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I created example.com/about.html using a simple HTML web hosting and I want to migrate to a WordPress site. If I install WordPress on my hosting, I would essential be removing .html from all my 50 or so pages.

When I create the site in WordPress, will all my old links be broken? Will all my existing SEO will be gone?

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Technically example.com/about.html and example.com/about are two different URLs. If you do nothing then the links will be broken.

I suggest you stay with Wordpress' default behavior and not keep the .html extensions. You can then create an automated redirect from any .html URL to its non-.html equivalent. You can do it at a server level: Redirecting old .html page to new without html extension page?

If you rather keep the URL format and keep the .html extension then you can do it easily too: Adding .HTML extension to every WordPress Page

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You can remove the .html from the urls and redirect the pages to the WordPress format of clean urls. This will keep the pages indexed in google and your traffic the same.

Here is an apache htaccess code that should do the trick.

RewriteiteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule ^(.*).html$ /$1 [L,R=301]

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If you are moving your HTML site to a WordPress site and you would like to keep URLs the same, the good news is that you can append the .html extension to your posts URLs via permalink and to individual pages you need to add a function to your function.php file.

Follow this recommendation on how to do both, pages and posts.

You can also try searching for a plunging, for example check this one.

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