What’s the Best Way to Abandon a WordPress Website?

Netting under a trapeze at Emerald City TrapezeSo, let’s say hypothetically that one owned a couple slightly-used websites. And that since one has consolidated publication onto this very site that you’re reading, those older sites are sitting there, still gathering some inbound traffic but otherwise unused.

There’s no monetary cost to me to keep them around, but it’s two additional sites to keep updated (both WordPress and plugins) and at some point something might break.

Should I keep them around as-is and continue to update the sites? Should I migrate the notable content to this site and then kill them off?

What’s the graceful way to abandon a WordPress website?

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  1. JustinS says

    Recently went through this myself. In the end, I decided to consolidate everything so I could neglect them all in one place.

  2. says

    I’ve done this in the past. Migrate the relevant content and set up 301 redirects for any of the links that are still gaining traffic. Leave the 301s in place for a couple of months, then just forward the entire domain to wherever the other content was moved (or drop it all together).

  3. ben says

    I have done this before. I loaded a redirect plugin so anytime anyone hit the site and any page in the site it would automatically send them to the new/current site.

    • Dan Blaker says

      Redirecting via a plugin on the old site means you’re still maintaining WP on the old site. If you’re gonna redirect, do it via your domain registrar or in Apache using .htaccess rules.

  4. says

    Having done this too many times, I go with the redirects, but I’d take it to the server level. I’d redirect the domain to the new site and have that held at the cheapest rate so you can give up the monthly hosting fee. That’s usually done with your domain registrar, not the server host, unless you combined the two. Leave it for a couple years if you are worried or want or need to keep the domains. You never know what you might want to do with them later, but it’s cheaper and easier and no upkeep.

    If you’ve duplicated content on this site from those, I’d also add the 301s (Plugin is easier) so redirects from that site arrive here on something, or create a landing page to help them find their way from those old search engine links until Google cleans them up naturally.

    Make it simple and easy on yourself.

  5. says

    I have always longed for a good, robust way of exporting a blog or wiki as static HTML files. This lets me still host the complete site (presumably with the complete set of URIs) without worrying too much about blog/wiki code upgrades, Apache/PHP/SQL/whatever upgrades, security updates, and hacks. Back in the day, I guess this is what Movable Type did. I’ve managed to do this a few times with a fancy set of options to wget, but unless you disable comment forms, search forms, and other bits of interactive content on the site before you mirror it, it leaves those dangling on the static pages, pointing to nothing but 404s.

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