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    To overhaul ranking site...or not?


    Hey everyone,

    I've got a long-standing site, I got on-board with SEO pretty early (we're talking 2005 ) - it ranks highly and, somehow, has done for a dozen years now.
    The architecture of the site is pretty old though and has been layered over the years with what's likely some less-than-ideal PHP code. But it is pretty fast, responsive and mobile friendly to an extent (room for improvement, scores 70 odd percent on that front).
    That's the front-end at least, page optimisation/coding on internal pages isn't great and many of the URLs are non-canonical, though my dev made an attempt to update some.

    It's now at the stage of needing a bit of an overhaul, I thought maybe it'd be beneficial to move to a Wordpress platform but, given the excellent ranking, I'm also aware this might not be worth dicing with? I suppose ideally, I should leave all current structure and links in place where possible and maybe just keep face-lifting it and trying to improve code where possible?
    My dev said canonicalizing would be a "big job" but isn't this just a case of making an index list of alternative SEO-friendly URL's and implanting the alternatives into the title headers?
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    One way to do this...

    Make a current list of all urls on the site now.

    Give the site a face lift, also using WordPress is a good idea, but keep the url structure the same if possible.

    For any url that needs to be changed for seo reasons, you can 301 redirect the old url to the new url in your htaccess file. This way all existing backlinks will take users to the correct page on your updated site.

    Your dev is right, and it is not as easy as you think !. If you have never done this type of overhaul, you can easily ruin things. You should farm this work out unless you know exactly what you are doing.

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    If your users are starting to have a hard time with the website, then overhaul it. After all, the users should be the primary consideration while the ranking is only secondary.

    Touching structure and links should also be user-dependent (pretty much anything really). But you can always employ redirects for any URL changes.

    I didn't quite get the last paragraph though. Canonicalising (as far as I know) is to be done when you need to maintain 2 or more pages with the same content. Not sure this needs to be part of the process if you do decide to overhaul.

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