Redirect from previous site to the hive

Suppose you already have some Progress-related material on your own website, and decide to move it to The OpenEdge Hive, then you may consider redirecting the old location of that material to the new url.

Redirection prevents you from losing your existing visitors. When you don't redirect you may have the following problems:

  • People may have bookmarked your page. When they visit that bookmark, they just find nothing
  • Many Progress related websites have links to other Progress related websites. I have noticed that links are usually not actively maintained, so when you move a page there will be broken links
  • Your old page may have a good Google rank, but the new page won't (just because it is new)
  • It takes quite some time for Google to find the new page, even if the old page was indexed regularly

You could replace your old HTML page with a new HTML page, that redirects users to the new address. Search engines are not very happy with this method, because they will now have to index both the old page and the new page. The new page will still be seen as a new page, with no rank, and the ranking of the old page may actually decrease.

A better method involves editing the .htaccess file on your webserver to set up redirection (assuming that you have access to this file and have permissions to edit it). When I moved pages from to The Hive, I have edited the .htaccess file like this:

## make sure nobody gets the htaccess files
<Files ~ "^[\._]ht">
    Order allow,deny
    Deny from all
    Satisfy All

RewriteEngine on

# permanent redirecting to :

# redirect the old wiki pages:
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/centerwindow$ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/closebutton$ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/flashwindowex$ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/getdevicecaps$ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/hidetaskbarbutton$ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^win32/appearance/lockwindowupdate$ [R=301,L]

# redirect RSS feeds:
RewriteRule ^feed.php(.*) [R=301,L]

# redirect the default page ( "http://www/" becomes ""
RewriteRule ^$  [L]

This assumes that your (Apache) server is compiled with mod_rewrite and that httpd.conf does not disallow you to use it.

Search engines like this method. The R=301 instruction tells them to drop the old address from their indexes and replace it by the new address, and to assign the ranking of the old page to the new page!! And, because this is known as "permanent redirecting", they don't have to attempt to read the old page again.

The advantages are clear:
- there are no broken links
- the new pages are sooner indexed
- your content keeps their Google rankings