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Firstly, I have only ever worked on Apache servers, never used a GoDaddy server or used ASP. Wow, I'm really in the dark. When a friend's webmaster died, he asked me to build a new site for him with a new domain name. I built a WordPress site on my dedicated server. His existing website is written with ASP and hosted on a GoDaddy Windows server. Domain is registered there as well.

I saw a Google webmaster video that recommended page by page redirects. The new website pages are not a 1 to 1 - but many of the pages will have the same type of content. Stupid me, I anticipated using an .htaccess file to 301 the site "pages" using those ASP-type urls that show up and pointing them to the similar content on the WordPress site. (No windows server experience)

Here's the thing...there is only one ASP file...default.asp. My research tells me that there are several ways to do redirects on a Windows server...

  1. IIS - looked at directions, looked at Microsoft site about it, looked at GoDaddy instructions...I don't get it. I looked at the IIS interface, I don't see anything but an entry for "content root". I don't think I know enough to do this. Support at GoDaddy isn't anything like I get for my dedicated server at my host, so I would probably rule this option out based on my experience level.

  2. GoDaddy says you can "forward" or "forward and mask" but I don't think this is exactly what I need for an existing website. Sounds more like some kind of nameserver/domain name option. http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/422/forwarding-or-masking-your-domain-name

  3. I see that you can use ASP to do a redirect but it seems to be for the whole domain: <%@ Language=VBScript %> <% Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently" Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.new-url.com" %> However, I did find a site (rapidtables.com/web/tools/redirect-generator.htm) that would let me enter the ASP-type URLs "mydomain.com/default.asp?page=6&subpage=9" and the corresponding "mynewdomain.com/nameofnewpage/ and get that same type of code for each "page". But if I generate those, I don't know what to do with them. Do they go into one file that replaces the default.asp? OR Do they go into the top of the existing default.asp file...? If there is a list of them, how do I string them together (do I put the VB script thing once and then just list the response lines below?)

So I really have 2 questions.

  1. Which, if any, of the above is the best and most search engine friendly way to do this.
  2. Can a single 301 redirect for the entire domain work ok? I'm concerned about the fact that some people have been using this domain name for many many years - not so much that they have bookmarked specific pages inside of the site.

Thanks to anyone who actually read this entire question and can provide some simple advice.

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Can you point the old domain at your new site (as a parked domain)? Then you can do all the 301 redirection in .htaccess on your new site. –  w3d Aug 30 '13 at 19:30
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1 Answer

Here's the thing...there is only one ASP file... default.asp.

Like with other server-side scripting/applications, those "ASP-type" URLs are generated dynamically based on requested parameters - so you can't do page-to-page 301 redirects easily. Options number 1 & 3 would require keeping the previous site with ASP running, and redirecting based on query parameters to matching pages on your new site.

This can be accomplished using IIS Rewrite Rules, but given your inexperience with this environment, this would be a time-consuming learning process. You could add Apache URL rewrite rules in your new dedicated server to handle the parameters passed via permanent forwarding (not available under "forward and mask"), but if the new site only contains the "same type of content", you're likely better off just focusing on getting the new site crawled and indexed, since search engines will see that the content for the previous URLs has changed anyway.

Which, if any, of the above is the best and most search engine friendly way to do this.

Using option number 2, being sure to select the 301 (permanent) setting in GoDaddy (Domain Control Panel -> Domain Settings -> Forwarding -> Manage) would allow for URLs that are indexed in search engines and on external websites to be redirected to your new site, while you work on building SEO for the new site.

If you design the new site to be clear for redirected visitors so that they can find matching pages/content, that should help during the transition.

After the domain forwarding is working, let search engines know that the site has moved using the following:

Tell Google when your site moves

Bing - Site Move

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