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shtml to php
How to minimize the damage?

 6:17 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

Doing a re-design of my main site and want to make it php functional. Right now all the extensions are .shtml, and the site reanks really well and is what pays my rent every month :)

Needless to say I'm a little concerned about changing it around. But if I want the site to grow and take it to another level, I gotte do this.

So I know about using the 302 / 301 re-directs, but is that the best way to do it?

I used a re-direct recently on some pages on a nother site and after two months the pages still show a whitebar for pagerank. That'd be devastating if it happens to the site I wanna change now.

What's the best way of doing this? I only want to change the extension, not the whole filename, though I'm sure that probably doesn't make a difference.

Any suggestions would be fantastic.




 1:40 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Matt,

I'd suggest to go ahead with the 302 redirects on a per-page basis. That should minimise the impact and all your backlinks according to G should remain in-tact.

You'll realise from scanning these boards that toolbar PR is not an accurate indication of current PR. In fact, we've been waiting months for the last toolbar 'update'. Your "real" PR is what matters, and with the correct redirection in place, it should remain transparent enough for your php pages to rank as well.

The last thing that you absolutely MUST do, is cross your fingers, sacrifice a small child, and plead to the SE Gods. But seriously, good luck :)


 1:42 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you're running on apache and have it enabled, you can use the rewrite engine to serve the new pages at the old url, thus negating any need to change all your links...


 1:44 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

whoa dood

Before you do *any* redirects make sure that you can't use mod_redirect to redirect your *existing* pages to your *new php pages*. That is to say, keep your existing url/link format and structure.

That way, as far as the SEs are concerned, you haven't changed a thing.


 1:55 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>the site reanks really well and is what pays my rent every month

Then please don't risk it. Changing to new URLs means entirely new pages in the index.

>>That way, as far as the SEs are concerned, you haven't changed a thing.

Critter has it, the search engines need to continue to see the same URLs - and 302's will NOT do it. That is a temporary redirect, and it isn't even accurate for the situation.

Don't take chances with what's keeping a roof over your head. The answer lies with .htaccess, but please study it all enough before you make any changes that could put your rankings, and consequently your livelihood into jeopardy.


 4:52 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

The smartest way to handle this, assuming that you are running Apache, is to set it up so that Apache parses .shtml pages though PHP. All you need to do is add a couple of lines to your httpd.conf file and you're good to go. As the rest have said, if you start renaming your pages, your hosed.


 5:32 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

That sounds like the best solution :) Thanks everyone for the advice!

Do you know of a tutorial or something that will tell me what exactly I need to add to my httpd.conf?


 6:13 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

you could try

AddType application/x-httpd-php .shtml

in a .htaccess file in the required directory and see if that works. I haven't tried it, but I wanted my web pages to end in .html but to be php code so I added a very similar line to my .htaccess and voila.

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