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301 redirect

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I'm trying to understand my best approach to the following situation.

 

I have a site that will be changing it's name.

 

So it's currently called say mysite.com. It will become mynewsite.com.

 

The site itself will stay the same with the exception of a new logo, new contact info and changing any reference to the old name.

 

The site is hosted at godaddy along with the new and old domain name.

 

I want people that click all the old links indexed by search engines to be redirected to the new site url.

 

I have been reading about 301 redirects BUT I don't fully understand what to do.

For instance I read this link: http://webdesign.about.com/od/htaccess/ht/redirect-an-entire-site-using-htaccess.htm

 

Do all these 301 redirect explanations I have been reading about ASSUME I will be creating an entirely new site, new files etc somewhere thus telling me to make the 301 redirect changes to the OLD site files which I will keep live for x-amount of time. Thats what I am not understanding.

 

Can I keep the site files where they are, change the domain and add the 301 redirect changes to those same files or do I need to create a copy of the entire site?

 

I hope that made sense.

 

Thanks

A.

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A 301 redirect in .htaccess will quite simply redirect someone who tries to open the old site in a browser to the new site. The old site can be deleted, edited or left as it is, no one will see it.

 

Can I keep the site files where they are, change the domain and add the 301 redirect changes to those same files or do I need to create a copy of the entire site?

You will have to copy over any files that are still valid to a new root directory for the new domain or if you just want the whole of the old site to remain unchanged, change the host server to point to the new domain and all the old files will stay as they are. I'm asuming that both domain names are hosted on the same server. You don't need a .htaccess file for every file, just one for the whole hosting service.

Edited by Wickham

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Thanks Wickham.

 

Yes, the site, all files etc will stay the same with the exception of some of the content on the pages changing.

 

You said: "You don't need a .htaccess file for every file, just one for the whole hosting service."

 

I have an .htaccess file in the root of my server. I think there is only one.

 

Is that the file I make the changes to?

 

Should I launch the new site THEN make the changes to the .htaccess file or before? Does it matter?

 

I guess I don't understand how if I remove the old domain from the site and replace with the new domain how does an indexed page by a search engine know how to get redirected if it cant find the .htacces file to do the redirect if it does not reside at that address anymore. I guess thats why I thought I had to keep the old site intact for a few months until the old indexed pages were removed/trumped by the new site results from search engines.

 

Thanks

A.

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There's more information here

http://www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php

at Redirect old domain to new domain

 

Check that Godaddy uses a Linux server and check any Godaddy help pages.

 

Also http://www.squidoo.com/301#module156239770

which says "Secondly, when you 301 redirect an old domain to a new one, be aware that you'll have to keep paying for the annual domain renewal and server account of the old domain name."

 

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7430/What-is-a-301-Redirect-and-Why-Should-You-Care.aspx

Edited by Wickham

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Well it turns out I didn't need (according to godaddy) a 301 redirect.

 

They had me forward the old domain to the new domain in their control panel.

 

I am assuming it's ok to do it that way as I didn't find anything online that says a redirect is better than domain forwarding.

 

If thats not the case please let me know.

 

So now all indexed links are forwarded to the site with the new domain.

 

Do i need to do anything else at this point to make the transition? Do I just let the old links die out?

 

Thanks,

A.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the control panel menu just creates a 301 redirect automatically. You just don't see the 301 code or know that it's happening.

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Thanks Wickham.

 

Is that all I need to do?

 

Do I just let the old links, that redirect, die out or do I need to do something else in terms of seo for the new site?

 

A.

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301 redirect is the most efficient method for webpage redirection. It's not that hard to implement and it should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, it's the good option. The code "301 redirect" is interpreted as "moved permanently".

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