Updating Website

  • 1
  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 1 week ago
  • Answered
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: 7 days of inactivity

I have a very old website that I've revamped but every time I try to change my site association I don't get a 404 message just a notification with my website url and a link to homestead. 
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb

Posted 3 weeks ago

  • 1
  • 1
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hello,

Here are instructions on how to resolve the WebsiteBuilder 404 error. https://community.homestead.com/homestead/topics/fixing-the-website-builder-404-error
However, when I look at the domain names on the account I do see website showing for both. Were you still experiencing the error? 
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I never had the error. I mentioned that I found the instructions for that but that wasn't the issue. After I follow all the instructions I get a blank page with a link to homestead and only my web url showing
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,478 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
What website are you having issues with?
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
annexhair.org
annexhairdesign.com

I've had annexhair.org for quite a while but wanted to have a working mobile site so I built a new site figuring once it was built I could switch to the new one, keep annexhair.org and transfer everything to the new site. I can't seem to get anything to connect to annexhairdesign.com such as SEO analysers etc. I've had nothing but problems and I can't call during the hours that your help desk is around as I work. I now don't show up anywhere when I do a search for services whereas I was showing up on the first page and business has dropped considerably. I'm getting no calls. 
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,478 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
If you created the new site with a new domain name, page names and titles you will need to allow google to re crawl your website. If you are clicking on search result and it does not work it is because google is still reflecting your previous sites information. You can create a google webmasters account to ask them to re-crawl or re-scan you information to update their search results. You can also refer to some SEO articles for more information. 
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Are you saying that you've lost all traffic for annexhair.org and also can't find annexhairdesign.com in the search results or does annexhair.org show up as it always has and you can't get annexhairdesign.com listed?
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
That is correct. I used an SEO Report that told me my Google page doesn't match and my Yandex page doesn't match and I was going to be penalized for cloaking and my url is configured wrong on annexhair.org and it says it can't find any information for annexhairdesign.com. I was showing on the first page when searching for human hair wigs in Edmonton or wigs, Edmonton or hair loss Edmonton but now I'm not even in the first 10 pages. Some yelp pages show up and a very old annexhair.com website but neither of these two.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I looked at both sites and they appear to have basically the exact same content including copy and images. Page titles and descriptions were a little different from site to site for the same content/page. I didn't look to see if the images had the same titles on both sites.

Google/Bing/Duck claim that they don't have a duplicate content penalty but they probably have something very close with a nicer sounding name and that's what you may have been caught up in. In my opinion you have.

First about me. I'm not an SEO expert and don't claim to be. I've worked with Homestead websites for close to 20 years so any SEO skills I may or may not have has been learned from experience. For my personal business I rank #1 for organic search results for most of my geographically targeted keywords and search strings.

What I'm about to suggest you may not like or agree with. But that's OK. Just know that the exact same thing has happened me to more than once over the years.

One of your sites needs a complete rebuild. If the .org site was ranking best I would keep that one live as it is with no changes. It may take a couple weeks for the traffic to return to what you're used to. It may take a little longer but don't panic, it will return.

As for the .com site? Remove it. Put up a blank page with no links, no title, no description, etc. You might even consider deleting the site so the domain is blank/empty. Once you do that traffic should return to the .org site.

When you rebuild the .com site make it about completely different subject matter with a different layout if possible. As an example, in my business I perform wall and ceiling repairs. But I also do plaster repairs and popcorn ceiling removal plus a few other things that are listed/linked on the site with pages to match the subject. I also have another complete website that only addresses plaster repairs and plaster restorations plus another website that only addresses drywall repair/installation and painting. All these sites are related by category; interior repairs. But each site has different subject matter with different copy, titles, descriptions, etc. I even use most of the same images but the image names are different from site to site. I know it's a lot of work rebuilding a site but once you get started it should be a little easier. 

You should also be aware that new domain names may require some time before consistent search results are shown. From the search engine's perspective it's a new unproven property with no reputation. I don't mean social media reputation I mean no past history. A new domain may take a month to several months before receiving search engine traffic on a regular basis.

