If I switch a HTML site to Wordpress will I lose my rankings?

11 replies
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I have an HTML site that is ranked high in SE for a few competitive keywords. The site is currently an affiliate site and I want to switch it over to Wordpress. I want to take the current site down and upload a Worpress theme and add all new content made for Adsense. If I do this, will my rankings drop? Will I lose any backlinks? Is this a smart move?
#html #lose #rankings #site #switch #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    I dont know but if it were me I would be nervous to do that,
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    Tech article writing .Native English Speaker(with Proof)
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  • Profile picture of the author ARVolund
    Originally Posted by mdotwhite View Post

    I have an HTML site that is ranked high in SE for a few competitive keywords. The site is currently an affiliate site and I want to switch it over to Wordpress. I want to take the current site down and upload a Worpress theme and add all new content made for Adsense. If I do this, will my rankings drop? Will I lose any backlinks? Is this a smart move?
    Because the on-page structure is going to be a bit different you may drop some at least temporarily while Google rethinks your pages.

    What you do need to do is keep your url structure the same if at all possible.

    If your interior pages are setup like

    www.yourdomain.com/topicone.html

    then you need to try and match that as much as possible when building the new site. If for some reason you have any pages that you can not duplicate then you need to 301 all of them to the new url.

    Basically the closer you match the old site the less moving around in the serps you will do.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Keep everything intact and install wordpress in a different
      folder, call it keywordphrase or something.

      If you can, link all html pages to the index page of the
      new wordpress.

      Then 301 your main domain to the wordpress index page.

      That is, your domain.com goes to domain.com/keywordphrase
      (It may sound weird, but many big sites forward their main domain
      all the time. I even have one site that does it. Type in disney.com
      and see what you get.)

      That way, all pages are still there, but linked to your
      new wordpress.

      Never delete stuff that is indexed.

      You could do a global 301 to the wordpress, but that's not
      a good user experience.

      Paul
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      If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    I converted my main money site from HTML to Wordpress with around 150 high ranking pages and was able to retain all my SERP's.

    You need to make sure that your new WP pages have the exact same file structure as your old pages and you can do this easily in a couple ways.

    You can install a plugin for SEO which allows you to create the identical file structure, or what I did, and found much easier and less confusing, was to setup 301 Redirects.

    Wordpress installations on a Unix/Apache server use something called an HTACCESS file. This is the first file read by the browser or bot when your site URL is called. It contains instructions on how to handle your site including 301 redirects.
    There are many resources which will help you setup your 301's. Basically the line in the HTACCESS file looks like this

    redirect 301 /about.htm http://your-site .com/company/about.html

    So you can see the first part of this is /about.htm which is the OLD path to your about page. Then the next part http://your-site .com/company/about.html
    is where your NEW about us page appears in Wordpress.

    It takes a little while since you have to create a 301 line for each page on your website, so if you have a lot of pages it might take a couple hours.
    But it's IMPORTANT - don't just allow google to find your new pages, your SERP's will be all over the place if you do.

    If you want more info just ask.

    Rooze
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    • Profile picture of the author mdotwhite
      Thanks for all the help guys. The current site does have quite a few pages. I've never heard of 301 redirects so it's a little bit confusing for me. Think I need to some research on the topic.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        301 is very easy if you have access to cpanel.

        I can't see anyway to keep track of 150 pages, convert the site
        to wordpress, then make all those pages magically the same
        on wordpress. That would be a bear and a half.

        No need. Keep them intact. Your wordpress intall does not
        need to obliterate a thing.

        That's the only way to keep everything as is. Over time, the
        old pages will drop off. But for now you want to pick
        up the juice from them.

        Any changing, and you risk throwing out the baby with the bath
        water.

        Paul
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        If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    If you have existing pages on the old html site ranking in the SERPs, you better be very careful when switching to WP.

    A simple typo like leaving off a .html at the end of a URL can screw things up when Google comes around looking for the old URL. Even on a 301 redirect.

    Example, the first link below is correct, the 2nd link I left off the .html at the end of the URL (broken link).

    Just saying little things like that can make or break a well ranking page in the SERPs. Take your time & test (301 redirect) a few low ranking pages until your sure of what your doing.

    1) If I switch a HTML site to Wordpress will I lose my rankings?

    2) If I switch a HTML site to Wordpress will I lose my rankings?
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    • Profile picture of the author carsonben
      I need the exact type of help here also, only they are not my sites but a new client. All of them are html and hosted on godaddy. I am used to Wordpress and Hostgator cpanel, so this is unfamiliar territory for me.

      I would like to learn how to slowly change his sites from html to wordpress. None of the sites are large - no more than 10 pages at the most. These are real business sites for home and yard maintenance. I just need to learn how to do one correctly.

      I can't PM yet, so anyone who is interested in offering a bit more help please feel free to pm me. My main issue is learning the admin panel for godaddy.

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author awj888
    it shouldnt be a problem. try to match as many pages to the original ones as possible and do 301 redirect from all of your old pages. your rankings wont change and if they do just make sure to keep ranking your new site!!
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    :: AWJ of Thinking Creativity :: My wifey is a photographer, check out her work @ OLEXIE ::

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    • Profile picture of the author mdotwhite
      I've been researching the site in question and this is what I discovered. Apparently the site is running a PHP script. When I checked one of the page links this is what I saw:

      http://sampledomain.com/index.php?op...ptcy&Itemid=88
      (I removed the actual domain name for obvious reasons)

      So does the fact that the site is a PHP script change things any?

      I'm sorry for all of the questions but I'm trying to understand things. I am concerned because I am trying to purchase this website. However, I don't want to purchase the site, change it's structure and content completely and have it lose all of its rankings and backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author epathj
    301 is a good choice if you have access to cpanel.anyway,it is still a big decision.good luck
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