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    Website Migration with a Twist


    Hi all and thanks for reading and contributing in advance. I have what seems to be a difficult website migration ahead of me and I need some advice. If this is the wrong thread, please advise.

    For the sake of privacy and to not shamelessly promote the company, I will refer to the website as mysite.com and mysite.net.

    I currently have a commerce based website that sells printing. The website is hosted by a 3rd party company that handles the online ordering. I have since found a better solution (mostly) and have to make some major changes without losing SEO rankings.

    I have purchased a similar domain (mysite.net) so that I can set up the new website without completely losing (mysite.com) rankings immediately. The new host/provider can change the domain from (mysite.net) to (mysite.com) whenever I'm ready if need be.

    The first problem is that the current host allowed us to create unlimited pages that ultimately achieved better SEO rankings. The new host provides a more robust system, but charges $50 for every page that we want to upload above what their system already has in place (product pages, cart, design online, etc). Now I am trying to figure out the best way to make the transition.

    Since I own the domain names and have separate hosting with godaddy, I'm thinking that I could set up a CMS website in a directory at (mysite.com/pages) that contains all of my created SEO pages. There I could recreate all of the old pages and then do a .htaccess 301 redirect for all of my old SEO pages hosted with the current company to point to my own hosting with godaddy. I could then simply point those pages to the new provider at (mysite.net) where the actual orders are placed.

    Ultimately, I would like to retain mysite.com and have the new provider change the domain from mysite.net to mysite.com but I don't know what I would lose in that scenario. I currently have about 100 pages that need to find a new home. The product pages are all changing as well but I can live with the loss in ranking so long as the pages that have actually brought us visitors remain.

    I don't know if there is a better way, as I can't justify $5000 to host my additional pages when I can host them myself.

    The best case scenario would be to be able to point the a record to the new host for all pages except the mysite.com/pages that would be hosted with godaddy. I'm not sure if that is possible. I've considered the subdomain approach, I would ultimately lose all ranking that way and the actual site where the orders are placed would have zero to no updates, no quality seo pages or internal links. It's basically just a shopping cart customized for the printing industry.

    Does anyone have any ideas or best way to approach this problem? Am I totally off basis and going the absolute wrong way? Any and all help would be appreciated.

    I should also note that the new provider does not allow FTP access, so I will not be able to edit the .htaccess file on their servers. I can however do what I want with my own hosting. I just need to find a way to maintain rankings, but implement their new system for instant pricing, ordering, customer login and checkout.

    Thanks again or reading and contributing.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : Dump this plan. Find a different host.
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  3. SEO Since 97
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    Can you move the original url, the one thats being used now to say godaddy for hosting?
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    here is what you should do....

    1. Dump your current host. Seems like you are a slave to their policies.....

    2. Develop your own site based on magento, virtuemart, prestashop or whatever you feel comfortable with....I would suggest magento.

    3. 301 all your pages from your older host to your new site

    BTW Why are you even thinking of switching yoursite.com to yoursite.net ? .com is better at branding plus you also get the domain age advantage.
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    Move URL


    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    Can you move the original url, the one thats being used now to say godaddy for hosting?
    Yes I have control over both domains. I also have hosting already set up. I ultimately will have to use my own hosting for any additional pages and those that I don't want to lose with old host.
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    @subzero27


    The situation that I am in is that I have already developed my own site using a 3rd party app/host designed for my industry it is mysite.com (the old site) and is 2 years old and receives a lot of traffic, but it doesn't have an online designer and other features. The new site is mysite.net and it better suites my needs as it is more robust and has online designer (for clients to design online). The shipping calculator is more accurate thus charges customers less on shipping. The work flow is automatically updated... i.e. printing, bindery, shipped... There are just far to many advantages of the new software to not use it because of the lack of additional pages.

    I am capable of creating a new site on my own hosting and styling the site to look exactly like the new system. I just don't know the best way to migrate the old pages and save SEO.

    Yes, I would like to switch the new site from mysite.net to mysite.com for marketing and domain age, but somehow I have to be able to add my own pages to my own hosting to make it all work.

    When it's all done I would like visitors to see mysite.com on the new system but have mysite.com/pages on a separate host so that I can continually add pages. Is this possible? I would then create a htaccess to redirect old traffic. The new provider currently doesn't have a directory named 'pages' if that helps.
    Last edited by D-One; Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:21 AM.
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    I should also mention...


