The Austin Design and Visual Arts Network will meet on the second Wednesday night of December up north at La Madeleine, on Great Hills Trail next to the Arboretum. We have the back meeting room reserved, and I'll make sure we have a projector.
The presentation for this evening will be about Transitioning an Existing Website to a New Design, with the focus being mainly on WordPress, but not exclusively. Basically the scenario here is, you're working for a client who wants a new design for their website, and the existing one is hard-coded or uses a different platform or CMS from what you're transitioning to. And you want to make sure that it goes as smoothly, seamlessy and transparently as possible, both from the client's viewpoint, and from Google's standpoint (meaning their SEO; if they're already showing up with decent rankings in search results, you don't want them to go down after the redesign).
After my recent experiences with one particular site, I'm going to share all the things that I either did, or wish I had done, that will make it easier to achieve this. We'll discuss migrating content, keyword rankings, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, landing pages and standalones ("silo" pages), and site maps.
We'll also have SEO expert Tony Tovar sitting in with us again. Tony came back in September and did a presentation on SEO specifically for designers, and he'll be here to answer questions and offer additional advice from an SEO standpoint.
As I said this will focus mainly on WordPress, but the steps and concepts addressed here will still apply at least generically to other transitions, like to Drupal or Joomla, or even from one hardcodedd design to a different one.