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Redesign: Developers Want Me To Move Entire Site To Wordpress


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5 replies to this topic

#1 dmcsherry

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

Hello,

I would like to hear some opinions on an issue I am having with my site.

Back in 2007, my developers created a review database (.asp pages) in a section in my site. It was an SEO nightmare as the pages did not allow for custom page titles, descriptions, keywords. Traffic for the reviews plummeted, but fortunately my static site continued to rank high and grow.

Now, I want to move the review database to a more SEO friendly platform and we are thinking Wordpress with a review plugin. Problem is.... the developers want to put the static portion of the site (about 2000 pages of content created with Dreamweaver) on Wordpress now too. The static portion of site ranks highly (#1 or 2) for many important keywords and I receive a lot of search traffic. Based on the 2007 experience, I am nervous to make a mistake again and lose traffic/revenue.

Do I REALLY need to move my static section to Wordpress? All I want is to change is the review database (asp pages) so that search engines can index it.

In terms of SEO, is the risk of losing existing high rankings for the convenience of having everything all on one platform worth it? Or should I insist that the developers simply move the database to the wordpress platform and leave my static site as is?

Thank you for any advice you can share!

Donna

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:00 AM

Traffic for the reviews plummeted

That's probably more about the URLs changing than being "not SEO "friendly" '

Do I REALLY need to move my static section to Wordpress?

No.

All I want is to change is the review database (asp pages) so that search engines can index it.

Then find WHY it is not being indexed, I have never had a problem with having "ASP" URLs getting indexed with or without "unique" title, keyword URLs or anything else "experts" declare as "not SEO friendly"


In terms of SEO, is the risk of losing existing high rankings for the convenience of having everything all on one platform worth it? Or should I insist that the developers simply move the database to the wordpress platform and leave my static site as is?

Forget about "SEO" reasons, it's not a particularly good reason for drastically changing things, especially a site that gets results. Surely the fact that it does get results and search referrals tells you that the suggested "SEO unfriendly" does NOT actually exist, and your developers have the problem NOT the website URLs.

If you want to move to a CMS from a maintenance point of view and for "future proofing" it would be different story.

You can of course redirect the search engine indexed URIs and the URIs that get direct traffic and/or search referrals but there is no cast iron guarantee that it will not adversely affect search traffic, theoretically it should not and in most practical cases it does not, or if it does it is not a major issue.
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#3 torka

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:47 AM

Having recently migrated our company site from hand-coded HTML to Wordpress, I can say having everything on Wordpress does make things a lot easier from a site administration point of view. For instance, changing the entire look and feel of every page on the site is as simple as activating a new theme, and new pages are automatically added to the site menu (and deleted pages removed). Some of the plugins available are very helpful, too.

And in our experience, using 301 redirects where the URLs changed was fairly smooth and we didn't see any significant dip in search traffic. (But, of course, that's just our experience. YMMV.)

But, as Chris says, there's no SEO reason to make the change, so if that's your only (or primary) consideration, you can leave your static pages where they are and it won't be a problem.

--Torka :propeller:
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#4 Jill

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:56 AM

I would update them all. It will be confusing to your site visitors to have different looks for different areas of your site. And in the long run having everything in the CMS will make things easier. Static HTML pages are so 1995 :)

#5 dmcsherry

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:30 PM

Thank you for the advice!! I'm being dragged out of 1995 kicking and screaming. :-)
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#6 Trevox

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:54 PM

Jill's comment about hand-coding HTML being "so 1995" made me chuckle at myself. I didn't start writing web pages in earnest until 1998, and was happy hand-coding for a decade.

Then I switched to Drupal. Great CMS and _so_ scaleable. Wee two-page brochures sites use it, and so does the White House.

In this topic, the point is that URLs in a CMS like Drupal can be set to be exactly what they were in the hand-coded predecessor site, so there would be no SEO hit just for switching. If you're used to writing in straight HTML, you'll be pleased to learn that the body of pages thus created can be copied and pasted straight into Drupal, making the changeover that much quicker.




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