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I have a website with a "tips" section administered using WordPress (the rest of the site is made up of basic HTML files).

For multiple reasons (including security and the fact I rarely add content now), I am now going to be removing WordPress and am manually preparing .php files with hidden extensions etc so that I can re-upload the content in the exact same location as it is at present. Everything is sorted; theme, content, etc; it's all identical to how it is on WordPress but just as standalone pages.

I just want some reassurance that once I've deleted WordPress and re-uploaded the standalone PHP files that nothing "should" change in the SERPS? In the search engine's eyes, the content is the same, the URLs are the same, internal links haven't changed, etc - the only changes are in the backend with htaccess re-writes to "hide" the .php extensions, etc.

  • Search engines don't know or care about your backend or how it generates pages. If the output is the same, the results will be the same. – John Conde May 3 '17 at 13:56
  • Not an answer to the question, but you may want to check out the Simply Static plugin: wordpress.org/plugins/simply-static It automates the whole process of converting a WordPress site to a static site. – JCL1178 May 4 '17 at 23:06
  • Cheers, JCL1178 - will take a look. – Lee May 5 '17 at 9:20
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In the search engine's eyes, the content is the same, the URLs are the same, internal links haven't changed, etc - the only changes are in the backend

So, from the point of view of users and search engines, nothing has changed (they don't see any "backend"). So as you say, "nothing should change in the SERPS".

The only thing that might change is the "speed" of your site. I wouldn't expect it to be "slower". In fact it could potentially be "quicker" - and that's a good thing.

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  • Cheers w3dk. Yes, speed was another reason for me moving - I've notice a near 1-second improvement in speed (OK, that's nothing drastic, but every little helps). – Lee May 3 '17 at 13:49
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Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

WordPress generally handles the page titles and meta descriptions, so if the content is not changing when you port to the new platform ensure the non-content areas such as the page titles and meta descriptions are carried across. Assuming that both the content and non-content areas are cloned, then you should not need worry about any change in rankings.

Even more secure than your PHP method...

I hope you don't mind but I feel that your spending time on a lost cause... WordPress can be insecure but It can be made secure... even if you plan not to update content, plugins and even update WordPress itself.

You can place WordPress into READ only state making it potentially more secure than the PHP solution your porting too. A read-only setup is almost unhackable. You can do this simply by making a few changes to the hosting platform, such as:

  • File & Folder Permissions
    • Using a chmod 0444 permission on both the folders and files make the system unwritable therefore no hacker can make any changes to the website at all.
  • MySQL:
    • Using a read-only MySQL user makes the SQL unwritable, making impossible to inject SQL hacks.

Just my 2 cents...

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  • Thanks, Simon. I have sorted the Titles and Meta Descriptions my end - I'm manually copying the relevant parts and removing anything WordPress-related (I'm also removing the blog feed link as I see little benefit in this, too. I appreciate your comment with regards to security. However, that's just one of many small reasons. One of the primarily reasons is that I just feel happier having good old-fashioned standalone pages that I can see and edit (I'm useless when it comes to WordPress). – Lee May 3 '17 at 13:51
  • Ah, I see, perfectly good reasons. Your benefit greatly using Cloudflare, especially now that your site will be going static. It's free, if your not using it already :) – Simon Hayter May 4 '17 at 23:23

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