How Converting a Website to Use WP Block Editor Improved its Ranking

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As I’m sure many of you are well aware of how determined I have been in NOT converting my WordPress websites to using the Block Editor… well, I was FORCED to convert recently.

On June 6, I tested my MMO website only to discover that it was no longer mobile friendly due to how long it was taking to load.

The site had obviously lost a substantial ranking lately, and THAT is why my traffic was slooooowly fading away.

Once the site was fully analyzed, it was a simple determination that there were far too many plugins… again!

This time, it was the addition to the following plugins:

Classic Editor
Classic Widget
…plus a few others that were slowing the site’s loading time down.

The following is what I decided to do…

I STOPPED creating content.

I know… FRIGHTENING, right?

Without content, ohhh no!

But here’s the thing…

All the great content in the world will do a website NO GOOD, if the site won’t load, FAST.

Using a newly created backup copy of this site, using the All-In-One WP Migration plugin, I created a brand-new website on the SiteRubix server, as one of my FREE sites.

Once the newly created SiteRubix website was created, and my backup file used to fully “restore” it, I went to the Settings > Reading section and check marked the Discourage search engines from indexing this site.

This was done to prevent a duplicated content punishment from Google, plus to prevent any potential visitors coming to that site while I was working on making the necessary changes.

Then I got to work, straight away, deactivating the Classic Editor and Classic Widget plugins so the conversion could easily begin.

First off, it was recommended to me that I use Rank Math as my SEO plugin

Though a little reluctant, I went ahead and installed Rank Math, and I have to say… WOW!

Has this SEO plugin EVER improved!

Because I installed Rank Math BEFORE doing any deleting of other plugins, Rank Math gave me the option to allow it to take the necessary information from the All In One SEO Pack plugin, my Sitemap plugin and even offered me the option to connect it to my Google Analytics account for this website.

WOW!

Done!

3 more plugins no longer necessary!

Then I moved my favourite landing pagebuilder offsite to another website that is exclusively used for landing pages only, which I can EASILY connect to which ever website I want to add a new landing page to… all without slowing the site down.

Yeaaaah!

That removed the need for 3 less plugins.

(Boy, did I ever get sloppy with this site!)

Then I got to work, converting the LARGEST website that I now tend to.

It is the largest when it comes to the number of posts and pages, and I originally dreaded having to do this.

BUT…

It was not as difficult as I had thought it would be.

Especially my review posts…

Having the luxury of having 2 large monitors to work on at a desktop computer, I had the “live” version of my site open on my left monitor ready for comparison, while the SiteRubix version was on my right monitor, ready to work with.

Starting with the pages, once they were all converted and double checked with the live version, thankfully they converted relatively easily, and quickly.

Then I started on my posts, beginning with the VERY first post and working backwards.

Making sure to ALWAYS keep notes as to where I stopped at when interrupted, and focusing on the site with every minute of my days that I could spare… I was shocked at how easily the conversions were… once I had a “system”.

My system was to start at the very bottom of the posts and work upwards.

Many of my images were no longer on the line they were supposed to be.

Having already become familiar with the WordPress Block Editor when rebuilding another website last year, I simply selected the up and down arrows used in having images move back down the page to their proper position

My subtitle headers previously used only BOLD text, I then converted to H2 tags.

Especially now that Google has been successful at breaking the original HTML rules, and allowed more than one H2 tag on any given post or page.

I even corrected:

  • Paragraphs that I could EASILY determine were too long for comfortable reading.
  • Replaced YouTube videos that I had been unaware were changed to Private or simply deleted.
  • Added the proper Jump Links needed in the Block Editor to the relative text.
  • And even fixed two posts that became corrupted during the conversion and had to be recreated from scratch.

This was followed by converting my new site’s widgets and double-checking the footer menu.

This took me about two weeks to complete.

Once the SiteRubix site was fully tested for operating perfectly, I backed the site up and used that backup file to “restore” the “live” site.

Doing this late at night, I was sure there would be less chance of any interruption from ANY potential website visitors.

I lost sleep that night, but it was worth it!

Once the LIVE site was fully restored with the revised version backup file, I went back to the Settings > Reading section and UNCHECKED the Discourage search engines from indexing this site.

VOILA!

And yes, now I am behind in creating content, but… I will get caught back up again.

It’ll be like one of my posts failed to schedule properly… if I play my cards right and get back at creating reviews that is.

In the meantime, Google has become aware of my changes due to Rank Math now being connected to my Google Analytics for that website, and the mobile speed is back up to a more than acceptable high!

