Moving Site Content, a Tale of Woe, for 2 Minutes Work

I recently changed hosts, and at the same time I moved the store from to the root Sales have disappeared and I am getting loads of 404 errors, what can I do? this is an absolute nightmare for me and the business.

Sadly you have made an all too common error in assuming that it is OK to simply move your site around without it having an affect.  The search engines know all the URLs on your site, and expect them to be there. People will have bookmarked pages to come back later and buy from you. Now they are all getting 404 errors. The spiders feel unloved, and worse, potential buyers think you have gone bust.

Whenever you move a domain, or the base URL of a site, you should always use some form  of redirect match

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^shop/(.*)$$1/ [R=301,L]

The above is an example of a relative redirect, just slip that into your HTACCESS file, (after changing to your actual domain), and then every request for a file under the old /shop/ folder, will result in the relative file at the root level being served up under a 301 permanently redirected header response.  The overall result of this is that the 404’s will disappear, the spiders will know the pages have moved, and transfer the link juice from the old pages (in time), and buyers will no longer get an error page, but will seamlessly land on the new page, where they will place an order for 10,000 items they had bookmarked.

OK maybe I fibbed about the quantity ordered, but I am sure you get the drift of it all.

In short though, if you are considering moving a site, drop an email to an SEO, he/she will advise you on this for free in most cases, as it is something that is commonplace for us, but rare for a site owner.

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