    The current host that I am leaving charges me $200 per month to use their inferior software, while the new provider charges me a lot less and yearly. I have already paid the new provider, but can't figure out the best approach to mirate and can't afford to keep paying the current/old just to save SEO ranking.
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    Originally Posted by subzero27
    BTW Why are you even thinking of switching yoursite.com to yoursite.net ? .com is better at branding plus you also get the domain age advantage.
    The whole reason for this post is to save the domain age, marketing and SEO of mysite.com.

    I could actually go live right now with mysite.net and cancel the mysite.com services. I could then forward mysite.com with masking and anyone visiting mysite.com would go to mysite.net. This is the easiest way to do it, but I would rather have mysite.com as the primary and bypass mysite.net all together if I could. mysite.net was purchased just to get the new software setup without having downtime.
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    Spoke with GoDaddy


    Ok I have spoken with GoDaddy and they said that it is not possible to point a domain name to a 3rd party host and also point the domain name to a directory.

    So I can't do mysite.com and mysite.com/pages on different servers. I can however do a subdomain and achieve the same results. So mysite.com will point to new software and use pages.mysite.com for all old pages. I could then do a 301 redirect on old host to point to pages.mysite.com.

    If I do it that way, I would have to pay for at least one more month of hosting with old host. How long do redirects usually take for spiders to recognize?
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    I've just been fighting the same issue with a client. They want to add a blog, but the turn-key store host won't let them. They have too much invested to let go of the turn-key host.

    Anyway... I should probably know the answer to this but just throwing out an idea...what if you put the new pages on .net and make use canonicals from the .net to the .com? I don't know if canonicals can work across domains or subdomains.

    Depends on how often your site is crawled as to how soon the spiders get the new pages.
    Frankly, I wonder who Frank is and why he has his own adverb.
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    Originally Posted by D-One
    Ok I have spoken with GoDaddy and they said that it is not possible to point a domain name to a 3rd party host and also point the domain name to a directory.

    So I can't do mysite.com and mysite.com/pages on different servers. I can however do a subdomain and achieve the same results. So mysite.com will point to new software and use pages.mysite.com for all old pages. I could then do a 301 redirect on old host to point to pages.mysite.com.

    If I do it that way, I would have to pay for at least one more month of hosting with old host. How long do redirects usually take for spiders to recognize?
    Seems to me, if I haven't missed anything, consider doing this...
    Since you have control of all pages. Go with godaddy, good hosting choice. Upload all pages to godaddy, now point your nameservers to godaddy. This takes the hosting provider out of the picture. Now you can, if you like, useing 301 redirects, redirect any and all pages you want to where you want.
    You don't have to worry about loosing any ranking, it just taks a couple of days for the dns to propogate thru the net. Then delete the site from previous hosting provider. What this actually means is that you site may not be viewable for a day.

    Oh, and 301 redirects happen immediately, they don't require the search engines to index them to work.

    If you move eveything to a new host, you wouldn't need to purchase another month from your old hosting provider.

    From start to finish, excluding the 301's this could be accomplished in about 24 hours. The 301's would just require hand coding, and depends on how many pages you redirect. But the 301 take effect as soon as you create and post to the server.
    Here to Help, Nothing More.....
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    Originally Posted by DMN Webmaster
    Since you have control of all pages. Go with godaddy, good hosting choice.
    Godaddy servers are as slow as molasses. I love them for some things, but hosting ain't one of them.
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    GoDaddy sucks balls. Hostgator FTW. Nothing less.

    Edit: FTW = For The Win!

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    • JBacchi agrees : What is FTW? F the Worst?
    Last edited by joshz; Sep 5th, 2012 at 08:43 AM.
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    So the thread has become a bash GoDaddy thread instead of providing a solution. lol

    I have since decided to go with the sub domain approach for all of my old pages and new ones going forward. I will then have the application changed over to mysite.com instead of mysite.net.

    The next question is what would be the best way to name the sub domain? does this even matter? I was thinking pages.mysite.com or usa.mysite.com. Are there any advantages?
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    Originally Posted by D-One
    So the thread has become a bash GoDaddy thread instead of providing a solution. lol

    I have since decided to go with the sub domain approach for all of my old pages and new ones going forward. I will then have the application changed over to mysite.com instead of mysite.net.

    The next question is what would be the best way to name the sub domain? does this even matter? I was thinking pages.mysite.com or usa.mysite.com. Are there any advantages?
    Simple, use a keyword if possible, otherwise whatever you like.

    The domain name does help, but you can't always get what you want.

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