Can you lose traffic when rebuilding your website to Webflow?

June 3, 2022
By:
Szymon Zurek

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Yes, you can lose traffic when rebuilding your website to Webflow if you're not careful. Of course, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of switching to Webflow on your website's traffic. First of all, take care to preserve your website's existing content and link structure as much as possible. Additionally, it may be worth considering a temporary drop in traffic as a trade-off for the long-term benefits of using Webflow - such as a more user-friendly platform, better design options, and increased flexibility as well as faster loading speeds.

In this article, we'll cover the topic in and out, and by the end of it, hopefully, you will have a better understanding of how Webflow can affect your website's traffic.


What organic traffic looks like before and after Webflow

We had a swimming pool client who was on WordPress, and was hosting their website with a local New Zealand hosting provider. They already had some pretty good content going on their website, which ranked relatively well, with about 400 organic views a month. Once we switched to Webflow, we saw a decrease in organic traffic by 10% for the first 3 weeks. This was due to a few changes in URL structures that had to be done. Other content and URLs were replicated from WordPress into Webflow.

In the following 3 months, the organic reach and traffic grew by over 16% compared to the previous period. Keep in mind that our client hasn't added any new content since launch.

As of now, when comparing results from the last 6-month periods, there's been a 22% increase in total impressions (now near ~120k), and over a 50% increase in organic traffic.

Every website is different, and organic traffic might drop more depending on how many URLs you're changing and how many 301 redirects you need to create to accommodate the URL changes.

If you copy every-single page into Webflow with the exact same content, you will not lose any traffic.


In what situation do you lose traffic when rebuilding into Webflow?

Ignoring some basic URL structure rules

The main reason you will lose traffic when rebuilding your website into Webflow, is if you make changes to your website that end up affecting your position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

For example, if you used to have a page on your WordPress website that ranked really well for a certain keyword, and then you rebuilt that page on Webflow and changed the URL, you would then need to create a 301 redirect from the old WordPress URL to the new Webflow URL. Creating this 301 redirect will drop the page's traffic significantly. We've seen decreases as dramatic as 80%.

However, if you really need to change the URL structure or don't have much traffic yet, you will need to create some 301s. If you don't do this, Google will eventually figure out that the page has moved, but it will take some time. In the meantime, your rankings for that keyword will drop, and you will lose traffic.

Changing your content to be less valuable to searchers

Another factor that causes drops in traffics is less valuable content on your pages. We've had this situation with a client before, where they wanted their website to be 'minimalist', and they didn't care about their rankings. They wanted leads to find information through their sales team rather than the website. So, overtime, within 6 months their organic traffic was significantly decreased since search engines didn't favour their pages because they had less valuable content for visitors.

Not optimising the website speed

Truth is, Webflow is not a silver bullet out of the box. Its the best tool out there, but to use it effectively, you need hire an expert or be one yourself. If your WordPress website was built really well by an expert, and you had amazing hosting with clean code and top speeds, you will need to follow the exact same practices within Webflow. If you do not do this and upload heavy images and not optimise your CSS classes, you may end up with a slower website and lose traffic.

However, if your website on Wordpress wasn't built by a pro who optimises everything, chances are that just a switch to Webflow will increase your website speeds significantly, and thus ranking as well as traffic.

Changing meta descriptions and SEO titles

Title and meta descriptions have less and less weight on ranking as Google and other search engines move away from keyword focus to user experience and engagement. However, if you do change your title tags or meta descriptions, you may lose some rankings for the short term until Google reindexes your website and realises that the new titles and descriptions are more relevant.


When should you not rebuild your website into Webflow?

There are certain situations where it might not make sense to rebuild your website into Webflow. Below are a few examples:

Your website is already really fast and optimised

If your WordPress website is already loading in under 2 seconds, and you're getting great search engine rankings, there might not be a lot of value in rebuilding it into Webflow. You might see some small improvements in speed or Rankings, but unless you're planning on making some major changes to your website, it might not be worth the effort.