In closing. If your worried about a desktop sitebuilder/sitebuilder plus website not being mobile friendly you're wrong. You can create mobile friendly pages in desktop/plus but there are specific guidelines that must be followed exactly. Let me know if this interests you and I'll post the directions/scripts/etc.

Good luck.

(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
My original plan was to create a new Website in the new format Websitebuilder plus or whatever it's called because I was thinking I could just redirect traffic from annexhair.org to the new format annexhairdesign.com without losing any traffic. I was also getting really frustrated as I couldn't figure out how to fix the mobile site without spending money on some Duda site that I didn't want. I created the new site figuring once the old one was redirected, I could immediately delete the old site and I'd have a brand new site in the new format still under annex hair.org which ultimately was what I wanted to achieve. I only really care to have one working website that's mobile friendly that I'd soon like to add some content and possibly create a shopping cart in the near future. I can most likely fix the majority of the SEO errors but almost half of my SEO issues were with my mobile site and I did not have a clue how to access it without paying for Duda. If you can suggest how to repair the mobile site on annexhair.org I'll lose the annexhairdesign.com in an instant and hopefully get back to where I was a couple of weeks ago ranking on the first page again.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
You might also want to consider deleting annexhair.com if it doesn't generate traffic. I know it's a different site and uses a .com domain but it's the same basic information, layout, etc. as annexhairdesign.com and annexhair.org. If it's generating traffic from other websites you could contact the website and update your url and other information.

From my experience: Search engine algorithms do not like repetitive websites with the same information and when they realize it, everything drops.
(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I'd really like to keep the older domain name annexhair.org and forward the newer one to it to keep the SEO rankings as Steve suggested. Can I possibly get instructions on how to do this? I've tried doing this before and haven't had much luck and I just want to get back up and running as soon as possible. I agree with losing annexhair.com as well but I'm all for whatever's going to work best and fastest. I really want to get the phones ringing again. I wanted to redesign the website but it was more important to get it functioning first.

Thanks, I appreciate all the insight and comments from everyone!
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
You're probably going to need to wait until Tuesday as Monday is a holiday in the US to get this resolved. Because you can't phone support you'll need to have Michelle C. help you on this.

Here's the problem; When you built the older websites you were using sitebuilder desktop/plus. These sites have a .homestead url and those addresses are pointed to the domain names. The newer site was built using websitebuilder and it has a .homesteadcloud address that is pointed at a domain name. Because the sites were built on different platforms and reside on different servers (.homestead vs .homesteadcloud) there may be compatibility issues. Don't worry, it's a simple fix. Someone from homestead will have to push a couple keys, click a button or two, flip a lever, turn a knob, just do a fairly basic action to resolve the issue.

For the time being, I would start another thread on this forum later this weekend addressing EXACTLY what you want done. You may want to consider making it Private. That way you'll have at least 3 days to edit, make changes to what you want done, ask new questions, etc. while waiting for homestead to return after holiday,

Good luck.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
You're probably going to need to wait until Tuesday as Monday is a holiday in the US to get this resolved. Because you can't phone support you'll need to have Michelle C. help you on this.

Here's the problem; When you built the older websites you were using sitebuilder desktop/plus. These sites have a .homestead url and those addresses are pointed to the domain names. The newer site was built using websitebuilder and it has a .homesteadcloud address that is pointed at a domain name. Because the sites were built on different platforms and reside on different servers (.homestead vs .homesteadcloud) there may be compatibility issues. Don't worry, it's a simple fix. Someone from homestead will have to push a couple keys, click a button or two, flip a lever, turn a knob, just do a fairly basic action to resolve the issue.

