visibility.

Non-Profit Websites:

Non-profit organisations with outdated websites can replatform to user-friendly CMS options like WordPress or Squarespace to improve their online presence and donation capabilities. These CMS options are also easier for several contributors to make edits or add their own content. 

Portfolio and Personal Websites:

Individuals or creative professionals with outdated portfolio sites might replatform to modern, visually appealing platforms like Wix or Behance for a more visually engaging presentation of their work.

Educational Websites:

Educational institutions can replatform their websites to content management systems like Ingeniux, Campus Suite, or Jadu. These allow institutions to include course catalogues, interactive campus maps, events calendars, registration functionalities, and more.   

Government Websites:

Government agencies with outdated or less accessible websites may consider replatforming to comply with accessibility standards and improve engagement among the populace. These will be more complex needs, with no one-size-fits-all CMS. 

Will your content need an upgrade? 

Switching to a new website platform often reveals old content that is stuck in the past. Either it no longer entices readers because it’s written for an internet readership with a much longer attention span, or it’s simply not up to the standards of your competitors’ SEO and customer focused content. 

Luckily, there’s a silver lining. Your replatform presents the perfect opportunity to give that content the attention it’s been craving. You’ll get to make sure it lines up perfectly with your new website’s goals, features, design, layout, and overall brand vibe.

However, the part where you move your content, the content migration, can sometimes turn into a last-minute frenzy. Imagine having just a few weeks to give your content a complete makeover, including editing, rewriting, and reorganising it while also having to think about the rest of the replatform. 

It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of help. That’s where Proof Content comes in.  

Make your website replatform a breeze

A website replatform can help transform your site into the customer magnet it was always meant to be. With a helping hand, the process can be an absolute breeze. 
Contact us today, and we can walk you through every element of your website replatform, including your content migration. Once we’re in touch, your journey toward a more competitive and relevant online presence can begin.

What is a Website Replatform?

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