switching cms, database ?'s, SEO

  • Started
  • Last post
  • 7 Responses
  • fourth

    So I have a potential client who is really interested in having me redesign his website. He also wants to switch from his current cms to wordpress. The thing that is holding him back is he has a couple thousand articles/posts and is understandably afraid of losing his seo rankings.

    So obviously I've been trying to explain the 301 redirect but I also want to know exactly what I'm getting myself into. All of the articles currently sit top level (sitename.com/articletitle), so they would definitely have to move. How hard is this going to be? I believe all the posts sit in a mysql database (his cms is article manager), how hard is it to transfer it to the wp database, on top of that redirecting all of them with a 301, without screwing it all up?

    Obviously I'm open to having someone else handle it all for me but I'm wondering how much work/cost all of this would be.

  • albums0

    It's all about downloading a copy the current database and restructuring it to the wordpress database format. Find a replace would be able to handle most of these tasks. then after you've installed wordpress, replace the default database with the newly edited one containing the articles from the previous site.

    • and how/when do I do all the 301 redirects?
  • albums0

    The 301 redirects shouldn't be a problem as the domain would be the only thing needing to be accoiunted for in the change as the article names will stay the same.

    something to replace the old domain while maintaining the integrity of the article urls


  • vaxorcist0

    Is the current CMS using mySQL?

    You may be able to script a mass-import into the WP database and keep the article titles being in the URLs the same way...

    1. export data from current site, in a format like tab-separated... you can import into excel, etc... like articleTitle, headline, byline , bodytext,etc

    2.set permalink in your Wordpress admin to be the %postname% field.

    3. write an import script or use a plug-in so that your articleTitle and your %postname% are the same.

    I would try NOT to use the 301's

    I would setup the test server at some other subdomain, like test.client.com/whatever-the-pos...

    and note, if there are a MILLION pages, you may have to use some caching, as some people recommend not using postname as the permalink alone if you're high-volume....


    • they may not have to move! or are there other reasons they may have to move?vaxorcist
    • all 2000 articles are sitting top level... shouldn't they move?fourth
  • albums0

    I believe he's using the 301s to auto forward visitors from the old site to the new site during the transition.

    I also suggested editing a local version of the database to avoid corrupting their sites live data while in the transition

    • sorry for the confusion, domain name would stay the same, article title stays the same– but may movefourth
  • ukit20

    No need to 301. WordPress can be set up to use the same URL format.

  • fourth0

    vas, so basically wp would handle the 301's itself?

    • and I believe the current cms is using a mysql databasefourth
    • question. I've been presuming you are leaving one domain name to another, is this true?albums
    • if the same domain, you won't need to redirectalbums
  • vaxorcist0

    read the end of this article:

    This one had me sweating. There are a lot of links out there to CSS-Tricks. I don’t want to lose traffic. That site is decent part of my income. Now all of those incoming links are wrong. That can’t be good for SEO!

    Well as it turns out, it’s really not that big of a deal. There is a plugin out there that redirects all old posts to the new posts. Don’t use that! You don’t need it. WordPress automatically handles the 301 redirects from the old format to the new format. 301 redirects are what Google needs to know about your new format and update itself and retain your ranks. It’s been five days since my new transition, and even after a little snafu where I left it on a date-based structure while testing a little too long and Google picked it up, I’m right back where I was before and Google is showing my new structure just fine.

    • also note that top-level link URLs arent bad... Update: This issue is FIXED in WordPress 3.3.vaxorcist