We are about the release a new version of a website for one of our clients.

His current website is on www.domain.be, the new domain with a complete different structure is located on www.newdomain.be

So now we need to redirect traffic for the old one to the new one.

Is it best practise to redirect everything to the home page on the new domain or do we need to redirect each page to the correct page on the new domain?

2 Answers 2


To answer your specific questions...

Is it best practise to redirect everything to the home page

No. This generally gives a bad user experience. The user expected to see content related to X, but instead are seeing your home page. Bounce rate will be high. Consequently Google will not see this as a good thing either and generally treats (mass) redirects to the home page as a soft-404.

A redirect is telling users and search engines that the content has moved and is now located "here". A redirect to the home page is not conveying that same message.

or do we need to redirect each page to the correct page on the new domain?

Yes. Specifically a 301 redirect to the new URL on the new domain. It's the only way to maintain as much of the search engine ranking as possible.


You will want to implement the following in the old domain's .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.newdomain\.be 
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.be/$1 [R=301,L]

And, since your file structure is changing on the new domain you will definitely want to permanently 301 redirect ALL of the old urls to the new corresponding url's. You will also want to do a change of address in Google Webmaster tools and submit your new sitemaps.

Here is a link to a page with more detailed information:


I hope this helps...

  • So the code you give here is to redirect all traffic to the new one. So after this I should add the rules for redirecting other pages correct?
    – Mivaweb
    Oct 3, 2016 at 10:16
  • The rewrite rule is to redirect from the old domain to the new domain. You will need to have your .htaccess file and 301 redirects ready BEFORE you switch the domain over. Once you have migrated your site the .htaccess file is all you’ll need to host on the old domain in order to successfully redirect... Oct 3, 2016 at 10:23
  • "with a complete different structure" - If the URL structure of the new site is completely different then this rule is not going to work. But the idea is right - you need to redirect to the corresponding URL on the new site, not the home page.
    – MrWhite
    Oct 3, 2016 at 10:37

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