Replacing Old Website : Concerned as it is a business

I’m soon to replace a friends old website (it’s his business so I’m nervous), but we don’t have proper access to the person who made it or much information about it. To compound my concern we have to firstly upgrade the Easily package that hosts it (can’t gain access via RTP otherwise).

Apparently this upgrade could wipe away the existing website. I’ve managed to gain the file names for the website’s pages but not the Meta Tags. If this happens I’ll need to quickly upload my RW version to take its place. I’d much prefer that I’ll be able to take my time and the old website survives the upgrade.

Are the Meta Tags so important that if I’m unable to finally access the old site (because it’s gone after upgrading), that the Google SEO will be badly affected? I think though that I could make a good guess at what the Meta Tags are and add them to the RW version that I’ll be uploading.

I would be very grateful of any advice, my friend says he can cope with a couple of days if the website goes down, but it’ll be nerve wracking for me. I’m not a complete RW novice but I’m no expert either.



First off back up the old site. FTP it to a folder on your server. Rename the default landing page is probably named index.php or index.html on the server to anything like OLDindex.html and publish the new site. Yes get the meta tags correct and GOOGLE Code from the old index etc. Just make sure you publish the new sites sub pages in a folder so as not to over write the old site. Worse case you can roll this back by just changing the index file name back to the original

Thanks for advice. We don’t have a backup of the old site? Can I make one myself?

Hi @Beeswax

Google SAYS that it doesn’t place a high value on meta tags but you should be able to spot most of the meta tags in the section using the web inspector of your browser.

I would also suggest doing a full audit of links for the old website and implementing 301 redirects from the old pages to the new pages for when the new website is up and running.

Some useful info here. EDIT:


Like Scott says you can FTP it to browse what’s on the server that host the old website – and create a backup = copy all files to your own computer.

I use Cyberduck:

You’ll need server adress, password and login… but then again, you need those too to ftp upload your site from RapidWeaver.

Best | DeFligra |
Mac’O’Holic | Stack’O’Holic | Web’O’Holic

if its a flat site and you dont have access to it there is another app. get it on the App store called sitesucker . You can grab any site with that one. or at least a major part of them

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Thanks for the advice! I thought it would be more complicated than just uploading a new version… I’ll try and digest what you’ve said.

This is the site :

That’s a nice gif :wink:

Best | DeFligra |
Mac’O’Holic | Stack’O’Holic | Web’O’Holic

Here is a copy of the files obtained though the use of SiteSucker.


Thanks for that Brandon _ I’m caught between knowing a bit but not enough and am very worried about causing problems for my friend’s business…

Thanks for all your generous help - I’ll have to digest all of this in a few days time though…

I have a similar task in front of me, changing a website to use some of the additional tools/plug-ins purchased more recently to best effect. Perhaps this is close enough in purpose to ask here:

My Dumb Question, not a solution:

Perhaps I’m not understanding the method described…

Wouldn’t you just back up a copy of the old website to a new sites folder locally, under a different name.
(Or use SiteSucker as suggested). Back up current site as a zip archive on the server.

Then make a make a new project in Rapidweaver, with a temporary NEW name, to be the NEW website.
Get all the metadata right (and can flip between local projects to compare).

Once that new site is ready to go live, send to server as a test site under the alternate “new” name.
If it appears to work, rename it to the old current website – by renaming it to the old active one & upload???

Yes. First: Make a backup copy of recent website folder.

In your hosting plan if you have control over the domain pointer just upload the new project to any folder and point the domain to it. Old folder will stay as archive of old site.

If you can’t control domain pointer, rename the old sites surrounding folder and upload the new project to a folder with same name as previous used for old website.

You can grab all the meta data by viewing the source code -

Another vote for Sitesucker!