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.

 

5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Sam H Nada says:

    We are planning to do this but I worry about one thing. Preserving your URLs are important to maintain SEO rankings. However all of the .html will now be .php (index.html to index.php). If you issue a sitemap, won’t that include that file differentiation and google will now think you are a new site and derank you?

    Reply
    • Thomas Kloos
      Thomas Kloos says:

      Hi Sam, it’s not a problem to change the URLs. You just need to make sure that you redirect all old URLs to the corresponding new URLs.
      If your URL structure stays the same and all that changes is the suffix (.html), then that’s done by a simple redirect rule in your .htaccess file. However, when relaunching a website, it often makes sense to rethink your site structure. All all pages still required? Do you have any obsolete content? Are there new topics you want to cover on the new site that you haven’t covered before?
      Your concern about the index.html switching to index.php is not actually an issue, since the latter one never gets displayed in the URL.
      If you need any hands on help with this, please just send me an email and I’ll be happy to look at it for you.

      Reply
        • Avatar
          Sam H Nada says:

          Thomas, sorry to bother. the old static url structure and new wp url structure will stay the same except … the static website has upper and lower case. WP converts everything to lower case. When I update the site map, will google have problems with that?
          many thanks. Sam

          Reply
          • Thomas Kloos
            Thomas Kloos says:

            Hi Sam, you should definitely update the sitemap and submit it via GSC. Regarding the URLs: WordPress displays the correct page regardless of upper or lower case. The canonical points to the standard lower case URL. Just verify that this is the case with your setup and you should be all good.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.