For the time being, I would start another thread on this forum later this weekend addressing EXACTLY what you want done. You may want to consider making it Private. That way you'll have at least 3 days to edit, make changes to what you want done, ask new questions, etc. while waiting for homestead to return after holiday,

Good luck.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Oops. I tried to delete the duplicate comment but the website won't let me. Sorry.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I've placed a link to the most recent thread I've participated in that discusses creating mobile friendly pages using the older desktop sitebuilder and the older online sitebuilder plus. Please read the entire thread several times as the process is a little bit spread out over the entire thread. I also have no problem with any questions you may have about the process as it has changed a little with https vs. http and I didn't feel it was necessary to create a new folder for the mobile pages.

Good luck.

https://community.homestead.com/homestead/topics/mobile-friendly-sitebuilder-plus

//
(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I guess this is going to be a learning curve for me, I reread everything several times but I'm still not sure where to start. At first it says to create a mobile folder and then not and then it seems to all of a sudden start discussing how to set up the pages. Maybe I'm missing something but how do you all of a sudden get these pages? If you add pages to your site they will show in your regular site. It says to start by setting your pages to 320 which you obviously can't do on you regular site. Is there something I'm missing? Forgive me but I don't work on websites a lot, I'm self taught. Many moons ago I took a course in web design but that was all html and much easier to work with but I've forgotten a lot of that too.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I realize that this can seem a bit daunting. But have a little patience and you'll find that it's not that hard. You'll have more creativity with the pages than the newer build program and you'll be working with a builder that you're more comfortable with. Feel free to ask any questions.

As for the scripts posted below; I encourage you to google them as they are. You'll need to remove the destination address from the second one. You'll find that they are basic, robust and safe html scripts that have been proven over the years and should present no problems for you.

In these directions when I refer to desktop i'm referring to the standard pages people see when they visit the site. The ones that appear using a standard computer.

Mobile pages are the ones you create for mobile visitors. Your first mobile page should be built from scratch using the "New Page" function. You can use the "Save As" function to create others. Pay close attention to the scripts so they match the pages you're working on.

This is what I did to create my mobile index/home page. I didn't make another folder for the mobile pages. Instead I made a blank, centered, 320 wide page named "mobile" with the following script...


<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">


...inserted into the <head> tag. The script was copied and pasted to this post page exactly how it was placed into the <head> tag of the mobile page. Be careful. All characters/spacing between the first < including the < and the last > including the last > must be in the script as shown to function properly.



On my desktop index/home page I placed this script as shown...


<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
if (screen.width <= 699) {
document.location = "https://www.drywallcarolina.com/mobile.html";
}
//-->
</script>


...into the <head> tag. The script was copied and pasted to this post page exactly how it was placed into the <head> tag of the desktop home/index page. You will need to change the destination address to your domain and mobile page name. Be careful. All characters/spacing between the first < including the < and the last > including the last > must be in the script as shown to function properly. And yes, the "html" should be in the destination address.

I also placed a text link at the bottom of my desktop index/home page directed to the mobile index.

On the other pages such as plaster I simply added  -plaster to the mobile page name for that subject so plaster became plaster-mobile. 
https://www.drywallcarolina.com/plaster.html
https://www.drywallcarolina.com/plaster-mobile.html
I also added the above scripts to the corresponding pages after editing the destination plus a text link to the mobile page at the bottom of the desktop page. And remember to use your phone to view any edits to the mobile pages as a desktop will present them differently than a phone.

You can build the pages using your desktop/laptop as a basic reference guide but need a phone for tweaking them and seeing what your visitors will see. In other words, you'll still use your desktop computer for all the editing but will need the phone to know the exact location of images, buttons, etc.

If you follow this link...

https://www.drywallcarolina.com/

...using your phone you'll automatically be sent to the mobile index/home page. If you follow it using a desktop/laptop you'll be directed to the desktop index/home page. 

