Support » Fixing WordPress » Fake directory structure of static (HTML) site …

  • I am working with a non-profit organization to convert its established static (HTML-based) site to a CMS-based site.

    That said, as we continue moving forward, looking for a theme — or working to tweak an existing theme — I have run across a challenge that I’ve come up with several possible ways to handle, but looking for input for others who may have dealt with the situation.

    The organization’s Board is committed to preventing linkrot when and where possible. Because the site is established, and because it is an HTML site, it has many directories.

    I know we can use categories to create the appearance of directories, but that won’t necessarily solve all the issues. For example, a sample URL right now could be:

    Now, while the second example sounds simple enough to handle with a category, it isn’t, though. Because of the organization’s mission, what would be the category is also a keyword, as well as other topic/content areas of the site, hence the problem.

    What I need to be able to do is make WordPress fake the existing directory names.

    One quick reply will be to use redirects. The Board has considered that, but has told me to explore all other viable options, as this isn’t favored, in the least, primarily because the organization has thousands of printed copies of many different items that are mailed out, including several URLs that are giving us concern.

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  • You can use Pages, which I think would work for you. The page slugs become the directory and file names, and you can pretty much replicate your directory structure. The problem is that the last time I looked it was a bitch to get Pages to take a .html extension — it involved hacking the source code, which you *really* don’t want to do because you’re screwed when you have to update WP. If that’s changed I’m not aware of it.

    I’d suggest using htaccess redirects even if you do use the page structure I’ve suggested. I speak from experience: back in March I transferred by site at to WP (take a look to see how the fake “directories” work). It’s almost all on Pages and I have about 600 redirects in my htaccess file. My site traffic held steady and this month it’s at record levels. Using 301 redirects guarantees that the pagerank of the old page is transferred to the new page.

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