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    Google & new site design


    I'm in the middle of converting our current website to a wordpress based site, bit worried that when it goes live we'll bounce around all over the place. How long after a site relaunch can I expect serps to settle down?

    Current site is static, switching to wordpress as site will be a lot easier to maintain in the future. In the process of re-designing the site I'm merging a couple of pages that will never get links naturally, for example we've a page all about 'delivery' (of what we sell) which doesn't get a lot of views etc, so thought merging this with our page about 'how to place an order' with us would be a good idea (sort of get rid of thin content pages)? Another example would be merging our location page with our contact us page

    All pages that are being moved due to the merge will be 301'd to their new location. None of the pages that are being moved have any external links coming in (as I say not the type of pages that would pick up links naturally and not really the types of useful pages for me to aim some external links at).

    With the change over I am also using a plug-in to maintain the current URL extensions - is there any harm in this?

    Finally, working on new site within a subfolder on same domain (i.e. main site is test.com, site being built on test.com/new site - all no indexed and no followed), I've been reading within Wordpress that when my new site is complete I can switch the folders about so although Wordpress is installed within a sub folder it would be running from the main domain (If I've explained it wrong you can see what I mean here - Giving WordPress Its Own Directory « WordPress Codex ), from a Google point of view is this safe to do or would I better going about this a different way?

    Hope that all makes sense,
    Sx
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    That's a difficult question to ask. To answer you must analyze the following questions/concerns:

    Are you going to add/remove pages?
    Updating content? Adding better content? More descriptive content?
    Changing URLs? If so, redirecting old URL's to new URL's
    Title tags - keep or improve current title tags.

    It takes time. Sometimes months, sometimes years to recover, it depends on your execution and preparation to this switch. I switched my site over (properly) to a new design and format and it's been since August until numbers have gotten back to normal. It takes time, there's always a dip, but the recovery happens.

    Towards your latter question - maybe I'm ignorant but I'm unaware of with without modification to htaccess. It's best simply change your config files to make the live URL the actual URL and move the folders over while backing up your current site. I would personally manually move everything - but that's just me, I'm paranoid.
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    I don't know about the second part, but i can answer you about the first one:
    Sooner or later you had to make it a dynamic one, so just do it asap. Secondly, it is surely a good idea to merge certain pages that do not have much content over them, as people like to have certain information in a single spot, as they don't like to keep on switching pages. When you choose to redesign your web page with the new style and design, you will surely loose traffic, bounce rate and SERP in beginning, but within a month, you will get it back just by being consitent, however focus on social pages more than ever, as that's the best way to get quicker back links. Make sure that you design it in a user friendly as well as Google Crawler friendly way, as this would help you to get back in a stable spot. I hope this information would be helpful for you.
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    Thanks for the reply Joshz, really appreciate it.

    Originally Posted by joshz
    That's a difficult question to ask. To answer you must analyze the following questions/concerns:

    Are you going to add/remove pages?.
    Changing URLs? If so, redirecting old URL's to new URL's
    A couple of pages are being merged with others, the url's that are disappering would be 301'd to their new location on existing pages.
    A couple of new pages are being added, these are Privacy Policy and Enviromental Policy pages (Should I make these no index, no follow?),
    All other pages will be keeping existing url's (using a plug-in to do this).

    Originally Posted by joshz
    Updating content? Adding better content? More descriptive content?
    My content is pretty descriptive already, however on a couple of pages where it is a bit thin I am improving it as I go.

    Originally Posted by joshz
    Title tags - keep or improve current title tags.
    Title tags in the main are fine, so these will be staying.

    Originally Posted by joshz
    Towards your latter question - maybe I'm ignorant but I'm unaware of with without modification to htaccess. It's best simply change your config files to make the live URL the actual URL and move the folders over while backing up your current site. I would personally manually move everything - but that's just me, I'm paranoid.
    I'll do the switchover manually then, not sure what you mean about the config stuff but I shall look it up.

    Thanks
    Sx
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    You're very welcome.

    IMHO, you should be in a good shape. Just don't expect things to stay the same. You WILL take a dip, it's just part of the web/SEO game.

    I'll let others give their opinions - but I think you're on the right track.
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    One other question, I'll have a page which will be sort of a shop. However what we will be selling on there will be total one off's.

    So my question is -

    Create this page and list all the content on this one page

    or create this page with content on and then for more information on each product link to seperate product pages but canonical link them back to the main page

    i.e.

    example.com/one-offs-products/one-product-1 (with this page canonically being example.com/one-offs-product )?

    The reason for this is the products on here will never be the same, they'll change each time something is listed. So I thought perhaps canonically linking back to the product page would be a best option?

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