We recently had a client come to us with a unique request, and I thought I’d break down the process for anyone else in a similar circumstance.
The client runs a very popular football blog that started in 2006. Over the past 6.5 years, they’ve accumulated 20K posts, 120 categories, 7100 tags, and over 6800 comments. As you can imagine, their WordPress database was HUGE!
When upgrading to a new theme, the site became extremely slow, to the point that we had to revert to the original theme. The issue was that 25GB database..
After talking it over with their team, we decided to create an Archive site which held all the old posts (archive.website.com), so that people searching for that old content would be able to still access it. That meant exporting the database (through a shell script, since the DB was so large), and then downloading all of the files associated with the site. Once that was done, we created the new site, imported the database, changed all of the www.website.com references to archive.website.com through MySQL, and then uploaded all of the backed-up files.
To make sure that Google was redirecting people to the Archive site, we had to edit the .htaccess file and setup some redirection rules. This turned out to be really easy, since their old Permalink structure included the date and year. So 6 redirection rules (one for each year) and we were done!
The new site uses a cleaner permalink structure (www.website.com/post-title), and we laid out a category structure for them moving forward.
All in all, it was a VERY stressful few days, but in the end everything is running great and the client is extremely happy.
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