I thought I'd share this dialog I had today with webflow support to benefit others who are facing this challenge:
Well I am getting real close to publishing my website. I have to admit this part of the process seems intimidating. Go Daddy hosts my current company website and has since 2006. The website I have created using Webflow is intended to replace that outdated site. FYI - the old site has very strong organic SERP standing (typically the first or second selection) with Google for the vast majority of search terms business owners in Georgia (metro-Atlanta) would type when looking for consulting help. I have worked hard to earn this and don't want to do anything stupid to harm that standing. Here is my question: (1) Are there things I should know and do prior to publishing? (2) Do you have any tutorials or steps written that will guide me through the entire process of replacing an existing website on Go Daddy?
The replacement site public link here
Here is the response I rec'd from Vlad at webflow:
*Since you're replacing an old site with an old URL structure (e.g. you have .html file extensions on all your URLs, which Webflow published sites don't have), I would strongly recommend exporting your site instead, and moving the exported code carefully to replace the existing site page-by-page.
For example, if you go to http://www.allegroconsultant.com/Company_Growth.html on your current page, Webflow will publish that as http://www.allegroconsultant.com/Company_Growth, which Google doesn't see as the same URL. If you export, however, Webflow will generate Company_Growth.html for you (make sure that your "URL" setting on each page in webflow matches your other URL exactly), and then you can replace the old version of that page with the new Webflow version.
Just to be clear, if you want to preserve your SEO standing, your only option is to export the code on Webflow, keep using GoDaddy as the web host, and replace the old site files with the new Webflow exported version.
A few things I would make sure to do:
1. Create a backup of your entire site on GoDaddy, just in case you need to roll back
2. Make sure your site is registered with https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
4. If you have any Webflow-powered forms on your site, make sure to not delete the Webflow project - otherwise form submissions will stop working
You can also reach out on our forum and see if folks in the community are willing to help, and let me know if you have any further questions that come up.