Someone who uses Volusion.com for their shopping cart hosting asks a question about the process of moving their propitiatory content into WordPress and WooCommerce.
The first thing to understand when you are making this type of move is that normally you are not the first person to go through the process.
When you are looking for help moving away from one system and into another system you should concentrate your requests for help from the new system you are moving to.. in this case it would be general WordPress Help and WooCommerce Help that you want to look for. Although the fine people at Volusion may be able to help you for some steps it is really not in their interest to have you leave them.. so .. just saying..
Converting from one CMS to another is normally pretty easy today. Often there are plugins made specifically to address the complete transfer but if not the process can often be completed by going through an intermediate conversion to XML or CSV.
When Importing general content you will want to convert your content to posts. You can convert to standard posts or custom posts. I suggest you look at the CSV Import Tool which can also handle XML and Custom Post Types.
When you are converting content from stores it can get a little more difficult.
The complexity of your store content including variations within products that require additional pricing or ordering information to be collected at the time of checkout can mean some extensive planing on the export and import.
You will need to find corresponding fields in the new software that you can populate with your original information. Unfortunately it is not always perfect but most of the time you can at least get a large portion of your content transferred through plugins or modification of tables and content prior to import. This will reduce the manual labor to get everything perfect.. and remember you should check all of your products individually for correctness after import.
Permalink Structure and URL Changes for SEO
When you are moving to a new site it is likely that your url structures will change. Although you can often fake url structures in WordPress by adding a .html .php .asp on the end of your links that are basically meaningless for the processing of the content within WordPress going through this trouble may not be enough or even worth it in the end.
When your content moves the problem you will have will be with customers that have hardcoded links or shortcuts not so much with indexing bots that traverse your content.
Using 301 redirects to help people find your content
If you have under 100 pages and your site is not getting lots of traffic then i probably would not worry about 301 redirects. Setting up Redirects should really be temporary. You want to reduce errors for your visitors for their first few returns to your site but you don’t need to keep these redirects up permanently.
Sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others will quickly find and index your site and 301 redirects will not help bots.
You should install the google xml sitemaps plugin it will index all your pages and announce them to google for indexing.
When you setup your wordpress permalinks remember to include the use of the ID field and don’t use the Date Field in your link structure. the ID will let wordpress always find the page if you change your permalink in the future.. the date will cause problems.
If you have exported your volusion store you will want to use the WooCommerce import plugin to move them.
If you are using credit card transactions instead of paypal you will have to make sure that your hosting company is certified for cc transactions and you will have to ask about their merchant services.. personally i would suggest PayPal because its very popular but you may find that partially completed purchases in woocommerce cause you problems.. always check your paypal account for the payment before you ship.
Remember that no matter how new the service you are probably not the first to go through a transfer from one host to another or one platform to another.
People have a variety of different reasons to make these changes but hopefully your reason is that your business is getting larger and you need more options.