When you are developing your website, you have to ensure that Google does not crawl your website at that time. Otherwise, it would have a catastrophic effect on the ranking before the newly designed website goes live. This is because if the search engine finds duplicate content on new pages of your website, it might impose a penalty. You can unblock the development site or the development folder by using the ‘disallow tag’ via robots.txt. #1. Find which pages on your site are ranking and are also indexed in the Google Make use of certain tools, such as Google Analytics, and check if your web pages are ranking in Google. Create your Google Analytics account that helps you show the list of the pages that receive the most visits. It will note these urls as well as start collecting them inside a spreadsheet, as they are used for 301 redirects in future. #2. Make use of the spreadsheet Now you are getting the urls that are indexed in Google and are driving traffic to the website make sure that these urls are easily redirected to the appropriate page on the website. You can then add the new urls to a master spreadsheet to make sure that the indexed urls are easily redirected to a new page after the site has been redesigned. #3. Recreate the old rankings as well as non-ranking website pages on your new site Once you have developed your new site in the ‘Google free zone’ and collected the important urls of your old site, you can recreate these web pages on the site that have the requisite ranking. If the Google spider crawls your new site again, it would not find any significant difference in content or meta tags that might force it to re-evaluate and affect the rankings of the sites. The first step is to export the blog posts on your old WordPress site by going to the WordPress Dashboard. Click ‘Finding tools> Export’ and choose the ‘Posts’ and download the ‘xml’ file. Then you have to go to the Dashboard and import that same xml file, putting the old posts or comments on your new site. You can follow the same procedure with the web pages of your old site. However, it is important to note that since the web pages of your site are correctly formatted with short codes unique to your old site’s theme, you can simply recreate the old pages using short codes of new themes and re-load the images to the new site. #4. Keep a backup of everything Before you begin the task of replacing the old website with a new one, you should back up the old as well as new files. In the case of the WordPress site, you should keep a back-up of the database for old and new sites and then download the files for both the websites. #5. Allow your re-designed site to go live Before you delete all the files of your old website in your server and then replace the site with a new one, you have to ensure that there are correct 301 redirects in place if the web pages have changed the names in the procedure. You may also try to find out different CSS frameworks to help recreate your website’s design easily and make your life smoother. Read these essential steps of redesigning a website and revamp your site without losing the SEO effects at the same time. Images: ” Web Plan / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Want to get your business featured on Tweak Your Biz? Check out #TYBspotlight.