You have an Ecommerce website with 1000s of products

If you have an eCommerce website with thousands of products, and you're generating a lot of revenue from it, rebuilding it into Webflow might not be the best idea. It's going to take a lot of time and effort to rebuild, and you might not see a significant return on investment. Wordpress also has more eCommerce options since it is open source. If you want some advanced functionality in eCommerce with Webflow, you either have to wait for the platform to be updated by the developers, or seek 3rd party apps that can plug into Webflow, making developement costs higher.

Your website is already ranking really well

If your website is already ranking really well for all the keywords you care about, rebuilding it into Webflow might not be necessary. You might see some small improvements, but unless you're planning on making major design and branding changes to your website, it might not be worth the effort.


When should you rebuild your website into Webflow?

There are certain situations where it might make sense to rebuild your website into Webflow. Below are a few examples:

Your website is slow or not optimised

If your WordPress website is slow or not optimised, rebuilding it into Webflow might be a good idea. You'll likely see a significant improvement in speed and Rankings, which can lead to more traffic and conversions.

You want more control over the design

If you're not happy with the design of your WordPress website, rebuilding it into Webflow might be a good idea. With Webflow, you have complete control over the design and can create a custom look that matches your brand.

You're not happy with your hosting

If you're not happy with your WordPress hosting, rebuilding your website into Webflow might be a good idea. With Webflow, you can host your website on their platform and take advantage of their CDN, which can improve speed and reliability.

You want to switch to a different CMS

If you're not happy with WordPress as a CMS and how slow it loads, rebuilding your website into Webflow might be a good idea. With Webflow, you can use their CMS, which is designed for building websites and writing any type of content with its dynamic CMS system. It's more user-friendly and has features that are specific to website design and development.


What are the benefits of rebuilding your website into Webflow?

There are several benefits of rebuilding your WordPress website into Webflow. Below are a few of the most significant benefits:

Improved speed and performance

One of the biggest benefits of rebuilding your website into Webflow is the improved speed and performance. With Webflow, you can take advantage of their CDN, which can help improve the loading time of your website. In addition, Webflow websites are generally more lightweight and optimised than WordPress websites. This can lead to improved Rankings and more traffic.

Improved design and control

Another benefit of rebuilding your website into Webflow is the improved design and control. With Webflow, you have complete control over the look and feel of your website. You can create a custom design that matches your brand and add advanced functionality without having to code or hire a developer.

Improved security

When you rebuild your website into Webflow, you can take advantage of their improved security features. With Webflow, you can host your website on their platform and benefit from their secure hosting environment. In addition, Webflow websites are less likely to be hacked than WordPress websites since they're more lightweight and optimised.


What are the disadvantages of rebuilding your website into Webflow?

There are a few disadvantages of rebuilding your WordPress website into Webflow. Below are the most significant disadvantages:

Higher development costs

One of the biggest disadvantages of rebuilding your website into Webflow is the higher development costs. While you might be able to do some of the work yourself, you'll likely need to hire a Webflow expert to help with the design and development. This can increase the cost of rebuilding your website.

Longer rebuild time

Another disadvantage of rebuilding your website into Webflow is the longer rebuild time. It can take several weeks or even months to rebuild a WordPress website into Webflow. This is due to the fact that you'll need to create a custom design and add advanced functionality. This means that you get a better working product, but it will take longer to develop as it needs to be created from scratch.

Potential for data loss

One of the risks of rebuilding your website into Webflow is the potential for data loss. This is because you'll need to export your WordPress content and import it into Webflow. There's always a risk that something could go wrong during the export or import process, which could lead to data loss if your website is massive.


Conculsion: How much traffic will you get when rebuilding to Webflow?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size and scope of your website, the quality of your content, and the competitiveness of your niche. In general, you can expect to see an improvement in traffic after rebuilding your website into Webflow. This is due to the fact that Webflow websites are generally faster and more optimised than WordPress websites. In addition, you'll have complete control over the design and functionality of your website, which can lead to a more engaging user experience.

Rebuilding to webflow - traffic changes we've recorded

2-4 weeks after rebuild Traffic drop by 10%

3 months after rebuild Traffic increase by 15%

6 months after rebuild Traffic increase by 20% - 50%

Not following URL strucutres Traffic decrease by 80%

Using less content on pages Traffic decrease by 20%

Changing title & meta descriptions Short term traffic decrease by 15%

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