Please understand that the main goal of my website is to have the visitor call/text me to set up an appointment for me to inspect the damage and to offer solutions. I have no pictures/buttons/etc. on the mobile pages. Everything presented is in a single text box and for me that works just fine.
(Edited)
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hello Marty, 

I can assist with instructions on keeping the older domain name annexhair.org and forwarding the newer one. First go to the domains tab, and under annexhair.org, select change site association. Select the site name you want to connect to (annexhair.homesteadcloud.com). Next, go to annexhairdesign.com and click on edit for the sub domain option. From this window select other URL and paste annexhair.org in that box, this will forward traffic from annexhairdesign.com to annexhair.org. 
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Yes, I am so sorry annexhairdesign.com was still pointing to cloudflare but it has been corrected. Give it about an hour. 
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Thank you!
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
One more question while you're here, How do I properly add h1 tags. I seem to be doing it wrong as the redirect and h1 tags seem to be the biggest errors I'm consistently having. I think everything else I can pretty much handle. There doesn't appear to be anywhere to actually add anything in html.
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
For WebsiteBuilder sites you can select the element and use the settings on the right to tag it has H1.

Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I'm still having issues with the redirect or with something configured wrong. I had annexhair almost up to 90% on this SEO site but ever since we did this redirect Everything kind of just sucks, I'm not being found at all on google whereas I was on the first page. This is what I show.

I'm not sure why all the url's are configured wrong?
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Just one last quick question, if I am updating my site, do I update the annexhair.org site or the newer one? I assume they will both show in homestead.
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,148 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
You will make changes to annexhair.org in websites manager. Yes, they are both still present. 
(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I'm still not convinced my page is not somehow connected to cloud flare. I'm still getting messages that say, "URL Vulnerability: Configured Wrong and URL Vulnerability: www/non-wwwpage redirects are not configured. I went to cloud flare and it shows that my site is still connected. I see my name servers are correct but could there be something else causing these errors?
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
To check if your servers are correct you should go to your homestead account page. Under "Domains" look for the site you're having problems with. Click on "Edit Your Nameservers". You can check on that page if your servers are with homestead. If they're not click the button that says "Edit". There is a text link to a page where you can reset your servers to the default setting AKA homestead. You can also back out from that page if you choose to leave things as they are.



Good luck.
(Edited)
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Thank you Steve!
Marty, that is correct. I did double check and the domains are no longer being routed through cloudflare, I do see both domains redirecting to the same site. You can verify this by visiting a who is site and checking the domain name. You will see the name serves are pointing to Homestead and are not connected to cloudflare.
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I guess then all that aside, I have done everything that Steve suggested and I am still getting all these errors about the url  vulnerability errors. Is there a fix for these errors? I don't know how in Website Builder to do a 301 redirect or assign a page as canonical.

I's appreciate any advice, I need to get traffic again.

Thanks!
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,478 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
It may not like the redirect, search engines can be very picky with some things. I would not be able to say exactly why though. 
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
My original suggestion was to keep everything as it was and to simply build the mobile friendly pages then to delete the duplicate site(s) or change them 100%. It was the simplest solution to get your traffic back as quickly as possible.

The site built using websitebuilder now showing for annexhair.org is different from the one originally shown on annexhair.org. It was built on a different platform (sitebuilder desktop/plus-websitebuilder), has a different build name and is located in a different section of the homestead servers. Search engines may see it as a new site with an older domain name. Adding re-directs changes the site even more especially when your using a new sub-domain that's never been used before. 

Don't panic though. Your traffic will come back
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I'll keep my fingers crossed. Waiting and hoping things work out isn't usually the way I roll, I like to know I did things right and see the results. My suspicions are that there is still something wrong but I'll play the waiting game and cancel Christmas until business improves.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,926 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Because you said annexhairdesign.com  never made it into search engine listings the redirect for annexhairdesign.com as you performed will, most likely, only direct visitors that have bookmarked annexhairdesign.com or other websites that have annexhairdesign.com as a link such as yelp, facebook, etc. . This is also true for the other older duplicate website if you choose to redirect it. I don't believe the redirect will help you in the search engines rankings/listings unless annexhairdesign.com was receiving a steady flow of traffic.

