I created lots of websites during the past twelve years working with Joomla and WordPress.
The problem was that I not only created websites for clients but also for myself leaving me with a whole lot of sites to manage.
So this year I wanted to scale down on the number of sites to manage by consolidating different sites into one big site. This is that new website: https://www.websitebeginnersguide.com
Which Sites to Consolidate?
Taking that decision is one thing, getting into action is something completely different.
First off all I needed to determine which sites would be good candidates to move to a different domain and if it was possible to do so with a minimal loss in Google rankings.
When the whole project is done, it should even improve on the rankings and the number of visitors, creating a website that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
Criteria to take into account:
- Website topic should match the purpose of the new domain
- Permalinks structure should also be the same to be able to do a 301 redirect form the old website
- Export and import of data should be easily doable
- Number of RSS feed subscribers
For me that meant that the first sites to consolidate where:
- Others to follow
Setting the First Steps
First off all I needed to setup the new website with the same CMS, in this case WordPress.
Decide on the Layout / design of the site. I now use Genesis with the News Pro theme from StudioPress. Not cheap, even for a premium theme, but well worth every dollar I spend on it.
After WordPress basic installation was done, I checked the common plugin usage in both sites and make sure the permalinks settings were identical.
The main reason for this was that it is a lot easier to do a complete site redirect than creating a lot of single 301 redirect rules per site.
The actual moves were done by creating a WordPress export file from the old sites and import them into the new one. If you want to do the same, make sure you check the box to import the attachments as well, that saves time and prevents some image link problems.
Search and Replace Old stuff and General Housekeeping
Some of the things I did after the migrations
- Using this plugin to change the URLs of the images and old links form http://pathosseoblog.com/ with the correct new uploads path.
- Check Old comments to see if there is nothing left that point to the migrated domains.
- Used Ajax Thumbnail Rebuild for resizing the images for use on archives and layout options.
- Update the Contact form
- Set SEO Options -> I was not sure on using a Plugin or the Genesis SEO Theme settings. I decided to go the Genesis SEO options to see if that would work out better than WordPress SEO. Update: WordPress SEO by Yoast is now the main SEO function for this site.
- Installed the Google sitemap.xml plugin to get the standard xml file to put into my Webmaster Tools account. Update: Sitemap.xml is now handled by WordPress SEO Plugin.
- Deleted the two other site entries in Webmaster tools. You could do better to just inform Google webmaster tools that the site has moved.
- Set up a new Subscribe widget
- Cleaned out old and duplicate post categories
Other this to look out for in the coming weeks:
- Check the error logs for 404 errors that need to be addressed
- Check Stats and Tools to find other problems that might occur
- Decide what other domain could be consolidation candidates
- Write new articles and guides especially for WordPress and Joomla Beginners
- Regain focus and have fun!