A short while ago we relaunched the Leapfrogg website on the WordPress platform. When moving to a new platform, where the likelihood is that URLs will be changing, 301 redirects are absolutely imperative. Think of a 301 redirect as the equivalent of moving home and informing the post office of your new address. Do this and your post will pop through the letterbox of your new home. Fail to do so and the post will be piling up on your old doorstep. Search engines work in the same way. Fail to tell them that your pages have changed address (by utilising 301’s) and the search engines will hit a brick wall. Implement 301’s and the search engines follow the redirect from the old page to the new one so that rankings are maintained and ‘link juice’ passed.
So back to our site. Although redirecting core pages from the old site was straightforward, our blog was actually separate to the main site and hosted on the Blogger platform. Therefore, redirecting blog posts proved more of a challenge because there appears to be no way of simply hosting 301 redirects (in particular .htaccess ones) on Blogger. As such numerous work arounds have been proposed:
1. ”301 Permanent Redirect from Blogger Beta to WordPress“ by Techcounter
2. “how to redirect Blogger Beta to WordPress.com” by laffers.net.
3. “How to 301 redirect from Blogger to WordPress” by Dannytalk
However, for a number of reasons these solutions would not work for our particular situation.
So I needed to find a new solution that would preserve our Page Rank and enable the 301 redirects to work on a page by page basis. After a bit of head scratching I realised the solution was much simpler than I thought. So I…
1. Bought some very cheap hosting that supported .htaccess (I didn’t have access to our main web server )
2. Mapped all the old pages to the new ones and created an .htaccess file
3. Uploaded the .htaccess file to the new server
4. Tested the redirects worked on the new server
5. Re-pointed the sub domain http://froggblog.leapfrogg.co.uk to the new hosting
6. Once the redirects had taken place I deleted the old posts from our blogger account but kept the account active
If unlike me you have access to your main web server then there is no need for the free hosting. When you have completed this process your Page Rank and back links should all be transferred to your new URL’s.
It sounds simple, however, mapping the old and new URL’s can take some time. If the Blogger blog has been imported into WordPress correctly there are WordPress plug-ins that can help with this but we found them to be, in the main, unreliable. Therefore, our work around is designed to allow a more seamless transition, particularly if you are working retrospectively with limited time and resource.
Need help? Contact me for advice or thoughts to my solution.