In my opinion; because you have 3 duplicate websites with 3 different build names, 2 of them need to go away. A blank index/404 page or site deletion as mentioned above I believe would be your best move to help restore SE traffic. But it's only an opinion.
(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
That is all I wanted in the first place was to have one working website with a mobile site that didn't kill my SEO rankings. I was using the old site builder plus and couldn't get the mobile site working so I moved to Website Builder plus to get a working website with a mobile site that worked and that's where my problems started. I'd be more than happy to kill all the other websites to get something that worked and that's all I wanted before we started redirecting everything. If someone can guide me through how to fix this mess I'd really appreciate it. Just one working website with no redirects of any kind would be ideal if it were possible preferable with the annexhair.org domain so I don't have to print new business cards and such.
Photo of steve4468

steve4468

  • 2,976 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Please remember that anything I recommend is only my opinion and is based on my own experiences that were similar to the problems you have encountered. Because of this any responsibility falls upon you regardless of the outcome. Remember....This is only an opinion. It is not directions nor a cure-all. Did I mention that it's only an opinion?

Michelle/homestead can help and answer questions about the re-directs.

You have a tough decision to make.

Opinion 1: You have 3 websites with separate domain names that are basically duplicate websites. 2 of the 3 will have to go. From what you have stated the search engines are now aware of the duplication and it appears you're paying the price by removal. While it's not a rule set in stone, myself and others treat it like an unwritten rule that must be followed. 

If you choose to keep the site that was originally linked to the .org domain you'll have to build mobile pages as the build site was created using sitebuilder desktop/plus. The directions are linked in one of my posts above. Plus you'll need to use cloudflare to meet https compliance.

If you choose to use the build site created using website builder for the .org domain you won't need to create the mobile pages and the site is automatically https compliant.


So the main question now is; How does one get their SE traffic back as quickly as possible?

Opinion 2: If it was me I would use the build site created with sitebuilder for the .org domain and simply create mobile friendly pages then contact cloudflare. But that's me and the way I would do it. Creating mobile pages is fairly easy but editing them can be very frustrating as you'll need to use your phone quite often during the edit process to see what your visitors see. I believe this would be the fastest way to get your traffic back but this is only an opinion.


Opinion 3: You could also use the build site created with websitebuilder and aim it at the .org domain. It's a great program with lots more flexibility than sitebuilder plus and most likely has more robust coding meaning fewer problems in the long run. It also has more features built in especially when it comes to mobile 


Like I said...It's a tough choice. No matter which build site you decide to use you need to understand that you're going to have a waiting period before SE traffic returns. Which build site would yield better results is a question I can't answer. I prefer sitebuilder plus because I know how everything works and I'm very comfortable with it. 

Did I mention that this is only my opinion?

//
(Edited)
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
So I guess I've made my decision and I'm just going back to the old site. I've changed the site association (or at least I hope I did) and I've changed the name servers back to Cloudflare and got this back from Cloudflare, "Congratulations! You have successfully activated annexhair.org. Your site will now receive the benefits of Cloudflare’s performance, security and reliability features."
   Do I just delete the other domains or is there a way to just have them not show up anywhere just in case something goes awry and I have to revert to them without having to completely rebuild a website? I don't want to kill them just yet, just make them dormant or in stasis somewhere where they can't be found.
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
I do see the domain was pointed back correctly and is reflecting the previous site. You can keep the other domain/site and they will be dormant until you connect content and publish it. 
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I see in Steve's thread that in order for me to build a mobile website, I'll need to get Homestead to turn off the Duda association. Can that be done for me please?
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,918 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
I can disconnect the duda mobile connection for annexhair.org
Photo of Marty8318

Marty8318

  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
OK so I'd like to go back to the original site that I had before trying to upgrade to a newer version on site builder or whatever it was. How do I properly remove all the new sites? I can work on the mobile site after the fact. Everything was working fine except for the mobile site I kept getting redirected to Duda. At least I kind of know what I'm doing with the older version.
Photo of Michelle C

Michelle C, Employee

  • 12,148 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
To connect to your previous site, change the site association for your domain back to the original website name that ends in .homestead.com.
(Edited)

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.