Redirecting all URLs from a large site to new WordPress site

I am close to completing a large project in which I took an existing site (http://theitaliangardenproject.com) and had to recreate the look of it and then copy/re-create all of the content into a WordPress site. This new site is on my servers and will have all new urls/links for all pages. The new site can currently be seen at: http://70.39.148.206/~theitali/

The current site has pages, posts, many comments and shares (shares using "Share This). My client has built up a following for this site and has interest from others to create a book and possibly a documentary - so she wants to keep the momentum going as much as possible (of course).

I have three issues for which I need some help/advice:

1). Since many of her current site visitors have “shared” and bookmarked many different pages in her site, we need to re-direct all of the old urls to the new urls. What is the best way to accomplish this? There are approximately 70 pages that need to be redirected. My first thought was to do permanent 301 redirects through my cPanel; I’m just wondering if there is a better way instead of doing it individually 70 times.

2.) What is the best way to transfer all of the comments from the current site to the new site? My idea is to simply copy them all into one WordPress comment with a disclaimer at the top saying something like “This site has been upgraded to a new platform. These comments are from out old systems, please feel free to continue commenting below.” Good idea…or not?

3.) Regarding the Share This issue - some current posts have hundreds of shares and my client doesn’t want to have to start the “clock” over from zero, it’s important to her that potential publishers see that there has been great interest in her project. My ideas was to take a screen shot of the Share This block, paste it into each post along with a comment similar to the one above regarding the comments. Good idea…or not?

Thanks so much for any help you can give me!!

Hello there,

For the first question, your client don’t want to lose the SEO juice she already have with her website, so it’s better that you add on the new website the Same URLS Structure… instead of 70 different URLS… like for exemple :
the Page stories-garden/ You use on the New Website : stories-profiles/stories-from-the-garden/ …

My advice, Just Keep the Same Structure and you can use this on the Old Website Htaccess file :


RewriteEngine on 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

That will Auto Redirect all the old URLS to The New Website URLS.

2- For the comments you can use the WordPress Importer plugin and import the Comments But keep in mind that the New URLS must be the SAME as the OLD.

Or you can Export the comments table from the old database, Edit it and Import it to the New Website.

3- Your idea seems good…

Goodluck

It’s not going to be possible to keep the same URLs. The current site uses “.html” file extensions. For instance:
OLD SITE: http://www.theitaliangardenproject.com/giovanni-maria-macchione.html
NEW SITE: http://70.39.148.206/~theitali/stories-profiles/meet-the-gardeners/giovanni-maria-macchione/

The old site is not built with WordPress.

Any other ideas??

If the file name matches the wordpress slug of the new post – IE oldsite.com/my-file-name.html to newsite.com/my-file-name then it is a pretty straightforward .htaccess url rewrite.

If stuff doesn’t match at this scale then oftentimes the most straightforward approach is to build an app that maps old urls to new urls and 301s stuff over.

This isn’t a problem, from the Wordpress Dashboard => Settings => Permalinks, use : /%category%/%postname%.html

Or you can use this plugin that handle pages also : http://wordpress.org/plugins/dot-htmlphpxml-etc-pages/

Goodluck