Website Re-Design using WP - how not to lose PageRank

LaoTzu

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If I'm re-designing a guy's website who has a G pagerank of 5 but he has a static HTML website (so his pages URL is like: http://www.website.com/pages/contact.html) and I re-design using Wordpress so now his pages will be (http://www.website.com/contact/) do I simply use the 'redirection' plugin for WP and just 301 re-direct all his old pages to his new ones?

Basically, I don't want to lose any PR juice when re-designing a website using Wordpress for the new site.

Same question if someone's site is http://www.website.com/contact.php and Wordpress makes it http://www.website.com/contact/

Thanks.
 

oldenstylehats

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If you setup the 301 redirects, you'll be fine. That is what they are there for. Make sure you use the sitemap plugin and submit the sitemap to Google through Webmaster Tools. That'll help with the process too and also give you an indication of whether or not you missed something.
 

LaoTzu

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If the URL ends with a .html or a .php and you are using WP, as far as I know, you can't make the URL the same. So you have to do a re-direction. This one guy's website has all his pages in a /pages directory on his hosting so the URL reads as http://www.website.com/pages/contact.html since they are all just HTML files.

There's a way to add a category or additional directory in front of your pages, so I could use WP and make it http://www.website.com/pages/contact/ by adding the 'pages' category or directory/page name. But it still lacks the .html part.

I just wanted to make sure the 301 redirection plugin was the answer. I don't actually have this guys website to re-design... yet. I'm just direct marketing to people to offer to re-do their websites using Wordpress but didn't want to f^ up someone's PR.
 

oldenstylehats

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Yeah. You'll want to really scan the site to make sure you're covering all of your bases with the 301's. His site will most likely perform much, much better with a WP overhaul. When you're done designing, but before launch, give it a quick run through the http://validator.w3.org/.
 

Italian Hawk

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Really? I think you're mistaken because I made my all the posts on my blog end in a .php, and I could make them end in a .html as well. I'm sure there would be a way to do for pages. I just threw this option out there because no matter what people say, I'd probably still not trust the 301 redirect because I'm not willing to risk my PR5's on that.

But I'd trust oldenstylehats over my advice here :p
 

LaoTzu

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Yeah. You'll want to really scan the site to make sure you're covering all of your bases with the 301's. His site will most likely perform much, much better with a WP overhaul. When you're done designing, but before launch, give it a quick run through the http://validator.w3.org/.

Thanks for the site. I'll be sure to use it.
 

LaoTzu

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Really? I think you're mistaken because I made my all the posts on my blog end in a .php, and I could make them end in a .html as well. I'm sure there would be a way to do for pages. I just threw this option out there because no matter what people say, I'd probably still not trust the 301 redirect because I'm not willing to risk my PR5's on that.

But I'd trust oldenstylehats over my advice here :p

If you can tell me how you made all your posts as .html or .php I'll test it out on my test blog and see if I could do it for pages as well. I'd be interested to learn more about WP, of course, anyways.

Thanks for your posts.
 

oldenstylehats

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Really? I think you're mistaken because I made my all the posts on my blog end in a .php, and I could make them end in a .html as well. I'm sure there would be a way to do for pages. I just threw this option out there because no matter what people say, I'd probably still not trust the 301 redirect because I'm not willing to risk my PR5's on that.

But I'd trust oldenstylehats over my advice here :p
301's are part of the HTTP protocol, so they are universally accepted. Google definitely follows them. You could change your mod_rewrite and permalink structure to reflect the old site, but 301's are quick and painless and will ultimately not force you into a rigid URL structure.
 

Italian Hawk

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True.

I'm sure olden has convinced you to just do the easy 301, but for your own information, here is my 301 structure.

/%monthnum%/%category%/%postname%.php
 

LaoTzu

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Yeah, he has me convinced. I never liked the look of a URL structure with a .html .htm or .php hanging off the end anyways. But thanks for your info. Always learning..
 
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