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How to Migrate from WordPress to the HubSpot COS

Tue, Feb 9, 2016

Topics: Design, Web Design, WordPress, HubSpot, SEO, Social Media

Previously, I explained why most people migrate their website from HubSpot to WordPress.

And here are some reasons why: limited control, flexibility issues, and expensive offering.

But let’s be honest.

WordPress isn’t perfect either. In fact, there are occasions when you find yourself hating on WordPress because it lacks the necessary features your website needs.

Plus, there’s the constant threat of hackers trying to hijack your system. And you know it’s just a matter of time before they strike.

Fortunately, HubSpot COS has one of the most powerful marketing tools and key integrations around.

Here's how your business can benefit from using HubSpot COS:

  • You can create personalized content for several demographics
  • Customized templates guaranteed to work with any device; each template supports every HubSpot advanced feature
  • Better analytics via their Content Optimization System (COS)
  • Built in social media feature that measures social reach, traffic, leads, and sales; ideal for businesses that primarily use social media
  • Built in SEO feature for non-SEO experts
  • Personalize your email marketing over several listings
  • Their templates are mobile responsive
  • Built in Web Application Accelerator (WAA) allows for faster response time by up to 500%
  • Standby support engineer and a dedicated technician
  • Hassle-free website that works flawlessly out of the box

In this article, I'll teach you how to migrate your WordPress website to HubSpot COS in just 8 simple steps.

Here's a quick overview of each step:

  1. Review the current site before migrating from WordPress to HubSpot COS
  2. List out templates to be created
  3. Keep a list of your web pages
  4. Template creation
  5. Moving over the content from the live site
  6. Importing posts from WordPress to HubSpot
  7. Adding redirects
  8. Final touches

Are you ready?

Let's proceed.

Step 1 - Review of the current site before migrating from WordPress to HubSpot COS

At this stage, you have to sit down with the stakeholders and create a “wish list”.

If you’re planning to re-brand your business, then it has to go through a major overhaul, system-wise and content-wise. And this is the stage where you have to incorporate ideas you’ve gathered.

You can create a bucket list, where you separate each wishes between “urgent” and “nice to have but not necessary”.

Then do a review of the current site and determine what features you want to have and which can be tossed to save development costs and enhance the speed of the site.

Performing this initial stage is crucial since this is the foundation for the succeeding steps.

Step 2 - List out templates to be created

Check all the pages and create a list of templates your team has to build.

The common templates my clients are asking for are:

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Product page
  • Contact page
  • Blog Landing pages
  • General two and three column templates

Take note that HubSpot has a set of best practices for creating a landing page. This set of guidelines ensures that your landing page is optimized for growth and traffic.

Click here to check the spreadsheet I’ve used recently to migrate my client’s site to HubSpot.

Step 3 - Keep a list of your web pages

Just like migrating TO WordPress from HubSpot, you'll want to create a spreadsheet to keep track of the pages on your site now and where they're going.

During this process, you get a chance to look at the flow of your site. Along the way, you may find redundant pages; while others can be broken up.

Let me give you an example.

Say you’re in the wedding planning business.

You’ve got the following services: Consultation, Planning, and Full Service. However, you have one “Services Page” and you want to target each service's keyword. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to expand so each service has its own page.

Or, maybe you have a “Product Features” page and a “Product Pricing” page. But somehow you realize they would work better as one page instead of two.

Step 4 - Template creation

Have your developer create the templates you'll need for your site.

Here are the things to keep in mind when creating templates:

  • Make sure the templates are going to work for the future and for as many pages as possible
  • Each section of the template should use flexible modules
  • Instead of building complex groups, make those custom modules
  • The less content you put into the template, the better
  • Leave content for the actual page created from the template
  • Use global groups for headers, footers, common CTAs, or sidebars so when you want to edit them in the future, you only have to edit them in one spot

Step 5 - Moving over the content from the live site

Once the templates are done, you’re ready to move the content from the live site.

This content includes pages, posts, and user credentials (including their new roles in HubSpot). Use the spreadsheet you created to track the process on content migration for pages.

Step 6 - Importing posts from WordPress to HubSpot

Posts from WordPress can be imported using HubSpot's Blog Importer Tool. This will bring over posts with their images and categories (or tags) as topics.

Remember, HubSpot only uses a single organizing system, not tags and categories.

Can you get an “edge” over WordPress by using a single organizing system?

The answer is, “No”.

Single organizing system is just a simpler version of what WordPress is using. Usually, we use WP categories to group a number of post about the same topic. On the other hand, we historically use tags as meta tags. But search engines don’t use them anymore.

In most cases, it’s better to migrate the categories to HubSpot topics so you can group articles easier, but it depends on the specific WordPress site and how you use it.

Step 7 - Adding redirects

At this stage, you’ve already transferred the pages and posts.

Using the correct templates, you'll want to look at the spreadsheet and add redirects to your HubSpot account.

Redirects will help search engines follow your content from your old site to the new one. These redirects will go live once the domain goes online in HubSpot.

Step 8 - Final touches

Make the DNS changes (don't touch the MX record for email!) and enjoy your new HubSpot COS-hosted site!

Additional Tips

  • Let’s assume that you and your team have zero knowledge about HubSpot. My advice is to have one of your team members, or even yourself, go through the HubSpot Academy classes and earn the certifications. Additionally, take the Design Certification to gain insights on the COS. One benefit of having to go through the certification process is the potential of branching out and creating your own consultancy business.
  • Learning a new platform can be daunting. But there’s a better way. You can choose to hire a consultant to iron out any confusing concepts. This will cut the learning curve in half while streamlining the process so it will align with your business goals.
  • Create a premium content (Ebook, video, report, etc.) right away. This will nurture your funnel as you go through cultivating the traffic of your brand new site.
  • Install HubSpot’s Share browser extension, setup your social media accounts, and start monitoring your social media activities.
  • Make sure to send people to “Thank You” pages when they fill out a form. It’s a great place to get them to reconvert or start following you on social media.

Final Words

Migrating your WordPress site to HubSpot COS is like moving to a new home. Remember when you asked your real estate agent to take you on a tour around town so you could find that perfect place for you and your family? Didn’t you plan ahead and made a list of things to do before you moved in? Aren’t you glad that you made the right choice based on your needs and your budget?

And through it all, you learned how to systematically separate the things you had to bring from those you had to leave behind. The sooner you grasp this concept, the quicker you'll understand migration.

This process is the same formula I’ve been using for years. My process has always been the same whether I’m working on an enterprise website or a community blog.

My goal is to teach you the simplest method to move from one service to another without the headaches and the hassles. I know that figuring out the best design for your site is overwhelming. What’s more, you still have to go through planning, deploying, and implementing your migration.

With extensive experience working with WordPress and HubSpot, I can help flesh out your best ideas. We can work together to build the best looking, power-packed website that’s worth your investment.

Simply click this link if you find this guide helpful and if you want to work with me.