Website Migration from a Subdomain to a Subfolder for SEO Purposes

search engine friendly migration from a subdomain to a subfolder by wowebsites

The purpose of migrating a subdomain to a subfolder is to increase the number of search results on the same domain as well as to increase the number of internal links.   Remember, SEO is about 3 things:  Content, Links and Technical SEO.   By increasing the content of your website (increasing search results), you are also increasing the number of internal links of your domain.  Essentially, hitting two birds with one stone!

You can see this by comparing the search results of online competitors.  Example below…

For the keyword, “project management software”

  • technologyadvise.com has 5,620 results
  • projectmanager.com has 1,080 results
  • wrike.com has 17,800 results
  • openproject.org has 1,550 results

For the keyword, “resource management software”

  • thedigitalprojectmanager.com has 2,890 results
  • float.com has 267 results
  • ntaskmanager.com has 410 results
  • mavenlink.com has 156 results

For the keyword, “team collaboration software”

  • products.office.com (Microsoft Teams) has 87,100 results
  • getvoip.com has 1,910 results
  • resources.workable.com has 7,670 results
  • samepage.io has 845 results

It’s important to note that these results are from Google’s Site Operator and must further be organized to provide actual, meaningful and useful data.

Prior to Migration

Before migrating the subdomain, delete all blogs that are causing penalties such as duplicate content and/or thin content. Below are all the blogs that have less than 200 words, pages with less than 200 words fall under the category of thin content or text-to-HTML ratio, wherein there is more HTML on the page than the actual text.

Recommendation for Thin content blogs (less than 200 words): Suggest to delete thin content blogs prior to migration but to ensure that all URL of the blogs are properly redirected (301 redirect) so that the website doesn’t lose Users if they land on the old URLs and to ensure that the domain retains and contains the Users.

If the page with thin content has the potential to be of value, I would suggest to increase the number of words from 200 up to at least 500 words so that they don’t get penalized for thin content.

Recommendation for Possible Thin Content Blogs (less than 300 words):  Blogs need to be assessed individually.  It must be decided if the page helps the overall online strategy and company brand — if they do not, suggest to delete the blog and 301 to the closest possible blog relating to the topic/subject. 

Recommended WordPress Plugins

I strongly recommend installing these plugins to help with the optimization of the website

  • Yoast SEO — helps control meta data efficiently and in real-time dashboard
  • JCH for pagespeed — this will help speed up the WP site OR
  • Fastest Cache — helps render pages quickly

Search Engine Friendly Migration

Ideally, if time permits, it would be great to map out each old URL to the new URL.  But because technology has just made things easier, simply set up the settings on the backend of WordPress and then redirect the URLs via htaccess.   The blog URLs should have /category/date/title — categories and dates are so important and the title gives it a unique URL.  Below is the example of an htaccess redirect

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^subdomain\.domain\.com$

RewriteRule ^ http://domain.com/subfolder/$1 [L,R]

Once this has been inserted, the domain should automatically redirect the blogs.  On WordPress, it takes about 20 minutes to migrate blogs since it has an import, export tool.  If you are migrating from a different platform please look for other online resources for more information.

After successfully migrating from a subdomain to a subfolder, check to ensure that all pages have been redirected successfully.  To check that URLS have been redirected properly use the site operator on Google

Below are further resources of migration from Ruby to WordPress blogs

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