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Tech Helproom

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Replace existing site with new design


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Hi New here, thanks for any help you can give me.!! I have almost completed a new slim line "device sensitive CSS3" site which I intend to swap with my existing site, Importantly without losing the SEO that I have worked hard to achieve. On the new site I have kept the file/page-name and link structure of the important pages the same as on the old site. Am I correct in thinking that I can remove the old site from the server/public.html and replace it with the new site. I do have fewer pages now so any pages that I discarded from the old site can I 301 redirect them to my new index.html. Is this procedure correct or am I off the mark? I'm a bit worried about the existing htaccess file and so on. Help would be appreciated Adrian Fortune

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Hi Adrian

Congratulations on the site, more attractive, more mobile friendly and better for all users. Also better for the web in general and for search in the long run. Gradually building a little more good content will help over time. A couple of passing technical points:

On towing__reversing.html the link to "Prices Start at £25 per hour" needs fixing.

You might want to look at what's happening with 404s, make sure that in all cases missing pages are dealt with correctly and you have mopped up any possibles you can think of via 301 redirect. You should test all entries thrown up by a Google search of - site:3ridings.com - Not everything is shown but should help, plenty of 404s which need redirecting.

A more notable concern is the situation with:

beverleyhornsea.html - marketweighton_pocklington.html -

perhaps others, including any which were around and are now redirected to the remaining pages.

None of this should exist, all direct/very close duplicates of the home page need 301 redirecting to the root. If you want pages aimed at certain areas, you need to create original content. Worth time first with tools such as:

Adwords keyword facility

To make sure you are not considering terms people hardly search for and you may discover useful surprises.

Will also help if you find time to work on the canonicalisation issues mentioned earlier, plus changing all internal links to just "/" rather than "index.html". Same in the xml sitemap, you need to remove the entire duplicate entry for index.html.

A few other thoughts:

A contact form is essential. Some people just don't like their email software opened and plenty more may not be emailing from the address they want the reply to, or shouldn't be emailing from there at all.

No real world address I could see on site. Will cost you business and is detrimental to being returned is local searches.

On local search, try searching in Maps for "3Ridings Driving School".

This can bring up a different entry from the main one. Places can be a pain to sort out but this needs tackling. In theory, the best route is to have the entries merged but not always practical. If all else fails, you could claim the duplicate as your own, verify, then delete this entirely.

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Hi Thanks for the encouragement, it means a lot. I started last night working through the 301 redirects, I've mopped up ca 6 full google pages of links which all now point to where they should - or somewhere close.

I fixed the £25 link - thanks, I missed that one!

Am I understanding this correctly? The five pages that I created, Hornsey, Pocklington, Driffield, Hull and York should all point to the home page, or have content which is individual and original to that page? The reason I have them is: I am at the hub of the wheel and the pages cover areas, like segments in a pie chart. I don't have a problem with finding content, I just didn't think it was important. Anyway they now go to the root.

Sitemap: I should remove altogether the second entry(the bold one)?



When you say remove index.html and replace it with / do you mean in this example

href="index.html ...........I would change it to


As far as an email form goes, I have been ripping my hair out for two days now trying to implement a form in to the site that is also device sensitive. Anyway time for bed Thanks again Adrian

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Likes # 1

Hi Adrian

Give yourself time, not possible to do everything, websites evolve.

Yes, the complete entry for index.html should be removed from the xml sitemap. You might want to look at the map generally, /Publish/ has appeared, maybe a sitemap generator error, needs removing.

href="index.html" ...........you should change to href="/" or href="http://3ridings.com/"

Appreciate you feel the need to offer content for local areas. If that's worthwhile, you need to create unique and useful content, having those near duplicates of the home page live would not be good at all.

Probably plenty of responsive forms around e.g.

Contact Page Farrer and Fenwick

Haven't checked that but know who put the code together, probably okay. Also chosen because there are separate files for contact.css and mobile_contact.css, handy to follow. If you copy the form source HTML and the two style files, gives you a start. Either leave separate, or incorporate into existing media queries. Simplish form, so not bad to change colours, remove the box, whatever you wish. Looks like the boxes already heighten for small screens.

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Hi Again

Getting there slowly but surely, I found a small programme that makes bespoke forms, I just made it small enough to use with a smartphone. It'll do until I get some time to have a proper go at what you suggested. This is a massive learning curve but I'm relishing the challenge. The headaches are quite welcome, It's good to use the noddle again.

I hope you don't mind if I drop by now and again especially to pick your brains when a problem arises and I find myself waist high in smelly stuff.

Thanks again

Kind Regards


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Likes # 0

Hi Adrian

Enjoy learning as you go, we all keep doing so. Think of your users and then search success. That is like running a marathon, getting past the 95% of fun runners isn't hard but at the head of the pack, every aspect counts.

Popularity can be a great help, along with vibrant, useful content, yet all the small technical points which each make a tiny difference add up. A few, such as avoiding duplication and having easily crawlable content not so tiny.

If you haven't read them, these are worth a glance when you have time:

SEO Guide

Report Card

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