Support » Everything else WordPress » Be Careful Using WordPress as a CMS

  • I am a programmer and designer who normally writes his own cms code and I recently switched http://www.moviesonline.ca to wordpress. I decided when I switched I wanted to keep my existing site and just use worpdress as a backend to power part of my news system since WordPress blows the pants off of any news system I could ever build.

    I followed this guide which was fantastic and made it so I could port my code into wordpress and completely do away with themes and keep my existing url architecture and site structure. http://jonhoo.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/using-wordpress-as-a-website-backend/

    Here is the warning. I did this and everything looked great until I checked my logs a few weeks later and noticed google was being sent an error everytime it tried to spider my site. If you use this tutorial as is it will give google a 404 error for EVERY page. In my case this means that almost 8 years of content and 10,000 articles were 404’d to google.

    I think most of you can imagine my agony over that. I have no idea if this is the right forum or whether anyone really cares but considering the pains it caused me I wanted to share with you what happened to me.

    this is by no means a condemnation of the article as its well written and a great piece and it may well have been something I did wrong but hopefully this warning will help somebody!

    Cheers

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Jonhoo

    (@jonhoo)

    Hey!
    I’m the author of that post, and I’m just wondering what pages you are receiving 404s on?
    I can’t see any reason why the techniques I’ve outlined would cause missing page errors, but if they do, I’d like to fix up the article so that other people don’t hit the same problem =)

    Cheers,
    Jon

    MikeMovies

    (@mikemovies)

    Not really sure. I have a custom built cms from the ground up and your great paper made me move towards altering my site to use WordPress only as the backend to power my site while retaining most of my cms and frontend.

    As a start I updated all my old news pages to have ‘related features’ on the top ( http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_17587.html ) as a result every single one of my pages were sending a 404 error to google and were delisted from google. A HUGE nightmare when you count on advertising to cover your operating costs of a hobby out of control.

    I didnt catch the bug till my traffic plummetted because the pages load fine in every browser and it was only when I ran a google spider simulation that I found everything was 404’ing.

    Jonhoo

    (@jonhoo)

    But the page wouldn’t give a 404 to a webcrawler, but a normal page to a browser..? What exact links are you getting 404s on?

    MikeMovies

    (@mikemovies)

    I do not have any live pages now that 404 because it cost me 38% of my readership having this mistake in place and not noticing it for so long since the 404 blocked google from seeing my content. I have removed the code completely so google can now spider again.

    When I get a second I am sure I can reproduce it quite easily. All I did was put the header inclusion code into my header as your writeup instructed and google was no longer able to spider it. 404 everytime.

    Its tricky to catch because if i just load the url it loads fine. You need to look in google webmaster tools logs or use a google emulator to catch it. I am sure it also 404’d to yahoo but its such a small traffic segment its not worth getting upset over.

    Jonhoo

    (@jonhoo)

    Ah! What you’ve probably done is to choose “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors” under Settings -> Privacy. This would cause 404s to be sent to webspiders. Change it to “I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers” and everything should be working again =)

    MikeMovies

    (@mikemovies)

    That would definitely cause 404 errors but that is not what happened with me. I will try to get some time to build a page and show how it 404’s just so everyone can see.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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