Having been involved with web design and development for over 14 years you tend to pick up tips and general practices that should always be followed when you take over a companies website or web activities, let me explain.
Take this scenario for example, you are commissioned to produce a new website for a client with new content and using the existing content from their website. The website is to be built using a CMS system of your choice.
You go through your normal process producing a new design for the website, working out what content is going where, the structure of the site and so forth. You then build the website, all the content and images are then inputted, client signs it off and you are ready to go live. You then replace the old website with your lovely new one. Great, but are you forgetting something?
What about all the old pages that are already indexed by search engines? What will happen if a customer happens to search and come across these old pages and you as the provider have done nothing, the poor customer is going to be presented with a blank 404 page not found, or something similar depending upon how your server is set up. How many times yourself have you searched the Internet, clicked a link only to be given a blank sorry not found page? Frustrating don’t you think? I certainly do.
So how do you tackle this problem, well you can do either one of two things, you can use your htaccess file and utilise mod-rewrite to tell the search engines and people who visit the site, that page X is now page Y and automatically take them there or you could choose the simple route and give them a nicely presented 404 page not found, but with links to the other areas of your website so at least they don’t see a blank page with no logo or information that tells them they are on your website.
This is just one of the things that I always think about when taking a website, the old site might not be great to look at, but it could have had plenty of people visit the pages.
So when you are next thinking about having your website developed, remember that I think about the past as well as the future. Give me a call on 07805 254007 or contact me via the form on my website and you know that what you have already had created will not be forgotten.