All the hard work into creating your website, building links to your webpages and celebrating your first page ranking on Google…you don’t want to lose all that after switching your web hosting and/or website builder. So how to keep your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Search Engine Rankings, page popularity/traffic?
5 simple ways.
1) Make sure your webpage URLs don’t change after the switch. Or, if they change for the better, go to Step #2!
If you’re just doing a web hosting switch, this is no issue. Downloadable software, such as UltimateWB, where you can download it and upload to your own server allow you switch web hosting companies easily. It’s just a matter of getting a zip file of your files on cPanel (web hosting control panel), and uploading it to your new server.
But on the other hand, “hosted” website builders such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, VistaPrint, etc., are connected to their web hosting and won’t let you switch web hosting without also having to switch website builders. You can find which website builders force you to just use their web hosting on the Website Builder Comparison charts here. With them you won’t just have to rebuild your website, you will also have to check if your next website builder lets you actually choose your website URLs, at least for the main pages of your website. If the website builder offers Clean & Pretty URLs, chances are that means you do get a choice on your website URLs, and can just set them to the same as your current webpage urls. You can also check for this on the Website Builder Comparison charts here.
2) If your webpage URLs must change after the switch for some reason (or you want them to!), create server-side 301 Redirects. The best way to do this is by editing your website’s .htaccess file. You can find a tutorial on this on the User Manual topic How To Create 301 Redirects via .htaccess file .
Some website builder companies such as Wix put limits on how many redirects you can have however…which also brings us to the next point.
3) Don’t switch your webpage URLs for the worst! For example in the last blog post we talked about how Wix website builder doesn’t offer Clean & Pretty URLs, while their own website has the benefit of them. Perhaps you get pretty clean URLs, but it really is not the same. More info on this there.
4) Make sure your website builder utilizes Clean Coding and Cross-Browser/Platform Compatibility techniques. If it doesn’t you can lose your search engine ranking and also traffic from simply a poorly coded website that does not work well on different web browsers and platforms/devices. This is especially important now as people switch between using laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You can check for cross-platform compatibility on the website builder comparison charts here by checking whether the website builder offers a Responsive app, like UltimateWB.
5) Make sure your website builder lets you customize the meta tags for each page. Besides having good content, a part of the text that search engines read are the meta tags, and they are right there on the top of the page. Kind of like a first impression for search engines. You can check for this on the website builder comparison charts here by checking whether the website builder offers a built-in SEO tool. But not all SEO tools are built the same and offer the same customizability and flexibility as UltimateWB does! We use UltimateWB software for our own website so you can be sure that we made it flexible and usable, with top quality!