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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Question of the Week

September 19, 2012
To go along with this week's article on moving a static site to WordPress, This week I asked my social media followers:

++Have you had good success moving old static HTML sites to WordPress (not losing traffic, getting more, etc.)?++

Here's how they responded:


nextSTEPH: Having the redirects in place from the beginning is key when moving from HTML to WordPress.

KarenCallahanMA: Traffic dips for a bit at first. I use 301-redirects, and my clients rebound quickly.


Thomas Rosenstand: Absolutely! Moved our company website from a handmade static HTML site to WP a year ago. Got all the benefits from the WP platform and did not lose one ranking at all. Actually, we see more page views per visit now than on the old site. It IS very easy and since WP allows you to have the extension you want on your URLs it was not even necessary to do any 301-redirects.

Kevin Gallagher: Moved a few to WordPress and indexation improved.

Frederik Hyldig: I've done it for clients with great success. The real challenge is to keep track of URLs and content and then setting up the 301s correctly. I also think it is a task where the level of difficulty can develop exponentially with the number of pages on the website. The Redirection plugin for WordPress (by John Godley) is a great help. You can import from an existing .htaccess file or even .csv if you need to create many redirects and prefer to do it locally and then import them.?

Matt Morgan: I've had great success 100% of the time. As long as you properly setup 301 redirects and customize WP to make it SEO friendly using a few plugins and setting a custom permalink structure, the conversion will go well. The dynamic HTML/XML Sitemaps plus RSS feed really help increase the search engine index rate for the content that is published.?

Dianna Huff
: I agree with Frederick and Matt. I've moved quite a few small business sites over to WP in the last few years -- in fact, I'm working on two right now. The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is educating the client on why a custom build may be better (vs. a "customized" template). The other challenge is working with clients who have carts. WP is still not the best for e-commerce.

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 The Holt Partnership said:
For the less experienced Website owner, the overwhelming advice, above, may be a little misleading. All of wjich Jill covered can be handled just as well by a static web design. Static designs can also incorporate cms facilities, enabling website owners to edit and add their own content. There are many very good blogging scripts that can also be easiliy incorporated into existing designs. As Web Designers, this is the route we prefer to offer clients. Why limit your freedom by having to comply with the structure of cms systems, such as, Wordpress. Also, adding new functionality to a static website is much cheaper than a cms equivalent. We reviewed all the popular cms sytems with a review of reselling them but decided our approach gave our clients a better return on their investment and more freedom.

The fact that many people experienced an improvemnt when moving to Wordpress, was probably due more to having an aesthetically better design and taking the opportunity to make many other improvements, such as better and more content.
 Jill Whalen said:
THP did you read the accompanying article about moving a static site to WordPress?
 Conor Treacy said:
We've moved a number of sites from static HTML to Wordpress and so far the results have always been positive. Similar to the other users, a good start with 301 redirects and some minor navigational improvements have helped a ton. We've performed two moves recently in which the sites look EXACTLY the same, not a single change, and it's done wonders for traffic to their site.

We've seen site visits go from 200 to 350+ in just a couple of weeks. I guess when i say they're exactly the same it's not 100% accurate. Visually they're the same but we improved description tags and implemented H2 tags when previously they had just bolded the line. We implemented the sitemap also as none was previously defined or submitted to google webmaster Nd we also changed hosting companies.
 Marisa Schmidt said:
I have actually had a lot of success changing from static HTML to wordpress. At first, I did not believe that there would be such a huge difference, but there is. Thank you for always posting such information information!