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I have a client with a self hosted WordPress blog with 5000+ posts dating back several years that I'm creating a new template for. When the site is done, it will be moved to a new domain and the old domain needs to point to everything matching on the new domain with a 301 redirect.

Since the new WP-blog will have the same content and link structure/permalinks, images etc, I have prepared a .htaccess file to put on the old domain's server with a rewrite condition which simply will rewrite the domain and then makes an exception for a couple of pages that will have changed URLs after the move.

However, my client has talked with a SEO-export which according to the client says there's a better way of doing this by identifying the posts getting most traffic in the Google search results and handle them individually in some way(?). I think my client sent the SEO expert my .htaccess code but I'm not sure if it was communicated correctly about the site keeping the same structure as before or not.

My .htaccess code (added blank space after http:// to not be auto links here):

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !=/oldpage1
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !=/oldpage2
Redirect 301 /oldpage1 http:// www.newdomain.com/newpage1
Redirect 301 /oldpage2 http:// www.newdomain.com/newpage2
ErrorDocument 404 /customers/e/7/9/newdomain.com//httpd.www/404
RewriteRule (.*) http:// www.newdomain.com$1 [R=301,L]

Have I missed anything? Could it be that handling some selected good ranking posts individually will keep the SEO values slightly better than just having all of them in "bulk" with the RewriteRule? Such as: Redirect 301 /oldtoprankingpage http:// www.newdomain.com/newtoprankingpage ?

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If you are only changing of domain name while keeping the rest of the URLs identical, then handling redirects for some special pages separately will not provide any SEO benefits. Bulk is fine.

If the URLs change on top of changing of domain name, you must make sure the redirects are correctly implemented for each page and that might mean using special cases if necessary. You would lose SEO benefit if you did not redirect such pages properly.

  • Not only will it not provide any SEO benefits, it will be slower to have 5,000 special cases ... or even 50! – Michael Hampton Jun 19 '15 at 0:03

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