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Arizona WordPress Group Message Board › Convert Static HTML Website to WordPress - Impact on SEO and SERP Ranking

Convert Static HTML Website to WordPress - Impact on SEO and SERP Ranking

David S.
user 11303912
Scottsdale, AZ
Post #: 3
I am converting a static HTML website to WordPress. The site currently appears in the Google SERPS on the first page (for a certain set of four search keywords) as My concern is how the site conversion might affect this.

To minimize the chance of any negative SEO impact, my plan is to copy/paste all <title> tags, <meta name=”keywords”> tags, <meta name=”description”> tags, <h1> tags, file “alt” attributes, and all page text content exactly “as is” to the new site.

As far as page names are concerned, all pages in the existing (pre-conversion) site have .php extensions. The Home page is index.php, and other pages are aboutus.php, contactus.php., etc. For the permalink Structure Tag I plan on using %postname%. I also plan on assigning page “slugs” which are identical to the existing page names (index.php, aboutus.php, etc) instead of using .htaccess 301 page redirects.

I want to make the new (post-conversion) Home page a static page (using Settings > Reading in wp-admin), but WordPress does not allow you to assign a “slug” to your Home page (it assumes - will this be an issue?

If I understand correctly how WordPress works, every time a page request is made, index.php at the site root level runs to do all of the WP initialization, etc, and then the page request is handled accordingly. Might there be a conflict because my Home page will have the same name (index.php)?

Also, I haven’t checked to see what Preferred Domain is set up in Google WebMaster Tools for this site, but I’m thinking that might be a factor in this as well.

Again, my objective is to perform the site conversion so it’s “transparent” to Google in terms of where the site appears in the SERPS.

If you’ve had any experience with site conversions like this, I’d sure appreciate any input you can give me regarding your experience.

Chuck R.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 94
well first off... your home page shouldn't have an extension on it... if it does you already have bad canonical issues. In your .htaccess do a 302 from index.php to / to fix that.
As for your other pages... if you want to you can just add the .php into the permalink section and it'll handle that accordingly for the rest of the site.

Also for the preferred domain... set that up in htaccess to. Seems you want to keep the www. so use

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$­ [R=301,L]

( used to work but seems down but that should work)
After setting that then you can go set preferred in Google tools. That just helps them clean up the stuff they've indexed because your site hadn't been fixing it on its own.

And FYI - when you move sites IP's and change stuff around you'll always see some minor stuff shake up in the serps... a lot more than just meta and page content and slugs go into ranking your site so make sure you keep the site fast and don't load it up with shit plugins that'll slow your site request times down. You'll be fine tho - don't worry about it too much.
David S.
user 11303912
Scottsdale, AZ
Post #: 4
Hi Chuck,

Thanks much for taking the time to respond to my question. As it turns out it looks like the project will do done without a CMS (the "old-fashioned" way), but I will keep the information you supplied for future reference.

One question I have - you suggested I do a 302 redirect from index.php to / - doesn't Google sometimes have a problem with redirects thinking you're trying to "outsmart" it, opening you up to the possibility of decreased Google rankings?

Chuck R.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 95
Actually that's a typo. it should be a 301 from index.php to /

And no it'll be fine. You can donth same with a meta canonical tag but doing the proper redirects is better anyways. I wrote this a long time ago­
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