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Ok so upgrading site, how do I minimize downtime risk for SERPs?

     
4:10 pm on Feb 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi so I'm in 1-2 weeks I'm updating my site and it requires 1-2 days of downtime with my current production site (coz server software is being updated too).

I plan on opening beta.example.com and then move it to production. How do I handle the search engine penalties then? Please assist. Thanks!
5:36 pm on Feb 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ideally you should not have any downtime. Do you have another server you can move the old site to and serve the requests from it while you are updating your main server?
6:21 pm on Feb 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Exactly what JesterMagic said. Upload to temporary servers and when set, switch the A records to the temporary servers. I wouldn't use beta except for testing.
7:13 pm on Feb 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Same sentiment as others. Just be sure to update your sitemap if there are any structural changes and if you're moving to AMP let google know about it.
10:37 pm on Feb 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Make sure to set up HTTP Basic Authentication for the beta site so googlebot requests get a 401 response.
1:45 am on Feb 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The main issue is that we are updating php on the server so canít run old website 😐
4:04 am on Feb 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If this is a real issue you will purchase a six month plan on a suitable host, move your site there, and then take all the time you want upgrading, rebuilding your own server.

NO DOWNTIME INVOLVED, just money.
8:58 am on Feb 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks even for 1-2 days downtime? :-)
11:56 am on Feb 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I would. Hosting is not expensive it would only really cost you the time to setup your sites on the new server.

To be frank as long as your site returns a 503 error (service unavailable) and it's only down for a day or so your site will probably survive fine in the SERPS. It may disappear for a bit as Google wonders where your site is but when Google finds your site back online those page should return to the SERPS.

The problem is if for some reason you take longer in upgrading your server or Google does remove your site and not return it to the same spot for some reason as before. If the Search Console doesn't give you any ideas then your are stuck as you can't contact Google directly to find out what has happened and how to fix it. It's a small chance this may happen but it still is a chance and only you can decide if it is worth taking for your site.
12:27 pm on Feb 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'd also add, some of your inbound links might go away if they think your site has shut down. Unlikely, but it could happen, especially if someone's running a crawler to check for broken links.
1:20 pm on Feb 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Upgrading PHP takes so long?! I've actually never bothered about the server upgrades as I'm using WordPress on CloudWays - Hassle free life :D

FYI, my site was once down for 22 hours, and it resulted in: wrong meta description, rank lost.
1:45 pm on Feb 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps I'm missing something here but in the 21st century, everyone should be using version control and test environments ideally all in the same server. Moving shouldn't be that difficult.
3:13 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The problem KaseyM is that php can't be 2 different versions on same server..
4:17 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How long does it take to install/upgrade php? Downtime is probably very minimal.
7:31 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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php can't be 2 different versions on same server
Are you sure youíre with the right host? Mine currently runs about half a dozen php versions, though of course they strongly recommend that sites default to the most recent version, whatever it may happen to be.
7:38 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@born2rrun - wrong. I have a plesk server and I can have different domains running on different PHP versions at a touch of a button. Sounds like your hosting provider isn't up to the job.

@lucy24 most recent version is 7.2 which I've had trouble with particularly with older wordpress plugins. 7.0 and 7.1 would be the better bets. As always, test test test.
11:06 am on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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To run different php versions i think you have to run these cpanel type software. Please correct me if Iím wrong
11:31 am on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@born2run cPanel and Plesk are the two that make it the easiest. It's possible to do it for basic servers though. How come you don't have plesk or cPanel?
11:54 am on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like born2run may be running his own server. It's possible on Apache and IIS without cpanel. Google "multiple php versions apache" for more information (or "multiple php versions iis").

If you let us know what software you are running on your server I am sure someone can point you in a better direction.
12:01 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you self-manage, you can also run different versions of PHP-FPM simultaneously (on different ports).

What's your set-up, born2run?

in the 21st century, everyone should be using version control and test environments

I don't think that's a "should", and it doesn't necessarily make a site move easier. For me personally, those things would add too much unneeded complexity to my project -- which I'll admit are fairly straightforward (and therefore easier to maintain without additional environments).
2:03 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys, yes I'm running a dedicated server running LAMP ie linux, apache, mysql and php. I'd have to buy an expensive cpanel license and it's going to be a memory hog etc.. any advice?
2:32 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If the software is outdated, maybe the hardware is, too? Perhaps you can take the opportunity to move to a new dedicated server. If you've had a server for a few years, for example, you'll often find new servers for the same price but with better specs, or the same specs at a lower price.
2:35 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'll just buy an yearly cpanel license to run 2 php versions on different subdomains.. it's gonna cost around $325..
2:50 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I asked around and now installing cpanel on the non-existing cpanel LAMP server would be re-installing the OS again.. so I"m confused..
5:40 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Do some more asking, and study the Apache docs. I honestly can't think of any reason why cpanel (or hand-rolled equivalent) would be a requirement, since that's simply an interface allowing multiple users to relay preferences to the server without having server access. If it's your own server, you can express the preference directly.
12:06 pm on Apr 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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born2run, if your upgrade is not done yet I would advice you to make a full copy of your environment on additional server or even on vps.

It is easy to setup your current setup copy there.

As soon as you do it you will be able to switch your traffic there and be able to upgrade your main server (just set up your main server ip in your /etc/hosts file and only you will look to test environment). It is safe road.

It could be few minutes to update software but if something goes wrong than you will get downtime of few days because of unexpected crashes / bugs / errors.

Healthy servers is definitely a signal to search engines.