Yes you can keep old files and simply link to them if you'd like. But to have their URLs like you suggest /oldpost1/ you'll need to edit your htaccess file to make that happen or use a redirect plugin. The easiest way is to simply link to the .html (or whatever) files.
thank you lorax - i started slowly to move main content to wp as 'pages' and will progress with that while keeping 'old' pages as static .html files linked to new wp pages at least for time being until i gain some experience with htaccess and finally decide how to deal with them...
I am doing exactly the same thing right now! I will have to create a 301 redirect (and take a pagerank flow penalty) for practically every page though as WP creates an invisible ./index.html for every page, plus I am moving to a completely new WP installation with a different root directory.
Currently I have set up a test subdomain with the new WP, with a new premium template, and I am slowly moving content across. I have put a disallow * in the robots.txt of new root directory so I don't get google duplicate penalty. Plus I set WP privacy to noindex every page, just in case. Dispute this my Google webmaster. Crawl stats for the main domain have mysteriously spiked to x3 the norm so I suspect google is actually ignoring the request but just not publishing what it finds.
I will try to post any lessons learned along the way.
i'm not sure what to do with 301 redirects in light of this post:
i get some good trafic for some old .html pages and would not like to loose it...
Once the content is live on the wordpress site, you could alter the links on the old pages so that all the navigation now points to all of the equivalent new pages. The new pages should link to each other and not back to anything on the old site. The new pages will be indexed quickly.
The old pages should also contain the rel="canonical" attribute. I've just done something similar, moving static .php pages to a new system with extensionless URLs and there's not a ripple to be seen in rankings or traffic.
thanks for helping, g1smd - i will now look into rel="canonical" attribute and apply it as you suggest.
Here's the traffic for that site - [twitpic.com...] - and you can't spot the join.
Looks good - no movements in traffic at all - well done :)
Now, I just discovered I have bit of a problem which I don't know yet how to resolve:
To apply rel="canonical" attribute to old pages I would need to leave old pages in its folders on the server.
The trouble is that specific folder address is exactly the adress of my new wp page – for example:
folder ‘mysite.com/1/’ becomes page ‘mysite.com/1/‘
If I leave old folder on server (in which I want to keep old urls) my new page is not showing in browser.
When I delete folder from the server, the new page is showing.
I know of course that I can change url of new pages, but old forlder urls are good, well chosen and I would like to keep them.
Is there a way to solve this issue?
Or should I just change all url’s?
Or am I missing something obvious!?
If the new content is at the same URLs as the old content, just delete the old files and install the new site. Searchengines index URLs not files.
By the way, URLs for folders and for the index page in a folder end with a trailing slash. URLs for pages do not have a trailing slash. Do not fall into the trap of blindly adding a trailing slash to the end of URLs for pages.
thx g1smd :)
to apply rel="canonical" attribute i guess i have to leave some of old pages on server. the trouble is these pages are in folders that i have to delete to enable new wp pages to appear on the same url.
this is an example:
in /folder1/ of mysite.com i have 2 pages:
index page : www.mysite.com/folder1/
additional page: www.mysite.com/folder1/oldpage1.html
to replace above content i would like to create 2 new wp pages with following urls:
to do that, i have to delete from the server /folder1/ otherwise the page www.mysite.com/folder1/ is not showing up.
if i delete /folder1/ from the server i have to delete also /folder1/oldpage1.html as this page is inside the folder
if i delete /folder1/oldpage1.html then there is no place to apply rel="canonical" attribute (?!)
my english is not so great :/ so i'm not sure if you get what i'm thinking
You're probably better off setting an external redirect as follows:
RewriteRule ^folder1/oldpage1\.html$ http://www.example.com/newpage [R=301,L]
Alternatively you could move the old page on the server to /tempfolder/tempfile1.html and add this (internal rewite) code before the Wordpress internal rewrite so you can serve content from your old file when the old URL is requested:
RewriteRule ^folder1/oldpage1\.html /tempfolder/tempfile1.html [L]
The old page will contain the
URLs and files are not at all the same thing. They are merely "related" by the action of the server configuration.
ha! that seems exactly what i have to do - i like the way your mind works, mine would never come of this idea..
i will now practice rewrite rules prior to implementing it to live site.. thank you g1smd for your kind support :)
Once you really "get" mod_rewrite and how redirects and rewrites work you open a whole new world of possibilities.