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Our band uses a very successful website hosted by Orange (originally Freeserve) operated on a pay-as-you-go service via a slow-speed 56kbps link. I have failed to use our Talktalk broadband modem to log on to the Freeserve FTP site for edits and uploads to the webpage. Orange appears not to offer the option to change the package to a regular broadband account while retaining the URL, although I would be prepared to pay the monthly subscription. So it seems that I'm stuck with the 56kbps link.

Our computer will need replacing soon and it appears that new machines do not have built in 56kbps modems and you can't buy an add-on devices with Windows 8 driver support.

If I make a one-off change to the site to auto-redirect to a new, broad-band supported site, will this degrade the excellent (middle of page 1) ranking that Google gives us? Or will Google just follow the redirect (as per all our other viewers) and rank the new page with the same success as the old site?

I cannot just abandon the old site since I have worked hard to get several hundred good incoming links, and it's unreasonable to expect those webmasters to alter their links at my request to any new site of mine

Update:

Here's further details of my situation on 28/2/14 in response to 2 kind-hearted replies to my original question. I regret that the replies are using terminology I don't understand.

The existing site is a subdomain of the old freeserve group; the URL is .....fsnet.co.uk. Obviously I don't own this in anyway except that Freeserve (now Orange) have allocated the full URL - or do I mean the subdomain part of it - to me. At least, I hope they have - I certainly don't expect that anyone else can buy/steal/acquire my site and get control of it. I don't have any contract with Orange because the webspace (and so the URL agreed with Orange) were a part of an earlier pay-as-you-go landline telephone contract.

I could of course set up a duplicate site on webspace provided by my broadband supplier (yes - Talktalk! No-one sorrier than me), thereby avoiding any need to use a 56kbps modem. Since the new site would have a different URL the links I've worked hard to acquire for the ...fsnet.co.uk site would not be seen as incoming, and I'm sure Google would therefore be less impressed.

The question is ... if I then replace the whole of the ...fsnet.co.uk site with a simple instantaneous redirect to this prospective ...talktalk.net site, will Google accept that the incoming links to ...fsnet.co.uk are really to be credited to the ....talktalk.net site, so that it then acquires the ranking of the old ...fsnet.co.uk site ? I think it's impractical to contact the webmasters for all the incoming links and ask them to link to the new ...talktalk.net URL instead of their old links. Too much to ask.

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What is your URL? Is your site on a subdomain? –  Dumbo sapiens Feb 26 at 17:47
    
Added an update based on your new information. If it still is not what you need, I think I didn't understand the situation properly. –  PatomaS Mar 2 at 7:53
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3 Answers 3

David. Wow.

It sounds like your situation is somewhat confused and unfortunate. I used to be web host and this setup sounds like it was poor from the start. Sorry that you are dealing with this. Free is never free. Cheap is cheap.

Having said that, who owns the domain name? If it is you, then create a GoDaddy (or other quality registrar) account and have the domain name transferred into your control. Once done, you should still be able to continue to point it to your current site. Move a copy of your site to a quality host. Make sure it is a good hosting company! When done, use the registrar to then point to your new site. This is the easiest solution.

Otherwise, if you do not own the domain name, then I would ask why? If you specified the domain name, they registered it under your direction, and you paid to register the domain name, then you likely have a valid case to claim that domain name. Some hosts registered domain names but retained ownership and then in effect, hijack the domain name. This was enough of a problem that people sued and won based upon the outline mentioned above. I would gain control of the domain name if possible. If you cannot, then I would register a domain name that you do have control over and THEN I would create a blanket 301 redirect from your old site to a copy of the new site. Notify your users of the new domain name. When you are sure that your users are notified and had enough time to start using the new domain name, then I would drop your old site.

Clear as mud?

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From your explanation, you are hosting the website yourself and your connection to Internet, at least the connection that the machine has, is using the old modem. If that is the case, you are most probably using something like dynDNS to redirect traffic to your non fixed/static IP.

If for some reason you have a static IP, then you are not using nothing like dynDNS and somebody, at some point configured the DNS records for your site/somain to your IP.

In any case, what you have to do is simple.

  • Get a hosting plan on a company of your choice.
  • Copy the content there.
  • Ask the company, or use their procedures, to update the DNS records for your site.
  • Cancel/deactivate the account on the dynDNS service that you had.

If you don't own the domain name and for any reason is attached to the existing plan you have with the company that gave you the modem, ask them how to get the domain name. Most probably it's already yours or is just a matter or simple paperwork. If you can't get the domain name, and can't update the connection plan, you are going to have to change the domain name, buy a new one. If you have to buy a new one, buy the most similar one, may be just changing the .com to .net, .your_country or any other option that suits you, then you have to do this steps.

  • Get a hosting plan on a company of your choice.
  • Copy the content there.
  • Ask the company, or use their procedures, to set the DNS records for your site/domain.
  • Set 301 redirections on your actual server to the new domain/site.
  • Remove the content from the old server but leave it working for some time so there is time for users and crawlers to update their pointers/references to your site.

If you do the steps in order, and check that everything is working correctly, there is going to be no problem. If you just move the content to a new server, there should be no noticeable repercussion, If, on the other hand, you have to use a new domain, there is going to be a bit of a problem. The new domain is going to have 0 reputation and it has to inherit the one that your actual site has. Google will index the new site and most probably, will pass the ranking from domain to domain, but the visits, access and time are going to be decisive in the transition. Time is key here, you have to wait enough for Google to index the site, update SERPs and serve the right content, plus users will have to redirect and reconfigure bookmarks.

Remember to inform your users about the changes.

Update

As I understand your question; yes, Google will understand the redirection and the ranking for the new site will grow, may be slowly, but it will grow; as long as visitor keep going to your site, old or new.

Also, you should consider hosting the site in a professional hosting company. It's going to be the same situation, but at least you will have much more control plus better tools and people to deal with the site and server. There are all kinds of prices, so money should not be a problem and almost all the decent hosting places have good manuals and people to help you with any situation, including moving the content.

As an extra, I'm adding links to some of the words/terms I used. Since I don't know exactly your level of knowledge or what was complicated, I may be putting links to things that you already know.

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If he cancels the account with fsnet.co.uk he loses the ability to do a 301 redirect from the old site to the new site. –  Steve Mar 2 at 9:25
    
True, that's why I said, in the second option, to leave the system/server/contract working for some time while the 301 is doing it's work. –  PatomaS Mar 2 at 9:28
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I think the answer is yes - Google will recognise the new website as receiving all of the link juice from the old site.

You do need to do a 301 (permanent) redirect from the old *.fsnet.co.uk website to your new website.

Google will pass on the majority of the page rank your old site had to the new site.

DO keep your old *.fsnet.co.uk webspace, DO NOT abandon this website. Only by keeping it can you perform a 301 redirect to the new website.

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