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Advice on migrating main site to wordpress

     
12:24 am on Jan 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi....We know that we need to move our website (which generates our entire livelihood) to wordpress. I feel this needs to happen ASAP but my partner is concerned that we will lose our traffic completely and thus our entire business.

My feeling is that those horror stories of old where traffic and sites sank like stones after such a transitidon't happen so often anymore but I need proof. If anyone can point me in the direction of how I could research such a thing I would be grateful.

It has been a rough 12 months but I guess that is true for ...manypeople..... Thanks!
1:31 am on Jan 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We know that we need to move our website ... to wordpress
How did you find out?
2:17 am on Jan 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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And why Wordpress? There are many options. While WP is very popular, there are negatives, such as WP is very popular and therefore a big target for hackers.
11:04 pm on Jan 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi all... We are a self taught small shop. My husband built our money making site ...about 1500 pages.... by hand in static html. We know we need to go responsive because lost about 80% of our advertising income almost overnight 1/22/17 due to mobile first indexing (even though much of our traffic is desktop because of our niche/content is evergreen)

But he has read the horror stories of people making the change to responsive/cms and their sites never recovering. I need to find people with the opposite situation.

We cannot afford to hire help and I am not sure he would learn a different platform ...he's at the age that most people retire....

I know, Google told us long in advance what their plan was, etc. ... My "webmaster" is stubborn....sigh.....

Anyway... All thoughts welcome. Thanks!
1:10 am on Jan 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Personally I would not switch to a CMS, ugh. Keep the URLs the same, just use include files for header/footer to setup the new responsive template and *done*. You can have a responsive static HTML site, I have multiple of them. They rock.

I think the first thing here is you need to get in out of your head that you have any conceivable reason to switch to WordPress just to recover, it will not help. It's not the answer. To be clear, whatever you do, do NOT change your page names and extensions, at all. It will take quite a time to recover from that (if you even fully can).

My long term plan is to have static HTML sites with evergreen content so there's no worry about databases, hacking, updates, script crashes, backups, spammers, bots, etc, etc.

Start by converting your highest traffic pages to responsive static HTML, one by one if need be. There is no point in rushing like crazy now when you're 2 years behind, the urgency ship has sailed long ago. There are lots of places that have free responsive templates that don't need a database and CMS. Just take one of those, tweak it for yourself and roll it out.
1:59 am on Jan 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We know we need to go responsive
Yes, of course you do. Like it or not, increasing numbers of humans are doing their browsing on smartphones, and you need to be accessible to those humans. But what on earth has that got to do with changing an established system to WordPress or, for that matter, any CMS?
3:41 am on Jan 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I agree with others here. If the reason you are considering WordPress is to get to a responsive site, it may well turn out to be a disappointment. Plain html can be much better than WordPress with fewer headaches and learning (and maintenance and overhead, and faster loading). Work smart, not hard.

WordPress is ideal for some sites, but a 1500 page html site is far simpler to manage as html. You would have major issues trying to make sure that the old pages land on their new URLs. I use both on several domains and would not ever recommend trying to migrate a large static site to CMS managed URLs as an easy way to get to a responsive site.

5:36 pm on Jan 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks so much to all of you. I will look into the options. We were selling ad placements direct through OIO publisher but those have slowed down anyway. (Traffic is still about the same...)

Anyway, seriously, thanks. Will pass this along. You might have just saved our livelihoods.

Best,
Un
4:31 am on Jan 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks so much to all of you. I will look into the options. We were selling ad placements direct


All the more reason to keep on doing what you are doing and NOT go to WP, which can lock you into a presentation form subject to more hacks by bad actors than anything else on the web.

Responsive is NOT difficult. It is "different" ... but remains HTML and static (as some of us believe) remains the best of all worlds. There is a place for dynamic ... but that has nothing to do with being RESPONSIVE.

Don't rush into this! You could do more harm, self-inflicted, and expend immense time and effort to end up with less than what you have already.

MEANWHILE, investigate (if you are not already using) editors with GLOBAL search and replace to address your static pages. Insert the necessary CSS and go from there.

If you do go WP, just know there are fixed limits to what that cms can do, and you will FOREVER be forced to maintain it with security updates in the future.

If you are doing MONEY on the web ... WP is "lightweight" in that regard and, personally, I wouldn't want to take two steps backwards to take one step forward.
9:26 am on Jan 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Unshiny - I am in a similar situation as you. Old site which has its rankings but is pure html. Also filenames end on htm, html and php. This doesn't make redirecting not easy (for me).
Your post here reminded me that I have to continue my efforts in making the site (and a few others) responsive. Someone suggested to go the Wordpress Way of Life, but I see the speed advantage of static site.
To point you in a direction that might help you and your husband, check out this thread here on Webmaster World. Helped me as well.
[webmasterworld.com...]

Good luck
11:03 pm on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Unshiny and @onlinelebel, here is the deal. You need to take care of a few things.

1. The data. You can do this by hand, page by page, copy paste into Wordpress or another website. Sure copy paste doesn't move the pictures to your new website unless the CMS is capable of this. Be careful, oh yes you might copy paste everything BUT keep the original locations of your pictures.

2. This is critical: the urls. You need a CMS that allows you to edit the urls so you can have the same links you have on your static websites, this will keep your traffic steady. Some cms won't allow you this (WP does, same as Drupal) but it's not about 100%, I don't know your url structure to guarantee this.

3. Another option? I've done this in the past, migrating websites into Wordpress, out of Wordpress and also into my own CMS, but I'm a developer with this specific experience, also created a few CMS on my own so I could do this based on my skills, and yes I've done this for clients and the companies I worked for. What I'm saying here is you don't have to marry CMS, you can take another route with another CMS or get a developer to create one for you if that's an option. In my case I hired myself. I'm stating the differences between adapting to a tool and when someone CAN create such tool, I don't know about your skills, if you ask me: I would encourage you to try it yourself.

I wouldn't go the WP route just like many around here would do the same avoiding this, but it depends on personal preferences and skills (or budget if you don't want to do it yourself). At the end YES you can end up with a full working website keeping your full URL structure including links, filenames and htm or html extensions.
11:53 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@onlineleben you can easily keep the same htm, html, and php extensions, that isn't a problem, don't change your URLs at all. Changing a URL even from .html to .php will not be good. Don't change any URLs, just the page layout HTML itself.