Redirecting to a New Platform
I purchased a WordPress.com domain several years ago but have been invited to join an aggregated blogging platform hosted by the umbrella org Patheos. All my content will be exported and moved. However, I’m told they can set up a redirect for old clicks, though it will only go to my new index page instead of sending specific old URLs to their specific new URLs. And they’re telling me I need to work with WordPress on my end to ensure that comes together. So I have a few questions:
1. As long as I keep paying for this domain, what would I need to do, technically, to get such a redirect in place?
2. Since I’m going to be rebranding under a new name, and since old link clicks won’t even be going to the new links on an individual basis, how long is it worth continuing to pay for the domain? A year, perhaps?
The blog I need help with is yankeegospelgirl.com.
Can you please let us know:
1. The address of your site on Patheos (your domain yankeegospelgirl.com is already connected to a WordPress.com site).
2. On which hosting provider are you planning on moving your site. WordPress.com (here), or elsewhere (self-hosted).
1. I am still brainstorming names for the new blog but should have it soon.
2. I believe WordPress.com will no longer be the provider. I am asking the Patheos tech support for details on who the provider would be.
@yankeegospelgirl you can point the domain there fairly easily:
If the URLs will stay the same, a redirect will be doable (if it’s even necessary at all). If the URLs are changing, it will be up to your new provider to figure out some solution for redirection.
Have you thought about keeping your old site and writing new content at the new one?
The URLs will be different. All content will be recatalogued under a patheos.com/blog/[new name here]. To clarify, are you saying that in that case, I could still go through the steps outlined in the article once I had the new host info? If so, would this point individual links to the same landing page as opposed to relinking to individual new URLs, like they said? Or are you saying this process only works if the URLs are the same?
Yes, I thought about starting new, but the new editor thinks it’s better to keep my body of work together, as this is what they’ve done with other autors.
I’m also trying to confirm whether my WordPress account will stay or disappear with the move, and how I would access my purchase of the domain (currently set to auto-pay each year).
If you’ll have patheos.com/blog/[new name here]/everything/else/is-the-same you might be able to use a site redirect:
If you’ll have patheos.com/blog/[new name here]/different/stuff it won’t work.
Your WordPress account, and site, will be here unless you close or get rid of them. The site redirect would send folks from the old site to the new.
Okay, that’s helpful. I assume that “everything else is the same” would mean patheos.com/blog/yankeegospelgirl? Or do you mean the individual post titles by “everything else?”
If the blog and page names stay the same, and if the base URLs stay the same, then it should work. In other words:
If a page here is mysite.com/page and then at the new site it is patheos.com/blog/[new name here]/page, that should redirect directly to that page unless patheos intercepts things.
On posts, if the post URL here is mysite.com/2018/05/22/post, and at the new site it is patheos.com/blog/[new name here]/post, then those will not redirect and people will be taken to your main page typically.
Redirects to new domains can be tricky when the permalink structures differ, such as in my second example for the posts.
It may be that patheos.com has some software that deconstructs things and then redirects things properly, or they may just take all incoming redirects and send the visitor to the front page of your site.
- This reply was modified 1 year by thesacredpath.
Thanks for that additional info. They told me they won’t be duplicating content. Instead “You will sign in to a WordPress account we set up, and your archives will be all there,” but I’m not sure if this is .com or .org. Your comment confirms what they told me about redirects, so I’m resigned to that by now, but I do want to make sure I will still have my domain and be able to access this WordPress account to keep tabs on auto-payments.
In other words, if my site and archives are moved, as opposed to simply being duplicated, will I automatically lose ownership of yankeegospelgirl.com and access to the accompanying account/purchases?
They told me they won’t be duplicating content. Instead “You will sign in to a WordPress account we set up, and your archives will be all there,” but I’m not sure if this is .com or .org.
That would be a user account created directly in the database of a self-hosted WordPress installation, and unless they’re using Jetpack on that site, it will have no connection to your WordPress.com account at all.
I do want to make sure I will still have my domain and be able to access this WordPress account to keep tabs on auto-payments.
This won’t have any effect on your WordPress.com account, nor even on your WordPress.com site.
The only way to “move” your WordPress.com site is to export the content at My Site ->Export, and this process does not remove content from the site in any way. The only way to delete content from your site or to delete the site itself is for an admin on the site to explicitly perform that action, and the only way to cancel your domain or close your WordPress.com account is if someone specifically logged into your account does that.
You mention in your original post that “All my content will be exported and moved.”, making it sound like the new host is doing this for you? Are they asking you for access to your account to do that? If so, please don’t. Under no circumstances should you ever give anyone access to your actual WordPress.com account.
Exporting your content is a few clicks at My Site ->Settings ->Export, and you can easily do that and just provide them with the export file. There’s nothing else that they’ll be able to move, so there’s also no reason at all to give them admin access to your site.
And we can help you point the domain to the new site. All we need is the URL where your domain should point in the case of a 301 redirect, or the name servers or IP address if they help you set up mapping of the domain on their end.
Hi kokkieh. What I believe they mean by “no duplicate content” is they don’t want to do a copy and paste of my archives to Patheos while the content is also still at yankeegospelgirl.
When I asked about whether it was a “copy and paste,” before, they said, “Actually, we’d prefer to move everything–the entire site–over. Duplicate material is harshly punished by Google and other search engines. It will hurt your pageviews quite a bit, and pageviews are how we generate revenue.”
What’s confusing me about their replies is thaton the one hand they say they want everything moved to Patheos without duplication, but on the other hand they have also mentioned they can set up a redirect. What would they even mean by that if everything has been moved? Clearly there’s something I’m missing. I’m going to pass on your questions and comments to the team.
On your comment about helping me point to the new site, I saw in a different answer above that this would depend on the
permalink structure. If everything is preserved except the patheos.com/blog tag in front, then the redirect can go post to post. In other words:
would perfectly map to
My question there was whether if “myblogname” got changed to “differentblogname” in the second template, this would break the ability to redirext post to post, or if the important thing to preserve was the material after “myblogname,” under “stuff.”
When I asked about whether it was a “copy and paste,” before, they said, “Actually, we’d prefer to move everything–the entire site–over.
Okay, as I said, that’s not possible on WordPress.com. You can export your content and import it somewhere else, but it’s not possible to move the entire site and the export doesn’t remove content from the original site.
But if you set the WordPress.com site to private once the import on the other end is complete, you won’t have any trouble with duplicate content on Google, as they won’t be able to index the site once it’s set to private.
one hand they say they want everything moved to Patheos without duplication, but on the other hand they have also mentioned they can set up a redirect. What would they even mean by that if everything has been moved?
With self-hosted WordPress sites you literally move the site’s files from one server to a different server, same as moving files between folders in Windows Explorer, as opposed to copying them. But that is not possible for WordPress.com sites, as your site shares files with other sites on our network.
Redirection is something completely different, and refer to your site’s address or domain. If you have a redirect set up on your domain, someone that tries to visit that domain gets sent to a completely different domain instead.
You already have that on your WordPress.com site – when you added your paid domain to your site, we started redirecting everyone typing your free WordPress.com address into their browsers to your paid domain instead.
The difference between that redirect, and the Site Redirect upgrade, or a redirect that Patheos sets up on their end, is that with your WordPress.com site both domains are still on the same site, so even though people are getting redirected, they still see the same site in their browser. And the redirect you’ll have after this move will take people to a completely different site.
I hope that makes sense :)
If everything is preserved except the patheos.com/blog tag in front, then the redirect can go post to post. In other words:
would perfectly map to
It should – we try as far as possible to match to the same content on the target site, but we cannot guarantee it if the URL structure is different. Note that the link structure is just as important as the content/name in the link. Changing either can potentially cause faulty redirects.
On WordPress.com, for example, the link structure for a post is SITE_ADDRESS/DATE/POST_SLUG. If you redirect to a site that just uses SITE_ADDRESS/POST_SLUG, so without showing the date in the link, the redirects might not work properly. You might be able to do something with rewrite rules on the new site’s server, but that’s something Patheos would need to set up on their end.
Okay, I went back to a several-years-old discussion with the Patheos team that was even clearer, and also got more clarity from the current team. Basically, they are saying that if I give them the admin controls, they can change the structure of the links and then do an export, which actually will make the redirects work on a post by post basis. However, according to what you say here, I would have a decision to make at that point, because this would inevitably result in closing down my account and losing the domain. (In which case, if I think it over and decide I’m at peace with that, I’ll need to make sure I cancel my auto-payment before this transfer.) Is that correct? Let me just quote their description of the process as of 2014:
“We REPLACE the links in your wordpress .xml file before importing them into Patheos — yourblog.com we replace with http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yourblog, but then we also make sure the the permalink structure matches in the way it’s set up — yourblog.com/2014/8/1/my-first-blog-post/ matches http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yourblog/2014/8/1/my-first-blog-post/ and since we’ve replaced the first section before import the new links are all like this http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yourblog/2014/8/1/my-first-blog-post/ — with a redirect placed on top so anyone going to yourblog.com/2014/8/1/my-first-blog-post/ gets redirected to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yourblog/2014/8/1/my-first-blog-post.”
The new tech guy, when I showed him this description, said, “That was super-helpful. I just shared your email with our operations team, and they said, yes, in fact that should be possible since it’s a WordPress-to-Wordpress transfer assuming you will give us access to the old account’s admin controls.”
…they can change the structure of the links and then do an export, which actually will make the redirects work on a post by post basis
That is not possible here at WordPress.com. It sounds like they are thinking you are self-hosted, or they are not familiar with how WordPress.com is set up and it’s limitations.
The best course of action is for you to perform the export. Then when they do the import, they can select to have all the images brought over. As @kokkieh says, do not give them your login information to your account here at WordPress.com. Once that is done and you have had a chance to check the new site and see that everything is there, including your docs and images from the Media Library, then you can log in here at WordPress.com and set the old site to private.
Okay, but they told me it would work because we are going “WordPress to WordPress.” Apparently that doesn’t matter? I wonder if it would be possible to put you in touch with somebody from the team and straighten this out, because I am getting cross signals at this point.
Also, if I set the old site to private, how would redirects to the new site work?
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