The First step is to make sure pages are accounted for and add redirects as needed. In this case I google site:edgecappartners.com and it shows me all the pages that have been indexed. There’s about 400 something pages indexed when you first run the search. You have to skip to the end of the search results and typically that number changes. In this case it says it’s 186 results.
Most of those are going to be blog posts and PDFs. I’ll pull over all of the PDFs so that they’re there and we don’t end up with any 404s.
Then we’ll want to review the rest and redirect to new pages if they’re fairly important and if they’re not I’ve installed a “404 to 301” plugin that will take any pages that would normally result in a 404 page and redirects it to the homepage. They call it a 301 redirect because it’s permanent as opposed to a 302 redirect which is temporary.
Websites can have various post types. In this case we had team members and normal posts and each have been imported. In the case of both these post types we’ll just need to take a sampling of each to ensure that the naming rules for the URLs stayed the same. For the blog I tested a tag archive, post & general archive. To test the old URLs agains the the new ones you’ll just take the “Slug” of the old url (i.e. /insights/page/4/) and add it at the end of the address bar on your test site. If the page doesn’t come up, something wrong. Either redirect or change the names to make up for the difference.
You’ll want to make sure as you update URLs to match the old site that you don’t break any links on your new site. Ideally the old website would be reviewed thoroughly before the build so that the web developer is already aware of what content exists well before these final steps.
If analytics were installed on the previous site you will want to continue to use the same analytics ID so that you can keep the history. You can quickly check for the analytics ID by searching for UA- in the old site’s source code. I like to use the All In One SEO plugin, which has a place to plug in the analytics ID, but the Google Analytics dashboard is good if you’re looking for additional analytics control or have another SEO plugin.
Once everything is accounted for the final step of setting a website live is quite simple. The domain just needs to point to the server that contains the website and the website hosting needs to be configured to be ready for traffic to come from that domain.