How to Know When it's Time to Re-Platform Your Business
Businesses have always invested in new strategies and systems in order to grow. However, in recent years, this has become even more significant. Whatever the industry or sector they operate in, organisations have had to modify and adapt to a post-pandemic way of working.
This has involved a lot of doing away with previous practices and embracing the major changes that have taken place. One of the more obvious adjustments that companies have had to make is to hybrid models of working.
Having seen the benefits of allowing employees to work from home at the height of Covid-19, organisations incorporated a blend of home and office-based work. Many workers are opting to work from home permanently and more remote jobs being available than pre-2020.
As part of this change, technology became a real focus, and prioritising home set ups became crucial. But tech is also playing a big part in how businesses refocus elsewhere too. One area that’s being looked at for many is the company website. If it’s been a while since it was updated, it may be time to re-platform. But what is re-platforming? And is it something that your business could benefit from?
What Does it Mean to Re-Platform your Website?
Re-platforming a website is where a business decides to move its website from one online platform to another. Also referred to as a site migration, it typically involves moving from a legacy platform to one that’s more modern, with capabilities that are up-to-date and advanced.
There are lots of benefits that come with making the move. Some of these include:
The main advantage is that you are more likely to grow your business. It could be that you’ve been dealing with issues on your site for a while and putting up with slow processes. By moving to a more advanced platform, you’re more likely to speed up the systems you have in place on-site. This means that potential customers that you’ve targeted will have a better experience, leading to more conversions.
Processes on older platforms can be dated. Where once, the site set-up was of-the-moment, it can become old and clunky, especially if you’ve been with the same platform for a long time.
Switching can give you access to simpler processes and smoother systems, updating your site without losing what your brand is known for.
If you’re considering re-platforming, where you migrate to will probably offer more advanced features and tools. These are there to meet customer expectations, delivering comprehensive user journeys, and putting you in line with your main competitors.
However, there are some things to be aware of. The main thing is that it can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’ve been with your current platform for a long time. Also, you’ll need to learn the new systems that come with a different platform set-up.
This means that planning is crucial. You’ll need to evaluate your current site and how it performs on the platform you’ve used for a while. Work out areas for improvements and address any pain points. By taking the time to assess your existing set-up, you can establish what’s top of the wish list when searching for your next platform.
You’ll also need to be aware of the risks that come with moving so much data.
What Happens to your Site When you Re-Platform?
It can be a real risk, moving so much data from one platform to another. Therefore, it’s worth understanding what happens to your site and how the process of re-platforming works.
- First, a migration plan is created. This is a pathway that forms the blueprint of the move. In these early stages, your developers will review things like system architecture, existing integrations, and front-end features. This is so they can take what’s there and rebuild on the new platform.
- You might decide to hire an external agency to help with the move, in which case, this process is broken down into different sections. They will conduct an audit of your current site, covering security issues and site stability among other things, before looking at your front-end coding. Typically, the agency team will leave the coding and design as it is until they need to rewrite it in the new platform.
- When re-platforming, the SEO must also be prioritised. Online visibility can dip after a move, so if you’ve chosen to use a web agency, they will work to protect your rankings.
From there, once the checks have been carried out, you’ll need to focus on data. Moving the data without losing anything is one of the biggest concerns during re-platforming. Migration APIs are probably the easiest way to move your ecommerce information over. Here, data is automatically reformatted to match your previous platform. This is because they share the same system architecture.
Cross-platform migrations require a little more work. This is because the data is organised differently in the two platforms. Here, data is exported and then uploaded to the new platform.
Are Other Options Available?
You might decide to try an alternative to re-platforming. A reskin, for example, refreshes the colours, fonts, and existing set-up of the site at a surface level. Or you might opt for a redesign, which is similar to a reskin but could involve moving sections of the site around for better useability.
A full rebuild is another option. This can be a mix of re-platforming, redesign and reskin, or it could be done without changing how the site looks at all.
Is re-platforming right for your business? Is it time to move on?