We often receive questions when an agency conducts a major website upgrade, changes content management systems, or both. We created this checklist that will help ensure your redesign is successful.


  1. Keep the file name and directory structure the same, if possible. If it isn’t possible, use 301 redirects to send visitors to the appropriate new pages. For more on 301 redirects, read tips from Bing (External link) and Google (External link). Notify other websites that link to you of the changes.
  2. Register for the commercial search engines’ webmaster tools.
  3. Update the XML sitemap (External link) on your website and notify the search engines via webmaster tools.
  4. Notify the search engines of content that has been removed via the webmaster tools. Specifically, in Bing, use the Site Move tool (External link).

Search Setup

  1. Within the Search Admin Center:
  2. If you are transitioning your website to HTTPS, we have an additional Preparing Your Site for HTTPS checklist.

If you’ve undergone a redesign, followed these steps, and your site search results are not what you’d expect, send us an email.

Troubleshooting Tip: Do you want to have real-time updates to your search index, and full control over your page titles and descriptions? Then i14y, our content indexing API, is for you! We currently have a Drupal module that will hook your CMS into i14y.

If you use a different CMS, or don’t have one at all, you still can develop an API of your content that meets the i14y specs. Read our technical documentation to learn more.

Additional Resource: