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How to redirect URLs broken by migration to WP.com?

  1. We are nearing completion of a a migration from a self-hosted Movable Type blog to a wordpress.com blog. The migration has involved URL changes due to the way WP.com predefines post and archive URLs. For example, if there is currently an archive page at:

    http://www.emmacarlson.com/emmablog/archives/2011/06/22/best-laid-plans/

    then after the import to wp.com it will look like this:

    http://emmcarlsondisplaced.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/best_laid_plans/

    We intend to buy the domain upgrade so the WordPress site will eventually look like:

    http://www.emmacarlson.com/2011/06/22/best_laid_plans/

    I am trying to minimize broken links, search engine errors, etc in this process. A previous post on this topic (now closed—see http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-handle-broken-urls-migrating-from-mt-to-wpcom) suggested setting up a 301 Redirect on the original site for a limited time to help the search engines recognize the new site, and potentially allow some users to update bookmarks.

    I would like to take this approach if we can still end up with http://www.emmacarlson.com being the main site. So I have two follow up questions to figure out how this works:

    1. How long should this 301 Redirect configuration be left in place to allow search engines to recognize the new URL? I know there isn’t a hard number, but a guideline would be helpful – 2 days? A week?
    2. Once we buy the domain name upgrade, will WordPress similarly redirect so that search engines again “catch up” and use the vanity URL (i.e. http://www.emmacarlson.com rather than emmacarlsondisplaced.wordpress.com)?

    Thanks!

    Ramon

    The blog I need help with is movabletypeimporttest.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi.
    1. I don't think we could really answer that. So the answer is: as long as you feel right. (In my case that would be: forever, in case anyone has an old URL).
    2. Yes, that's correct for your old __.wordpress.com address, provided you follow all of the steps in the support documentation regarding domain mapping.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/
    These answers are to the best of my knowledge. If you'd like confirmation from staff (who answered the locked forum thread you were referring to) feel free to contact them by clicking on the link below.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

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