Problems updating old website


Hi all

Last week I updated my photography website by deleting the old one on my server and replacing it with the new version.

If I visit my new site via the full address all is as it should be except for a minor tweak I made which still hasn't registered 7 days later, although for some reason its now corrected when loading the page on my phone!

Most problematic however is that when doing a basic search under my name Google is loading the old links to my previous website some of which load the new site and some load a blended amalgamation of both old and new.

Is this something to do with my browser settings or Google perhaps? I'm afraid this is all new to me. Any advice would be much appreciated, or a friendly nudge in the right direction to get the necessary information.

Many thanks. P


That sounds as if it could be a browser cache issue. It commonly happens with updated CSS files, the browser uses the old version from its cache, not knowing the file has been altered.
Try clearing your cache, or add a fake variable to the file URL so it loads the new version:-

<link rel="stylesheet" href="styles/my_css_file.css?version=2018">

That sounds like a problem with Google's index not updating yet. It should happen naturally over time but you can do things to help. Submit your new pages to Google using "Fetch as Google" in Search Console. Set up redirects from your old pages to equivalent new pages.

That does actually sound really odd, I've never seen that, but it may be due the the caching issues I mentioned before.
Any reference to a file with the exact same name and URL as before, but has changed can load an older cached version.


Thanks for this Sam, I think you may be right regarding cache issues and I wasn't aware of the Google search console so I'll check that out too.

One of the old links - to my portfolio page - is actually broken. i get this message:

Will this also sort itself out naturally over time, or should I do something about it with the search console / redirect?

Thanks. P


Should there be a page at that URL?
If there should be, then you have a problem.
If that URL is now a redundant one from the old site, then it may be a candidate for a 301 redirect to an equivalent page on the new site.


Oh no, sorry, that's my mistake. That page is no longer in existence, my new portfolio page has a different URL

Is there anyway of deleting it this old page, or should I redirect it to my new URL?

Cheers. P


If the new site has an equivalent page a redirect is the best thing for UX and SEO.
If there is no equivalent page it may be best left as a 404 or maybe marked as 410 (Gone).
If there are a few 404s it may be worth making a custom 404 page with some useful links to key pages on the current site for the user's convenience. That can help reduce your losing traffic from 404s.


Of course I now realise what I should have done was to make sure that old URL was used in the new website, which would have been easy! :banghead: Too late now the new site is up and running I suppose. I'll know better next time.

What do people do when they have multiple page websites, is it really preferable to have multiple references to your website in a Google search? All seems a bit untidy to me.

Thanks for taking the time to explain this stuff to me.


With appropriate headers set, be they 301, 302, 404, 410 or whatever, the search engines will be informed how to handle the indexing of those URLs.
Re-indexing can take time, so the old URLs may hang around in SERPs for a while, but should fade away eventually.

When I have updated sites and as a result altered the URL structures, I then spend a good bit of time in the .htaccess setting up appropriate headers. These will mostly be 301s to send the old URLs to their new equivalents. In many cases you can use regex there to save having to set up every page redirect manually.
As I said it will take a bit of time for the SEs to sort out their indexes and there may be a short term (negative) effect to your SERPs, but it will pass and recover well if all is set up properly.

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