Given these changes, I KNOW this site will have an improvement in its ranking.

Hope you've found this post encouraging when considering to convert your Classic Editor to the Block Editor.



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Recent Comments

45

Hey Trish,
This is great information for me to read thank you!

It's new to me, the process of creating a duplicate website while you work on updating it - as well as the information about Rank Math too.

Sometimes I think I should change my site's theme because the one I have was when I thought I was going to run a product based site and it has all the capabilities of a shop while my site is actually just a simple blog.

But the daunting idea of having to redesign everything has stopped me up to now. I guess I could use this system to do that and see how it looks out on the copy site before switching?

I will go away and digest the Rank Math info! I'm really glad to know about it.
Thank you so much!
Soraya

Thanks for the detailed post. It certainly looks complicated, and it definitely takes some time, but I am certain all the effort was worth it.

I have one older site that still has some classic posts on it. I need to get them changed.

Interesting take on Rank Math - are you using the paid version?

Hey Alex,

Thought it would be complicated... but it's not.

It IS more clicking... something like 3-4 clicks for every thing that the Classic Editor needed only 1 click for... so it's more... well... fussy.

And, the Block Editor is adding MORE layers of coding on top of coding (which is NEVER advisable)... but... if I want my site to rank now... I gota' play "their way" as I'm playin' in "their sandbox".

I'm using the FREE version of Rank Math, and I truly do like how many plugins that Rank Math allowed me to REMOVE. :-D

Thanks for the reply and for letting me know that you are using the free version.

I confess I like AIO SEO less and less as time goes by. It started about a year ago when they "updated" and things got more complicated.

I do like SEO Framework, but for the sites that have AIO I might just switch to Rank Math.

Alex

They sure did become more complicated... and, not so inclusive anymore either.

I had refused to update to the "new" version, as the original plugin was sold to another developer.

Just be sure to install Rank Math BEFORE deactivating your AIO SEO plugin if and when you do decide to switch.

Why?

Because Rank Math will give you the option to import the vital info FROM the AIO SEO plugin, saving you having to REDO all the work you had to do in the AIO SEO plugin.

I have 2 more sites to install Rank Math on... I like that plugin THAT much.

And... Rank Math gives you a sitemap AND takes over the work of Google Site Kit... :-D making me a very happy camper.

Excellent - thanks Trish, I have been looking for a way to get away from AIO SEO - I considered going to SEO Framework, but I was not sure about the transition. Knowing that Rank Math will pull the data from AIO SEOP is a great thing.

Alex

And from your sitemap plugin too... ;-)

Such a task -- glad you got it completed so successfully.

As you know, I converted to Block Editor some time ago, and find it fairly easy to use now. Not sure if I should try some of your upgrades or not. When things go smoothly, I hate to mess with them.

I know you will get your content back up to speed in short order. I do hope all the changes really help.

Hey Fran,

I truly believed that I would need to REBUILD the site. But alas, that was NOT the case.

Converting the site was a LOT more straight forward than I had anticipated... though I do like having two versions of the site for safety.

Like you, I didn't wanna' mess with the old All In One SEO Pack plugin either. But once I tried Rank Math and witnessed for myself as to how many plugins that SEO plugin helped me to no longer need... well, let's just say, I'm a Happy Camper once more. LOL!

Thank YOU for your wishes too Fran. You're a gem!

Wow Trish...that sounds like mind-blowing work. Congrats on all your hard efforts. May I ask your opinion on something...do you think there would be any issues on a site where there is a combination of posts written in old classic as well as new block?

Thanks for sharing your experience on this.

Susan

Hey Susan,

No, I don't believe there would be an issue just yet with the mix of Classic and Block editor posts.

However, I'm certain that in the near future, you too will be forced to convert the Classic editor posts if you want them to rank well in search results.

You've started converting your site... don't stop. You could take one post a day and convert it to using the Block Editor. Just be sure you have a copy of the post BEFORE converting, in case converting causes corruption.

Hope that answers your question. If not... do say so, and I'll do my best to explain further.

Thank you so much, Trish...I appreciate your thoughts. I think I should start converting my old posts as you've done because no doubt, it will be an issue down the road. Making sure I save a copy will be top priority.

And then you get to rid your site of yet another plugin, once you've completed your converting from the Classic Editor.

GREAT job and very useful info, Trish!

You are The Best! 😊
Frank

Thank YOU Frank.

Felt it only fair to come clean with being forced to convert the site... and how well it now performs.

There are still other things I can do for this site to improve its loading time, but that requires regular funding, which I'm not prepared to do just yet.

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