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Seo Ramifications To Moving To New Domain

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#1 seorius


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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:41 AM

I have a 17 year old site that is in severe need of a new design and rework of the content and foundation for SEO purposes . The problem is this domain (site1.com) is a WordPress site with 554 pages and blog posts and the redesign requires a new theme which breaks the pages.


To get around the issue of having to fix every page before I can go live I am planning on starting a redesign and redirection strategy that will begin to use another existing domain (site2.com) as my main domain, redirecting each page from the site1.com as its completed.


As an example in the 1st Phase I will complete the redesign and rewrite new content for the home page and 5-10 subpages for the site2.com and 301 those pages to it.


The 2nd phase would be to pull the top 50 landing pages for Google analytics over the last year as the 2nd set of target pages to build out (at site2.com) then 301 each as completed


The 3rd Phase would be to then convert the rest of the pages that make the landing page target list (say the next 50).


This will mean there are still 440 pages and posts to decide what to do with on the site1.com domain.


So my questions are:


Is my strategy for the redesign and deployment of the new site viable and sustainable over time?

What are my options for the left over pages on site1.com? Can they remain there for the occasional click they may get with a new link hierarchy built in to take them to the new site should someone click out?



Thanks for your time and consideration of my issues.

#2 Jill


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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:58 AM

Sounds viable enough. Personally, I'd get the entire new site up and the redirects all in place from old to new all at once, and not do it in phases. I don't like the idea of having 2 sites for the same business.

#3 torka


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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:08 PM

Just quickly (I have to take some time to think through any technical issues that might arise) but from a user-friendliness/conversions point of view: are visitors going to be confused if they land on a page that has one look and feel (on the new site) then click a link that takes them to a completely different looking page (because it's a page you haven't "upgraded" yet and is still on the old site)? :ohno:


I used to do site usability reviews, and that was one of the big red flags I encountered on a surprising number of sites: pages that radically changed in look and feel from the rest of the site. It can be acceptable if the difference is limited in scope and related to different sections of the site (so, for instance, if the store looks a little bit different from the support knowledgebase) but when it's a huge difference or when there doesn't seem to be a reason for the difference that's immediately apparent to the site visitor it can be a big problem. (Being among the "top 50 landing pages" according to Google is not one of those "immediately apparent to the site visitor" kind of reasons.)


I understand wanting to get things moving as quickly as possible, but I'm concerned you might lose more in conversions from the user confusion than you'll gain by moving some pages to the new platform sooner. :blink: :oops:


I agree with Jill. If it were me, I'd use the new domain as a staging site to get everything updated, then make the transition all at once -- export the database from the staging domain to the "live" domain, set up all the necessary 301-redirects to account for URL changes and let any old/unused/never-visited pages just go to a 404 and totally cut over to the new site all at once. Make the change over a holiday, weekend or overnight (whenever your traffic is usually the lowest) and be done with it. :type:


--Torka :oldfogey:

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:48 AM

Move the high traffic URLs over and leave the old ones behind.  When you get to the point where the old site has no traffic in a month shut it down.

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