I am presently installing a zen shopping cart on my very well established eCommerce site. The search engine uses an index.php to dynamically generate the pages. Will this affect my high ranking in the search engines? If yes is there a workaround like leaving the existing 500 pages of items with a link to the ordering program?

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I would say that you are probably going to run into search engine ranking issues because of the php. It's not that php is a bad thing per say, it's the way these paint-by-number software solutions slap the code altogether and call it a webpage. Often you'll find significant coding errors that damage the webpage's credibility (having two Title tags for instance or links embedded in links or unclosed tags that require closing etc.).

About the 500 pages deal. I know I could probably clean up and HTML them at a rate of 20 or 30 a day. Why don't you spend the next month cleaning them up, it would be well worth the effort in the long run. I know you were probably hoping for a quick easy solution (and someone may yet provide one for you) but there's nothing more rewarding searchengine-wise than clean, error free code. Also, while you are in the code anyway, you can work the image alt attributes, anchor title attributes, do some emphasizing etc. Work those optimizable web page components.

Good luck. Good question by the way.

it will cause you massive problems. Not because you convert a site from html to php, but mainly because you have to change the extension of the files from .html to .php. You can not rename just like that the pages without affecting the seo.

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