Once in a while Businesses re-brand and decide to completely transform the look and feel of their website, including adding new pages, and enhancing website functionality. The SEO Tips outlined in this article will help you make a smooth switch-over from the old to new WordPress website. There are basically two stages to the entire process, which are:
- Pre-Live Setup – These are the things you need to do before replacing the old site with a new one.
- Post-Live Setup – These are the things you will need to as soon as you have completed the switch-over from the old site to the new site.
After building your new site on a Test Server, you need to prepare it for migration to the new Server where it will be hosted. You need to follow the following steps before you Launch the new website:
- On your new site (residing on the Test Server), install a Wordpress Plugin called WP Migrate DB. Enter the new URL for the site and File Path. Plug-in will then automatically update all the links for you and export your new Database as an SQL File, which you will save on your Computer.
- Download your website files from the Test Server onto your computer. Now Edit the wp-config.php file with the new Database details.
- Import your Exported SQL file onto the new Database, to populate it with your new website Data and Links.
- Make an Excel Document of the List of all the old site URLs against the new site URLs as shown below:
- Move old site into a Folder on the new Host and Upload the files for your new website. This will replace the old site with the new site.
- Test your new site and fix all errors. Make sure the new website is working properly.
Now that your new website is Live, you need to set-up all your SEO and 301 Re-directs. To do this, follow the following steps:
- Un-check the Search Engine Visibility Option under the Reading Settings on your Live site. This will enable Search Engines to discover and index your website.
- Install the Redirects Plug-in by Loud Dog.
- Implement your 301 Re-directs, as indicated in your Excel file that you created while doing the Pre-Live Setup.
- Update META Tags (easier if you have the Wordpress SEO Plug-in by Yoast).
By following the above Pre-Live Setup and Post-Live Setup Steps, you will not only perform a smooth switch-over from your old site to your new website, but you will be able to retain all your website traffic and search engine rankings. Now that’s SEO Success!