Switching from a static website to WordPress – an SEO perspective

27. 12. 2016
Werner Moser / Pixabay

There are many reasons why you should transfer your static homepage to the content management system (CMS) WordPress – for more flexibility or to save some working time – CMSs have for sure many advantages.

Besides all the positive aspects there are also some dangers such a change bears. In this article you will find out what you have to be aware of in such a changeover.

When should I move to WordPress?

In general I would say: the sooner, the better!

A website gets bigger and more complex over time and so do the troubles of changing to a CMS.

The advantages of WordPress over a static page are mainly practical ones: It is easier to publish new content, so the website grows faster and gets more ranking power. The administration of the website is less complex and the saved working time can be invested in other SEO measures, such as link building.

To make the setup of WordPress more efficient it’s recommended to use WordPress-PlugIns, which help you to convert a static HTML-page into a WordPress article. All pages, which cannot be converted automatically this way, have to be changed “manually”.

What do I have to consider when switching to WordPress?

From a SEO perspective the most important things are the rankings of the individual landing pages. Beside the fact, that you are only changing the system behind the content, the domain itself will stay the same. If you want to change the domain name too you can find an article right here (german only).

There are two different ways to preserve the rankings of the individual pages:

  • All URLs are staying the same
    That’s by far the best option. Technically the site stays the same, so no ranking power will be lost. Only the operating system is changing, which does not affect your rankings.
    With WordPress it’s possible to redesign any URLs you want. Of course that can be quiet a lot of work if you want to rebuild a big webpage.
  • 301 redirects
    The second option is to redirect the old URLs to the new ones. For that you can use so called “301 redirects”. A 301 redirect is just a line of code you insert to your existing .htaccess file. Once done all requests for the old URL get redirected to the new address.
    If executed properly this solution is as good as the first one. To check if your code does work or to generate your redirect codes fully automatic you can use different tools on the web, like: Yoast Permalink Helper or htaccess tester.If you have to change a certain phrase in every URL (the .html at the end for example) you can solve this with a „mod_rewrite“ function.