Can I Keep HTML Pages So I Don't Have To Redirect?

Community Forums Forums General Discussion Can I Keep HTML Pages So I Don't Have To Redirect?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Murray 1 year ago.

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  • #65260

    DonneE
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    I’m in the process of converting my html website to a wordpress site. Is there a way to keep my html page names (giordanolaw.com/estate-planning.html) in wordpress so I don’t have to do
    an http access redirect?

    http://www.giordanolaw.com
    #65317

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 968

    Welcome to WordPress and Genesis.

    Alas, no. All of your page addresses currently end in “html”. Being a PHP-driven platform, WordPress will require new URLs. You will be able to make them similar but they are different addresses nonetheless.

    Eg.
    WordPress: http://www.giordanolaw.com/social-security-disability-pa
    Old HTML: http://www.giordanolaw.com/social-security-disability-pa.html

    Look into the plugin “Redirection”. This can make your migration perhaps a little bit easier. (Along with a good plan and spreadsheet of page remapping.) This plugin is very popular (over 1.2 million downloads) but seems to be offline from wordpress.org. at the moment, even though support items are 1-day-fresh.

    A cached version of their page is available from Google here: http://goo.gl/ZmD7XO
    Support Page is here: http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/redirection
    The page at Urban Giraffe is here: http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/redirection/


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    #65345

    Bill Murray
    Participant
    Post count: 575

    @Tom – That’s not accurate. WP’s permalink settings allow for great flexibility.

    Here’s a simple way to do this. I recall from years ago that there used to be an issue with page permalinks (not posts), but this may have been fixed in later WP updates. Be sure to test permalinks of all content types.


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    #65354

    DonneE
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks guys. But Bill, now that I think about it, wordpress adds “categories (folders) to my new urls becuse of the navigation, (giordanolaw.com/practice-areas/elder-law/ny-elder-law/ was http://giordanolaw.com/elder-law-attorney.html) so I guess getting it to add html wouldn’t work anyway.

    @Tom – Thanks for the info. I’ll have a look. Good advice about using a spreadsheet.
    If I’m editing a page, my seo plugin from Genesis offers a field for inserting “Custom Redirect URL”. I’ve clicked on their link for explanation of that field but it just gives me info on 301 redirects. Do you think it could be as simple as adding the old html url to this field? That would be uber cool, so I’m expecting a no. ;-)

    #65360

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 968

    Hi Bill,
    That’s good to know – thanks for the info.

    I’m not certain that it would deliver a good result for the OP as that tip apparently only works on posts, not pages. The OP’s HTML site is page-heavy with no blog. The follow-on tip from author Joe Foley recommends a plugin for adding ‘.html’ onto URL’s for pages – that might help. Perhaps this could save effort if they had hundreds or thousands of pages but the site appears to have <50 pages.

    The OP has also shown that the new site will have a blog, so now we’re either mixing pretty permalinks and HTML links (blog and pages), or using two tricks to make the whole site appear to be something it is not. This may introduce issues down the road (who knows what Google may do next?) or conflicts with other plugins. Since proper use of redirects should preserve the apparent page rank that the OP (or their client) has established, redirects would deliver a more consistent result.

    After thinking about using the Redirection plugin I did wonder about using the built-in capability of Genesis for doing the same thing. That would marry the redirects to work in Genesis – and I think it works to the opposite effect anyway! Using the plugin makes the work more portable if there is a need or desire to use another framework.

    Great to know there are so many options!


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    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Tom.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Tom.
    #65365

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 968

    @Donnee
    The Genesis 301 redirection from within a post works to deliver the opposite of what you want.

    If you enter a new URL in the “Custom Redirect URL” section of a page/post, the natural URL of the post will then redirect to the ‘custom URL’. Great if that’s what you want to do. But you want to redirect the old HTML URL to a new page served from your WordPress site.

    As Bill pointed out, along with the second link I provided, you can achieve this by changing the permalink structure and another plugin. As you’ve noted, this doesn’t affect archive URLs for author or category. In the end, I don’t think the result is as good or consistent as using a plugin like ‘Redirection’ (there are many similar).

    Let us know what you decide and how it works for you.


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    #65367

    DonneE
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    @Tom If this were your site,and being there are less than 50 pages, would you simply do an http access 301 redirect written by hand or would you risk using a plugin?

    #65385

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 968

    re: .htaccess vs plugin

    That depends on your comfort with editing your .htaccess and a couple other factors.

    Pro-Plugin:
    With .htaccess, any page changes or to add overlooked pages means FTPing and editing and FTPing. I have also seen plugins/updates wreak havoc on .htaccess, although this would be exceptionally rare, I think. The site would probably work, but your redirects might be lost for a time until corrected.

    On the other hand,

    Anti-Plugin:
    The Redirection plugin is currently unavailable (see: the support thread).

    Two other factors that would steer me away from long-term use of the plugin:

    1. It’s nice not to have a plugin installed that needs to be maintained when a no maintenance alternative is available.
    2. You(your client) seem(s) not to need URL masking that Redirection easily supports, say for affiliate use or vanity URLS. (This could also be handled later with the Simple URLs plugin, if required.)

    Because you are building this on a remote server, I would start with the plugin and finish with just .htaccess. You can also re-evaluate after step 8.

    1. Get a complete inventory of the pages to redirect from the existing HTML site.
    2. Build the WordPress pages to replicate these.
    3. Setup the redirects using Redirection.
    4. Lather, rinse and repeat until you’re sure all redirects are written in the plugin.
    5. Test.
    6. Go live.
    7. Review logs from Redirection for 404s and redirects. (Remember that spreadsheet?)
    8. Adjust as necessary.
    9. Use Redirection to write an .htaccess file for you. (“Export all redirections to CSV, XML, or Apache .htaccess files“)
    10. Merge this with your existing .htaccess.
    11. Turn off the plugin and test.
    12. Backup the .htaccess file for just-in-case.

    Once you’re fully satisfied that all pages are redirected, the job is done and the plugin may be removed.


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    #65388

    Bill Murray
    Participant
    Post count: 575

    @Tom – You’re right about the permalink change to which I linked not working with pages, but that is easily fixed with a small plugin. Generally speaking, I don’t disagree with what you said about whether doing what the OP originally asked makes sense. I was only pointing out that it’s possible. What’s possible is not always what’s wise.

    @DonnaE – If you have less than 50 pages and you’ve moved a site to WP, you’re better off redirecting the .html links to their new locations on your WP site. Links do suffer some very small hit from an SEO perspective if they are 301 redirects, but in the overall scheme of things, it’s inconsequential. The structure of your permalink (including whether the category is preserved in category archives) is controllable.

    If you’re comfortable doing .htaccess redirects, they’re faster than redirects via a plugin and as Tom pointed out, it’s one less plugin that you have to master.


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