I started a site about four months ago and it is becoming more popular than I imagined. The main page has picked up a PR3 and many of the sub pages PR2.
Because of the success and the workload that comes with it I want to change my pages from .html to .php so I can make a database driven site to ease the content management; my question is how can I change the pages without losing my hard earned PR?
once you change your website urls/web page extention of your website you will lost your Google Page Rank(s) must, but i will recomend you to dont change your home page extention which will help you to gain the page rank for new urls/pages later on.
If you are simply changing pagename.html to pagename .php in a per page bases you could set up mod-rewrite to redirect users and search engine bots from old page to new page name. This will help prevent loss rankings.
You can find out a lot more about server side redirection at the apache forum. [webmasterworld.com...]
How about if you don't change your main page extension? Will you keep your PR the way it was? For example we had to change a whole website from .asp to .aspx. And how long will it take to retrieve teh PR you "lost"? Thanks
PageRank depends on inbound links. If links point to urls that no longer exist, then you will not automatically recover that PR, not ever. You can place a 301 redirect from the old url to a new url and you eventually see the PR transferred over, but you have to take action.