I have one JSON file that contains the text content for my hundreds of Wordpress posts. I am using templating, mustache.js, to insert the text content and render the posts. This saves me a lot of time, because I can efficiently bulk update parts of multiple posts in my JSON file using find and replace where I am also writing the content, rather than having to use phpMyAdmin for find and replace updates. More importantly, I can copy one piece of content from one post into other posts without having to open up each post as a browser tab from the slow Wordpress dashboard.

My question is:

This is a great system for me writing content, but is Google indexing the rendered posts, or is it only seeing the tags? My understanding is that on the first index, it looks at the source only, so it is indexing the tags only.

My follow-up question is: If this is the case and Google is only seeing the tags, is there a relatively simple way to render the posts for Googlebot before Googlebot sees them?

And finally, is there a way to render the entire site as static web pages all at once?

I don't know how the last part would work, because I am using a Wordpress host, WPEngine. It would be preferable though to render static web pages when I'm ready to, so that I can make changes to the JSON file offline, so to speak, without affecting the rendered site, because if I forget a comma and the JSON file becomes invalid, every single one of my Wordpress posts will show up as blank to the user. Then, when the JSON file has updates and I know it is valid, I would be able to render/update all the posts.

  • Welcome to Webmasters! I cannot see an equivalent to the Render as Google feature, however, with Search Console, you can use the URL Inspection, enter the URL, then View Crawled Page. I am not sure this will help or not. Just throwing it out there JIC. Cheers!! – closetnoc Oct 29 '19 at 20:01
  • Thanks. I tested the live URL in search console and the screenshot showed the content. I remember reading, as I mentioned above, that the first index looks at the source, and if the page is not content rich, it takes longer to be fully indexed. I don't know if that's the case in 2019 for normal crawling, as opposed to live tests. In any case I'll try SEO with dynamic insertion and make sure the site stays always visible for users by maintaining one production JSON file and a separate staging JSON file for overwriting the production file when it's time for a site update. – newuser Oct 29 '19 at 20:44
  • Putting tons of pages of content into a single file fetched by JavaScript isn't a good way to run a web site. That means that every browser has to download all the pages to view each page. You'd be better off putting all the content into a single file and splitting it up server side. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 30 '19 at 10:52
  • I agree. The file is at 1mb and growing. Do you know how to host a JSON file and split it up server side using Wordpress? – newuser Oct 30 '19 at 11:06

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