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Site changing from HTML to WP - how to redirect to preserve rankings?



4:10 am on Jan 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hope this is in correct forum. I am changing my site from HTML content to WordPress.

The site has been active for a long time and the pages are ranked in Google. Obviously the new WP pages will not have the same URL as the old ones (same server just different pages).

How can I redirect hits from the old pages to my new ones, and will this effect my Google ranking? Any other advice and hints to help with the transition?

Thanks for your time and trouble.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:58 am (utc) on Jan 11, 2013]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]

Robert Charlton

5:08 am on Jan 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi Ron. Your post involves both WordPress specific questions as well as general SEO questions.

WordPress specific potentially involves questions of how best to accomplish the 301 redirects you'll need to change your urls... whether to try to do those in .htaccess on your new server, or to use an SEO plug-in, and what plug-in to use.

You may have also some questions about best site architecture choices for the migration, choice of SEO-friendly themes, etc, which are maybe more WordPress specific than Google specific... so I'm moving this to the WordPress forum first to consider those basic WP questions.


1:06 pm on Jan 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There are a number of redirect plugins that you could use to do the redirects from within WordPress. The better ones allow you to specifiy the server code you wish to deliver (ie, 301, 302, etc).

My advice is to just do your due diligence and make sure the Meta data and titles, info arch, etc match what you had before, along with proper redirects, and you should be fine if not better than you were before.


1:53 pm on Jan 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Lorax,

Thanks for the reply. A couple of follow up questions for you or anyone else.

1. which would be the better redirect to use, 301 or ? and why would you chose a specific one over another?

2. there are only like a zillion :-) plugins for WP. recommendations on any specific ones to do this?

Thanks, and anyone else feel free to get in this discussion as well



2:11 pm on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

To preserve rankings after a permanent page move or site redesign, always use a 301 redirect. This tells Google et al that the page has permanently moved. Most, but not all, of the link power associated with the old URL will transfer to the new one.

For redirection, I've used a plugin called simply "Redirection" with good results (author is John Godley). It provides quite a bit of flexibility in creating redirects and also tracks 404s. But, my choice wasn't a result of careful study - there may be other good ones out there.

You can also set up redirects yourself directly in the .htaccess file, but the plugin approach is a little easier.


9:19 pm on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi rogerd,

That was exactly the information I needed.



10:21 am on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

My choice is keep all the old pages, and add a list of the old pages on sidebar, and on all the old pages, add navigation to new WP site.
This way, you have nothing to loss, hope it is helpful.


1:22 pm on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's another option, thanks for the idea.


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