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Lots of 301s - How to handle forum move from one platform to another

     
11:05 am on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am moving off of vBulletin and going to bbpress as my whole site is changing to a wordpress platform.

I have thousands and thousands of pages in the current forum. The new forum is going to have different URLS.

What is the best way to handle this massive number of page changes?

Simon
2:11 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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One approach is to choose a new URL naming scheme that will allow you to set up the 301 redirects with a few lines of regex in your .htaccess file. In other words, use a modification of the old URL scheme in some easily coded form.
4:43 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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How will google feel about so many 301īs. Is this going to be a problem for me?

Thanks
Simon
5:27 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I redirected 80 000 URLs to a new structure on a site last year. Traffic dipped for a short while then increased.

How you redirect depends on what the old URLs look like. You'll probably be better off rewriting requests to a PHP script that then looks up the new URL in a database table and then issues the redirect. It is important that the PHP script returns a 404 header for non-valid requests that manage to invoke the PHP script.
5:43 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Would a PHP script be slower than a REGEX in the htaccess?
7:04 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It depends what the old and new URLs look like.

If you use a single rule for all the pages, or all pages of the same type, mod_rewrite cannot put things into the new URL that aren't in the old URL.

If you need to redirect example.com/index.php?page=44 to www.example.com/44 then mod_rewrite can do it.

If you need to redirect example.com/index.php?page=44 to www.example.com/44-page-name then mod_rewrite cannot do it unless you make a rule for each page pair.

On the other hand, a PHP script can take in "44", look up "page name" in a database and generate the new URL that is sent in the redirect message.
8:12 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's one more option. KEEP all the old URLs, and simply rewrite-- not redirect-- to the new location. This is a good option if the old URLs are prettier than the new URLs, and the new CMS doesn't have a horribly complicated set of rewrites that you'd have to work around.
 

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