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Malcolm P.
Malcolm P.
User

Completely reload website on server  en

Autor: Malcolm P.
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The Google search engine (also Bing and probably others) is currently showing outdated but still accessible links to previous but now obsolete pages (i.e. deprecated and no longer in the site menu) on one of my websites. This is causing some confusion amongst site visitors.

Is it safe to ensure removal of all records of these old pages by deleting everything in the public_html folder and uploading the entire current website again from scratch, then resubmitting the sitemap to Google? Will anything be lost in this process (eg ReCaptcha, site indexing/analytics etc)?

I understand that the specific page URLs can be manually removed from Google pending reindexing, but that still leaves the old pages on the server and it is not clear which individual files need to be removed to ensure complete deletion.

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Paul M.
Paul M.
Moderator

Hello Malcolm,

It is hard to give a definitive answer as to what might be lost without access to your server and knowledge of how you have implemented your site. But here are a few general pointers.

Anything within your WebSite X5 project root folder should be safe, including all subfolders.  The exception is any files or scripts which you have added manually, but if you have done this then you will know where they are and how to add them again.

WebSite X5 analytics should be safe as the data is stored in a database, not the project root.

Google Analytics data is not stored on your server at all.  One or two site verification details might be, but again, if you added these before then you will know how to re- add them.

You will not lose any search engine ranking whatsoever by refreshing the files on the server.  Just be sure to keep your site verified with Google (and any other engines you submit to).

Any custom documents like .htaccess will need to be reuploaded/recreated manually.

An alternative to deleting all files and folders from your server is to sort the same by date and time using a good FTP client like FileZilla.  It will quickly become apparent which ones are old and redundant.

Another useful technique is to export your project to disk in Step 5, then compare the local directory structure with that on the remote server.  Again it will be obvious where the differences lie.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Paul

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Gepostet am von Paul M.
Malcolm P.
Malcolm P.
User
Autor

Hi Paul,

Very many thanks for your prompt and very thorough and helpful reply.

I was able to check the file dates and delete just the obsolete pages using the WX5 ftp client, after first downloading each one to confirm. Hopefully that got them all and the incorrect links will vanish once Google et al get around to reindexing the sitemap and flushing the caches.

Just out of interest I'll export the entire project to disk and check against the server directory as you suggest in case I may have missed something.

Kind regards,

Malcolm

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Esahc ..
Esahc ..
Moderator

If it is not already in place, you may wish to deal with 404 errors that will appear until google "forgets" about those old pages now deleted.

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Malcolm P.
Malcolm P.
User
Autor

Thanks Esahc for the reminder. .htaccess file added via the site cPanel and all the broken links now appear to redirect correctly. 

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Gepostet am von Malcolm P.