Disabling Products

[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]We run CS-Cart 2.2 and have products that are available in different colors. Right now, we have a product created for each color which allows us to keep track of inventory on each model/color combination. [/font]



[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]We recently learned about the keep track of inventory feature via option combinations. Naturally we'd like to reduce the clutter on our website and combine color variants into a single item utilizing option combinations with stock tracking to improve customer experience.[/font]



[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Will disabling the products of each color variant, and moving to a single product with inventory tracking using option combinations affect SEO?[/font]



[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Is there a better way to go about this?[/font]



Any information and suggestions on how to proceed would be extremely helpful!

Your main concern would be that disabling these old products with the color variants will generate 404 pages. So in order to fix this, you need to 301 redirect these disabled products to the main product:



i.e. Redirect > yoursite.com/product-red.html to yoursite.com/product.html



There are some addons you could get, that do this automatically, otherwise do it manually through the .htaccess file.



When you're done, you should regenerate your sitemap and maybe resubmit the affected products' and categories' pages to Webmaster Tools.



In general it's a good idea to go with product options and combinations. Besides from the overall experience of your customers, which -by the way-will be far better, from an SEO perspective you will have done a much better job, by losing these duplicate content pages.