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When you create a new website for a client, or yourself, it’s important to consider the current pages that are indexed by Google and other search engines.

Why? Because you currently have certain pages that are important, that people are finding when they search online for you. They may even have certain pages bookmarked off your website in their browsers. You don’t want to lose the ranking for those pages.

So what you need to do is simply identify the key pages that are currently being indexed on Google, either by looking at your sitemap in Google webmaster tools, or by doing a search for your website on Google.

Then you implement a 301 redirection in your .htaccess file, and advise where to go when they no longer can find your old pages.

So for example if your old URL for a contact page on your website was “domainName.com/details/contact-me.html” and your new website’s URL for the contact page is “domainName.com/how-to-contact-me”, then you would add the following:

Redirect 301 /details/contact-me.html http://domainName.com/how-to-contact-me

Now if someone clicks on the old link in SERP or in their browser bookmarks, then your new page will load up, instead of ending up on a 404 not found page.

You can do this for as many important pages that are indexed as you want. However don’t do it for the home page or the index page as it will cause a redirection error.

Instead you can use the following to redirect index.html to your website home page:

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*/index.html
RewriteRule ^(.*)index.html$ http://domainName.com/$1 [R=301,L]

An important note in the case of WordPress websites, is to add these rules before the WordPress rules.

Redirect old website pages to new website pages was last modified: September 6th, 2016 by David Tiong
Redirect old website pages to new website pages