Domain Forwarding a Single Page Site on WordPress – Best SEO?

I’m just going to post up a bit of a question in case anyone is wandering by who knows about these things and feels like helping me out! My wife is a professional athlete and she also is a personal trainer. I have a website up for her at ankhjii.com that is great, but it has a lot of info and things to see. It’s more focused on her activities, healthy things, competitions, etc. With her personal training, I wanted a single page. I just wanted it clean, a bit of info, directions, contact info, etc. I want everyone to be able to just get the info they need to hire her.

I really like her main page, it’s set up well, good theme, colours, etc. I wanted her one page site to match. What I’ve done right now is set up a single page on her main site to be the Toledo Personal Training website. I bought the domain toledopersonaltraining.com and set it to 301 redirect to the single page on her main site.

I really don’t want to set up another full site. Now, all of my WordPress sites are in a single multisite instance (under my main site, www.rvoodoo.com), so I wouldn’t have to run another full install, I could set up a subsite and map the domain. But I would still need to worry about plugins, configurations, etc. all of which would duplicate everything on her main site. It’s really easier to just run it as a page.

The thing I don’t know is SEO, I really want her page to rank as Toledo Personal Training, and not the full page URL that we redirect to. So, should I be doing a 301 redirect as I am currently? I have also gone in and made a sitemap for toledopersonaltraining.com (with links to a testimonial page and contact form) that I submitted to Google, it obviously points to the main domain, but the pages are all really pages on ankhjii.com, her main site. I went in to the Yoast SEO plugin and set the pages to be canonical to toledopersonaltraining.com.

Obviously, this won’t ever be a huge site with tonnes of traffic, but I want local people to see toledopersonaltraining.com when they search for those key words. Is this an OK setup that I have? Am I going to get decent rankings this way, is there a better way with my setup, or should I just bite the bullet and set it up as a separate site?

Appreciate any input from those out there knowing more than me.

Mind Your Permalinks When Setting up WordPress Multisite

Wow, just wow!! So I recently changed my several standalone WordPress installs to a network. I ran across one problem with blanking out my MX entries that I discussed here. I logged on to Webmaster Tools the other day to find out I had thousands of errors in there. There was another aspect of changing over to a network I hadn’t considered, my permalinks. Part of it was due to how WordPress handles things and most of it was due to me being a bonehead!

I used my main blog as the main site in the network. I hadn’t given it much thought, I just went with that. I would recommend if you decide to convert a bunch of sites to a network, you use the one that can afford to lose traffic the most to being the main site. Had I thought things through, I might have even used some sort of dummy site as my main site to have the least impact.

See I use the domain mapping plugin for my sites in the network, so for all of the subsites, nothing changed with the permalinks. Once I set up each subsite, I just went in and changed the permalinks to %postname% and I was good. That is the setting I had in place for each site to begin with. I – wrongly – assumed it was that way on my main site as well. Here’s all the problems I caused myself on that main site.

First, I set that site up back in 2007 or 2008, at the time you couldn’t use %postname% as your permalinks setting. So I used date based. I later changed that to category/postname when things evolved to allow it. I remembered that when I changed permalinks, WordPress would redirect all my posts. I knew that by converting my main site to be the network main site, it would add /blog to my URL. I was cool with that so I didn’t bother removing it. Afterall, this was a blog, and maybe in the back of my mind I though WP would auto-redirect. Just to be clear – it doesn’t!

Well, I converted my main site and forgot to check the permalinks settings. By default, they set to date based permalinks. I imported all my posts and everything was good to go. I spent a week converting all my other sites into my network. Well, when I converted my main site, my URLs had gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname and Google crawled it all and indexed. A week later I realized my mistake, I didn’t want date based URLs, so I converted them to %postname% thinking that’s where they started, but on this site they had never been that way! I had also had an important event going on that I was blogging about during this time and decided I wanted to keep my URLs as they are now.

So where I was at. I had, in a month, gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname to blog/postname. Google was angry and I was confused! I still haven’t solved it how I would like… I’d like to have everything fixed in .htaccess for speed sake, but I don’t know .htaccess well enough and every attempt I make botches it thoroughly! Every attempt I make either gets me stuck in a loop or throws off the links for my subsites.

