eCommerce migration to Prestashop 1.7 and SEO
A customer with an eCommerce Prestashop 1.6 contacted me to request the upgrade of the structure to version 184.108.40.206 (last stable release at the time of the beginning of work) and clearly without losing the Google ranking of the old site, how was the project planned and implemented? And above all what results have been obtained?
The old site had achieved excellent results in the Serp had also grown a lot in terms of contents with about 900 products, 2000 customers and about seventy blog posts but not only, given the nature of the activity were also present about 70 couriers (!) and about 30 additional plugins of various kinds: a situation to be treated with "pliers" but with method, patience (a lot) and attention (a lot).
Phase 1 Preliminary Analysis:
To deal well with a project of this size is essential to understand the situation from which we start, the version of the CMS was outdated and had never been updated and was stuck to the version of Prestashop 220.127.116.11 and keep in mind that the available release (for Prestashop 1.6) was 18.104.22.168, this made any update impossible or at least at risk of errors, which is why we opted for a migration of data to a version 1.7 of Prestashop, in order to have a stable and clean base.
A migration must consider the amount of data that must be treated and that should not be lost or corrupted and these include: products (with their IDs and associations to both categories and brands), categories, registered customers (including passwords), placed orders, couriers, discounts, brands, variables, blog posts and CMS pages, we had clearly recovered all the meta-descriptions of all areas of the site, we relied on MigrationPro: PrestaShop Upgrade and Migrate Tool .
Template had to be the same, some specific features were not lost as the blog, decided this was made a list of all modules and checked one by one as they were set and if really useful and then checked the availability of the same for version 1.7 of Prestashop.
It was also analyzed the hosting service of the customer to understand what kind of features it had and what management panel offered, it is important to have tools that allow you to change settings quickly and especially to be able to quickly put your hand to any problems, the site was on italian hosting service with two different services combined (?) a shared hosting and a kind of VPS without guaranteed resources all managed with Direct Admin, which is why we proposed to migrate to a cloud hosting service with guaranteed resources and management via Cpanel.
Phase 2 hosting migration:
The data migration was done via ftp directly between the two machines to avoid data loss, only the database was migrated manually and then verified and reconnected to Prestashop, with this operation the loading time was lowered by about 3.5s consider that the php version could not be higher than 5.6 for compatibility limits of Prestashop 22.214.171.124. Once verified that everything worked properly and targeted the DNS on the new service we moved on to the creation of a subdomain on which to develop the new site.
Step 3 installation and configuration Prestashop 1.7 and templates:
After the creation of a sub-domain like new.domainname.com we started the installation process of Prestashop 1.7 in a canonical way followed by the installation of the template and its graphical setup that had to necessarily resume the aesthetics of the old site for a matter of consistency and immediacy of use by customers already acquired, improving the usability especially in the mobile version.
Step 4 Data Migration:
Here comes into play Migration Pro, the module is installed on the target site and configure the url of the site from which the data will be taken, done this from the component itself you proceed to download the "bridge" module that will be installed on the old site.
At this point on the destination site in the form setup will appear the validation of the connection with the origin site of the data and the selection of data that you want to migrate, it is essential to be able to perform this operation in different steps, customers and orders for example will be migrated almost at the end of the work so as not to lose the purchases that in the meantime will be made on the old site, which during the whole operation will remain online and working.
A crucial aspect is to recover the IDs of products and categories, Prestashop has the bad habit of inserting them in the url and if different they would give 404 error in the search. In this regard, we asked the customer to integrate a module for the elimination of IDs with its automatic redirect between the path with and without ID, clearly with the aim of further improving SEO.
Step 5 installation and configuration of additional modules:
With a lot of patience were installed additional modules selected from the previous site and several substitutes to optimize the functionality including the ability to request a quote, a chat for live help, Canonical redirect, several payment gateways including Pagantis and Doofinder to enhance the search for products, each of them required manual setup and correction of minor display errors through additional CSS code to better fit the template and the needs of the customer.
Step 6 SEO check and site replacement:
Several checks have been made throughout the migration process, once resolved some 404 errors due to the different way of naming some folders in Prestashop 1.7, the work is finished.