WordPress Redirection Plugin
If your new site is based on WordPress, then a plugin such as the Redirection plugin can be used making the process of redirecting a page very simple.
Redirection also stores its redirect data in the database this time in the wp_redirection_items table which is created by the plugin. Once the plugin is installed and activated it can be found in the Tools menu of the WordPress dashboard. The plugin is filled in in the following format using the default settings:
The page to be redirected /oldpage/ and the redirect target http://example.com/newpage/.
Make sure that you delete the old pages from your server in order for the method to work.
My prefered workflow is this:
- Upload your new WordPress site to your live server, but do not upload index.php yet.
- Login and install JF3 Maintenance Redirect, activate it, enable it and redirect to your old homepage.
- Upload index.php. Now only you can see the new site, the robots and other not-logged users see the old.
- Open the live site with another browser so that you can see the old addresses.
- Now use the redirect plugin and redirect your old pages to your new, so that you don’t lose page rank.
Listing URLs for the 301 Redirect Map
01. In Google Analyltics, select the time period from when the site was tracked for the first time.
02. Now go to Behaviour / Site content / All pages and export to google spreadsheets. Make sure that the langing pages with the most visits have a 301 redirect.
Scrape the index
The best way to discover a site’s dust bunnies hiding in Google’s index is to use a “site: query” search on Google. For example, if the site lives at www.fakesite.com, just Google “site: www.fakesite.com” and Google will return a list of the pages it has indexed. Limit the query to specific parts of the site to get a more complete list. For example, Googling “site: fakesite.com” without the www will return a list of pages indexed without the www subdomain. Adding these old pages to the 301 redirect map will simultaneously get them out of the index so no one accidentally stumbles on them and also harvest whatever link authority they may still have to benefit the redesigned site.