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I´m about to migrate a EZ Publish website to WordPress and I have several questions about the process. Considerations:

  • I cannot run WP on the same hosting as EZP so it´s currently being developed on a different hosting co. under a different domain.
  • Current EZP version is not secure and I´d like to move to https
  • Current EZP version of the site ranks very well on Google
  • The directory structure of the EZP site is totally different from WP

Question: How can I move to the new WP site without losing Google rank?

Is it possible to keep the current http EZP site running in their hosting, create a https version of each page in WP in the new hosting using the same domain name and redirect page by page and finally drop the EZP site once everything has been migrated?

The idea behind is that this process will take several months to be completed and, by the time the migration has been done, the new, secure, WP site will rank properly and the drop in ranking will not be noticeable.

Is this a good idea? If not, how can both CMS coexist under the same domain until the new WP version ranks properly without incurring into duplicate content penalties?

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I would say looking into the following situations:

  • How big is your current EZ site in terms of number of URLs?
  • The website structure of EZ site.

In your situation, i would say create respective pages in WP site and then create redirection strategy using .HTACCESS provided you may have limited URLs.

Alternatively, depending on your EZ structure, you may be able to create the majority of EZ url structure in WP hosting using custom .htaccess & php code and the intention will be only to redirect (301) internally to its new WP URL.

Conclusion: It will entirely depend on the size of EZ site its URL structure and creating re-direction strategy.

  • I agree. The site is not that big so I could spider the site using a crawl service such as Screaming Frog and manually write 301, that´s not a problem. However, I cannot run WP on the same hosting as EZP, sites are in different servers under different domains at the moment. I want to keep everything under the same domain. So the 301 solution wouldn´t work, or would it? – Pablo May 13 '17 at 8:46
  • Yes, it would depend on real assessment of your ES site structure. Assuming couple of URLs of your EZ site is like: 1) example.com/company/about.html 2) example.com/services/service1.html. Now you created the equivalent content in WP site like: 1) example.com/about/ 2) example.com/service1/. Now, lets say EZ site is OFF and WP is live. So, now the only issue is when user to to old URL they should be redirected (301) to respective WP URL. So, you can write custom script using .htaccess, URL re-write, PHP and set redirection to respective new pages. Limited URLs, .htaccess can handle easily. – TopQnA May 13 '17 at 9:27
  • Sure, I understand the logic behind 301. My doubt is how can I have a single domain name running on two servers at the same time and how/where should I set the 301 redirects. I did a quick google search and it seems the answer could be load balancing while both sites coexist. Is that a possible solution? – Pablo May 13 '17 at 9:57
  • You don't need to run 2 different server/hosting. Let me explain differently, let's say you had a site and server died and you lost entire site and all indexed URLs by Google going to 404. Now, you created a notepad file with all indexed links. Then you created a new site in WP with different URL structure. Because you got list of OLD urls, you can set redirection in .htaccess. Alternatively, custom php code can be written to handle the redirection. – TopQnA May 13 '17 at 10:21
  • If all of the sudden I stop the old site and redirect each URL to the new one, google rank will be seriously affected because the search engine will find a whole new site in the domain with a totally different HTML structure. Even if the new WP version of the site is better in terms of SEO, the drop in ranking could be massive, overnight and take months to get recovered from. – Pablo May 14 '17 at 9:34

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