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How to revamp a big ol' site?

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How to revamp a big ol' site?

Postby BizCardGuru » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:55 pm

I have a site with 154 pages indexed in Google that really needs a new look - I also need to clean out old pages & content.

However, I don't want to lose page rank and links gathered over the years.

What's the best way to proceed? How do I know which pages to delete and which still have good links to them?

Is there an advantage to changing this to a blog (WP) format - and if so, how do I do that without changing existing page names/titles/links?

Thank you!

Diana
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Postby angienewton » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:22 pm

Hi Diana,
Great question and I'm sure someone will be able to reply with some guidance soon. I have no clue how to do that LOL
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Postby terrapin719 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:55 am

If you keep the pages in their HTML format, you can change the look without losing anything at all, of course.

If you decide to go to WP format you can use 303 redirects on the pages so that the old pages lead to the new pages. In some cases, depending on how you set up the permalink structure in Wordpress, you can make the permalinks the same as they already are. It will just take a little patience.

The biggest advantage of switching to WP is maintenance becomes a lot easier. Future changes will be easier. Adding to the site is easier. It just simplifies things and adds additional functionality.
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Postby BizCardGuru » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:02 pm

Thank you, that's helpful. I have two additional questions, though.

1) How do I find out what pages have active links BACK to them? I would hate to take down a page that I've forgotten about if it's getting me traffic. Or for that matter - what about broken links TO my site? Guess a custom 404 page would take care of those...

2) How would you describe this project on someplace like RentaCoder or Elance? I really don't know what criteria to set, nor am I sure I've accurately defined what I need done.

3) What would YOU do, Loretta? Change the template and add a blog, or convert the whole thing to WP?

Thanks!

Diana
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Postby terrapin719 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:35 pm

1) How do I find out what pages have active links BACK to them? I would hate to take down a page that I've forgotten about if it's getting me traffic. Or for that matter - what about broken links TO my site? Guess a custom 404 page would take care of those...


Right, a customized 404 page, plus some url redirects should cover you in that situation. I suppose you can always use Yahoo & Google links:www.yourdomain.com and check your backlinks individually, I'm not sure if there's an easier way or not.

2) How would you describe this project on someplace like RentaCoder or Elance? I really don't know what criteria to set, nor am I sure I've accurately defined what I need done.

I would describe it as a site rebuild, include the number of pages you currently have, what format you want them moved into, etc....also include what kind of deadline or timeframe you'd like the job completed in and your approximate budget for the job.

3) What would YOU do, Loretta? Change the template and add a blog, or convert the whole thing to WP?

Personally, I guess it would depend on what the site was and what my goals with it were. I do have some sites that are still HTML pages that I intend to leave that way since they don't need frequent updated.
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Postby AlexNewell » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:59 pm

I think I would focus on the high traffic pages.

so the question is how good is your tracking?

If you have good tracking it will be giving you piles of information about who your visitors are and what they are looking for. You can see from that how well you are meeting their needs.

Heck why not survey your customers and offer a prize for any ideas that you take up?

If you are not tracking every page in the site I have one word of advice - STOP!

Changing a site - especially a big commercial site without having all the numbers in front of you is , pardon me, "madness"

I would put Google Analytics on every page and do nothing for a month.

Once you know what the best pages are - you will be able to see how to go forward. But it does depend on how your site is constructed.
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Postby tknoppe » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:31 pm

Also, if you have cpanel: awstats is good too and shows you what pages are bringing you traffic and what keywords/phrases and from what referring sites and search engines.
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