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Switching a site to Wordpress
Switching to Wordpress - Will this create a brand new site?

 11:48 am on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've spent the past three years building and optimising a site for one of my clients using standard html pages with a few php ones thrown in for functionality.

It rules the internet for its phrases in our location and is number 1 for virtually every discernible variation in search terms.

I have a new job offer and so will not be continuing working on this site after November 31st so they're looking around for others to take it on.

One company has suggested switching the site to Wordpress but I am concerned that this will in effect create a brand new site, thus dropping it out of the search engines, etc.

Can anyone tell me if this is correct or have I got the information wrong? I suppose I am trying to protect all my work and don't want to see it thrown away.

Many thanks



 12:06 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

In general, WordPress sites do very well in the SEs. It really depends upon how well they're built. No matter what, the site will likely shift in ranking at least for some period of time while the SEs figure out the new version of the site.


 1:16 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's the 'some period of time' that is always the worry.

Many thanks for the feedback Lorax.



 1:23 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

If they are a skilled company they will be able to recreate the site and its contents using wordpress, keeping the same URLs and headers. However, I seriously question whether this is a good idea. What's wrong with continuing to maintain the current site, and retro-fitting a custom CMS into the HTML pages in phases?

I'd start by setting up handlers to have .html parsed as PHP, and then switch out core repeated blocks in the .html pages with PHP calls. New pages would be handled by using a custom 404 handler or mod_write for non-existent files, so that it would be directed into fully virtual (dynamic) pages.


 7:20 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's the 'some period of time' that is always the worry.

We converted a well ranked local CPA website from home rolled html to WordPress earlier this year. We chose to wait until after tax season due to the fear of redesigning the site in their busy season.

I think we relaunched on May 1st, and there was no significant drop in ranking at any time. We 301'd everything that mattered to their new locations, and spent a few weeks chasing down links to get them updated.

Overall, seamless. The site was only 55-60 pages.


 1:49 am on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yep, I moved my site to WP with completely new URLs, Google had it all sorted out in about three weeks. Some of the old URLs are still showing up as 404s in my GWT, that's about the only fallout that remains. Had great rankings before, great rankings after. But I too carefully picked my slowest time just in case. I didn't have to, as it turned out - but I still would again.


 10:28 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

netmeg, the only reason you would still have those old pages showing as 404s is because you didn't do your redirects!

There is nothing wrong or unsafe with changing a site to use wordpress and it shouldn't affect your rankings in the slightest as long as you keep your site structure and urls etc all the same.

The easiest way to do this (and a safer way to prevent hackers) is to install wordpress in a different folder from your root, for example install at domain.com/wp-site rather then doamin.com

In doing this, not only do it help keep your wp installation a little more hidden, but you can also work on it as a temp site without effecting your main site.

And then once your ready to go live you simple tell wordpress to display on the root domain and not the installed folder (simple to do have a google), remove your old pages (archive them in a folder or sub-domain which is blocked) and your all done :)


 2:32 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

It really depends upon how well they're built.

This is VITAL. If converting to WP is done by someone whose SEO knowledge is weak, rankings can suffer a lot of damage.

I'm presently involved in helping to rescue a site that lost a big percentage of its organic search traffic after a very bad WP conversion a few months ago. The site looked nice, but on the technical side many things were poorly done.

Pay what it takes to get someone truly competent.


 12:03 pm on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

As per my view, Wordpress will be best CMS. It is an open source that offers huge benefits to update, distribute and share. Using it, you will be able to get high-profile clients, and it will also API support. Wordpress web design will have more flexibility.

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