I had to install two plugins to make it all work, due to my limitations and the limitations of the plugins. I like the Redirection plugin, it’s pretty powerful. But I couldn’t make wildcards work with it. I also installed Simple 301 Redirect because that one handled my wildcards, but I couldn’t make my regex entries work right. In Simple 301 Redirect I could handle redirecting all the old category/postname to blog/postname redirects easily through wildcard entries. Same with the old category, tag, and date archives. In the Redirection plugin, I could use regex to redirect that week long mistake with blog/date/postname.

I think I have everything caught but I’ll continue to monitor Webmaster Tools. The date based mistake will go away with time and I won’t need to keep that redirect forever, but the change from category/postname to blog/postname will be forever. I have a Yourls install which I heavily use. Those links all go to old, very popular posts on my website that I want to maintain links for.

Anybody know how to handle this all in .htaccess?? Especially for the category/postname to blog/postname without affecting subsites in a network? That would be peachy!

Server and .htaccess Question – Assistance Needed!

I’m going to post this here in the hopes that one of my smart readers has some input. I have a friend who runs a nice photography site. His main domain is redirected offsite. His /wordpress directory has his install. He was getting ready to run his /wordpress install from root and before making any changes a problem sprung up. His site has worked fine in the listed configuration for years. I looked through both .htaccess files and they are perfect. Suddenly his /wordpress domain follows the redirect rules of the parent .htaccess. Absolutely nothing has changed on his end. What could have changed at the server level that might cause this? If I turn off his pretty permalinks in the subdomain and his .htaccess file clears out, the site works fine. Turn on the permalinks and the site redirects again following the 301 redirect in the root .htaccess file.

If anyone has any idea why, without any changes being made to either .htaccess file, this would suddenly happen I would love some input. I want him to be able to discuss this with his server guy who currently feels it is the fault of his WP install. Thanks!

Vudu Me Was Broken, and Now it's Fixed!

I won’t get into all the nitty gritty! You can read the background story on my personal blog here. But, in a nutshell, my hosting got pulled. Vudu me was down. I got my hosting back up and fixed my vudu me links. I can’t offer the front facing link shrinker, but my main problem was that all of my content was always shared using the vudu me links, and that was dead! Well, it’s back! Everyone can find my content again! I wonder how much traffic I lost because of that?

Smashing Magazine Launches WordPress Specific Section

I’ve always been a big fan of Smashing Magazine. Since I started trying my hand at web design, they have always been a great resource for learning and keeping up with current trends. Heck, I’ve even dropped some coin on some ebooks, and even their most recent Smashing Book # 2, which is a beautiful hard bound book.

Lately some really good resources have popped up in the WordPress realm. Tuts+, home of all sorts of amazing web related tutorials launched a WP specific tutorial site. They have a good variety of beginner tutorials, and some great advanced stuff. Smashing Magazine has decided to throw their hat in the ring with a WP specific section, which they are aiming to move beyond standard WP tutorial faire. The goal looks to be providing more in-depth WP knowledge, or, in their own words:

With the new Smashing WordPress section, we’re aiming for quality articles on intermediate-level topics, with an emphasis on developing smarter, faster sites with the world’s most popular publishing platform.

I definitely look forward to seeing what the folks at Smashing Magazine can offer up. I’m always looking for new sources of information, and new inspiration to move me in new directions on my projects!

VoodooPress Interesting Links

Here’s the first in a hopefully useful series of posts here on VoodooPress. I’m going to try to do this weekly, but no promises! I’m going to keep a draft post running, and add in cool links I find. These are things that’ll be hopefully useful to you. But they are also being kept as reference for me! I know I’ll want to find a lot of this info in the future. Let’s take a look at what caught my eye this week:

Continue reading “VoodooPress Interesting Links”

What VoodooPress is Learning From

I was thinking it would be a cool idea to have a periodic post on VoodooPress. Sort of like a round-up type post. But not on any set schedule. My thinking is that this will be as useful to me as to our readers. Throughout the week, I read some really useful posts. I don’t need the info right at that moment, but I know I will. Then when the time comes where I need that post, I forget where I read it. So I’m going to start posting some cool links for folks to be able to read up on some really great info out and about the WordPress community!