Every month I see good blogs die. The why and how varies, but one type of death bothers me more than all the others, death by technological negligence.
This can take many shapes, from not keeping your blogging software updated to a poorly planned switching of platforms.
I have recently seen a spate of these platform switches. Where an individual or organization decides that they will move their content to what they hope will be a an easier to use or more effective platform.
If this is you, I would like for you to please consider one thing. Yes, I could give you a list of things to consider, but by stressing one, I hope it is more impactful. It will be one less thing you need to worry about and insure the decision you are making might not be killing your blog.
Get your redirections right.
– Some Smart Person
If someone is offering to move your blog to a splashy new Content Management System (CMS) or fold it into your website, they need to consider what is going to happen with your existing content. This goes beyond formatting or design, it means thinking about how people find your content.
If you are tech-savy you might know this already, but you can actually tell incoming traffic from websites, Google, and other search engines where your content has gone to.
This is great if you are switching URLs. After all, that is why you put in all that work in the first place. You wrote great material, you connected with people in your industry and they linked back to you. Now all of those links could potentially break because you switched your URL.
But this doesn’t need be a problem, if you are properly redirecting incoming traffic to the right place. These redirections need to apply not only to your URLs, but possibly the assets that people linked to.
If you are entering into a discussion or web professional, you NEED to have this conversation.
It can be a lot of work on their end, so they might try and downplay it, but it is important. So make sure you are comfortable with the results you will be getting with your decision.
You go online to get noticed and to build connections with other people. Google and other search engines mirror that paradigm. By severing those connections, you are setting yourself back and erasing your history.
You need to make sure that the technology is in place to ensure that doesn’t happen and that you have a trusted and reliable partner who is helping you make informed decisions. By doing so, you can give yourself the flexibility to use whatever platform you are most comfortable using, while ensuring your online presence continues to benefit from the work you have already put into it.