Ralford.net Overhaul – Redirecting Home-Brewed URLs

Part I of the Ralford.net overhaul really happened when I transitioned to WordPress, so consider this post ‘Part II’. If you haven’t noticed, I made the decision way back then to keep my home-brewed PHP weblog at the root of Ralford.net, and I installed WordPress to its own dedicated subfolder that would be free from all of the unorganized files that live on my domain.

Though this was a good organizational move, the original reasoning for this was to keep any bookmarked URLs to my site from breaking. If I replaced the home-brewed weblog at the root with the new WordPress weblog, the old URLs wouldn’t work. I moved forward with the decision to place WordPress in a subfolder, and dealt with the fact that any new visitors would need to be sent to “http://www.ralford.net/wordpress/”. I updated all of my social webpages to tell the world that my webpage was now at the subfolder, and crossed my fingers that no new vistors would go directly to the root of Ralford.net and see old posts I wrote back in 2004.

Today, I updated the .htaccess file at the root to redirect all old home-brewed weblog URLs to an archive subfolder – and the attempt was a success!

The first great thing this accomplishes is that it preserves a link to the content bookmarked by any of my home-brewed weblog visitors. If they bookmarked my old wiki entry on guitar maintenance (notice the link doesn’t have an ‘archive’ subfolder), they will now gracefully get redirected to the new location!

Secondly, if our search engine friends take ages to update URLs of my old posts to their new ‘archive’ location, a non-updated search engine result will redirect the user to the new location instead of it sending them to a dead link with an ugly 404 error message (I know I know, after 5+ years I still haven’t created a custom 404 page).

And finally, archiving the old content allows me to update content of the root. That will happen soon, but is still in progress (heck it took me nearly a year to take care of the archive redirects). My game plan is to turn it into a page for myself as a musician, and display a dynamically-updated list of dates for events my music projects are scheduled to play (you can see some of this code in action over at the Dirty Superb homepage, where our dates are pulled automagically from our MySpace page).

And so, the Ralford.net saga continues…

This post is part of the thread: Ralford.net – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.