Updating Website

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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. 
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Marty8318

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Michelle C, Employee

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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? 
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Marty8318

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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
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Michelle C, Employee

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What website are you having issues with?
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Marty8318

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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. 
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Michelle C, Employee

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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. 
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steve4468

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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?
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Marty8318

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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.
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steve4468

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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)
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Marty8318

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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.
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Michelle C, Employee

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You can do what you mentioned and set up annexhair.org to forward to annexhairdesign.com. This will have any one that visits annexhair.org be sent to annexhairdesign.com which does have the mobile friendly site and will also be more beneficial for the future shopping cart. I think this will be the best option for you but if you are trying to reconnect to duda mobile for annexhair.org you will need to obtain the redirect code from duda and place that into the page settings on the Sitebuilder plus site.
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steve4468

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Couldn't one also direct the website built for annexhairdesign.com to the annexhair.org domain. It seems to me that the site being used for the .com domain was built using websitebuilder so it shouldn't be much of an issue to simply switch the pointed domains. That way the site would be mobile friendly and still be published using a domain name that's been around a bit longer than the .com site.
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Michelle C, Employee

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That is a great suggestion. Yes, it would be more beneficial to use the older domain and forward the newer one to it to keep SEO rankings and still have the new website with the mobile friendly aspect. 
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steve4468

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Thank you for your kind words. I hope it helps the poster. Also, if the site built using websitebuilder is used as discussed I feel that the site built using sitebuilder plus/desktop would need to be removed from any domain as 2 sites using separate domain names that are 99% the same in copy, content, layout, etc. would cause search engines problems such as duplicate content, cloaking, trying to trick the SE algorithm, etc. even if it's not done with that intention.
(Edited)
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steve4468

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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)
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Marty8318

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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!
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steve4468

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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.
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steve4468

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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.
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steve4468

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Oops. I tried to delete the duplicate comment but the website won't let me. Sorry.
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steve4468

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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)
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Michelle C, Employee

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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. 
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Marty8318

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Can you check and see if this is done right? Under annexhair.org I am only getting a box with a message that my domain is hosted by homestead with a link to homestead. I might not have waited long enough but I don't want to go very long without a website.
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Michelle C, Employee

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Yes, you see that because the name servers are still pointing to cloudflare. I can point them back to Homestead to connect to the websitebuilder site, is this okay? Other than that, it is set up correctly. 
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Marty8318

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Yes I would really appreciate that!

Thank you!
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Michelle C, Employee

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I have gotten those switched back to Homestead. Since we are updating DNS I would recommend allowing some time before you are able to see this change. I would advised allow a few hours, I will keep an eye on it also to make sure it loads properly.

You are all set up correctly though and should see this showing very soon. 
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Les6064

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Looks good.
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Marty8318

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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.
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Michelle C, Employee

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You will make changes to annexhair.org in websites manager. Yes, they are both still present. 
(Edited)