Shopify and Wordpress have a different URL structure. Wordpress will vary a lot, but Shopify’s follow a strict structure. Here are the most common URL paths on Shopify:
Your old links on Wordpress might have used words like ‘categories’ instead of ‘collections’ and your products might have had paths like site.com/product-name.
Once you move to Shopify — if you try typing these links in, you will land on a 404 page. Those pages don’t exist anymore.
That means that if your customers somehow used those links — maybe they saw them on an old social media post — and your customers click them, they will land on a broken page.
The same happens when Google thinks you have a certain structure and then lands on a broken page. If you have lots of broken pages on your site, Google will penalize your site with a lower ranking.
This is why it’s important to set up redirects.
Redirects allow us to immediately send anyone landing on the old Wordpress-style URLs, to the new Shopify-style URLs.
Redirects should be set up only after you have copied all your products and collections to your new Shopify site. Your new site should be mostly done and ready to launch before you do this part.
Luckily the redirects themselves are not that difficult to do. Just a bit of data entry, and there are some tricks to help you save time.
If you have under 50 products then you won’t have that many links in total. Probably around 100 or so.
To get all your links I recommend using a free tool called Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This is something you should install if you are doing your own SEO because it will definitely come in handy later on.
Using Screaming Frog you can just enter your website address into the search bar and get a list of all your pages and what problems they may have.
If you have a lot of products then this will be more difficult. The free version of Screaming Frog won’t be able to show you all your links. So instead you can use a Wordpress plugin to export all the URLs on your site, here is an example — https://wordpress.org/plugins/export-all-urls/ (disclaimer: I haven’t used this particular tool)
Download the official Shopify redirect template. This is a very simple CSV file with two columns. Open it in Excel or Google Sheets. Paste your entire list of old URLs into the first column.
In the second column you need to enter the new URLs. After doing the first few you will quickly figure out a pattern, and hopefully a way that you can copy/paste in bulk.
Check the list I wrote above to see the most common structures, but to recap
There might be certain paths that don’t have a new equivalent. For example products that you are discontinuing, or categories that no longer exist. For these you can just redirect to your home page. To redirect to your home page just use / in the ‘redirect to’ field.