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If You Move Your WebSite

This is just a little something that most sites don't tell you that could be useful in the long run. And it's handy information when it comes to moving your site to a different server. Most don't think it's a big deal, but it can be if people can't find your site after the move.

When moving a site it takes on a huge responsibility for the owner in ways that some say isn't necessary. But stop to think about your visitors who are use to finding you anytime, day or night, and knowing just where to go. Suddenly your site isn't there...they search everywhere and your site isn't findable to them. Their either angry at this point or highly disappointed that they cannot find the site that they find relaxing and enjoyable. Ok, you say it's no big deal, that nobody visits a site more than once. Oh, how wrong you are.

Now...lets say I move this site and leave no trace to where I move it too. Nobody could find the site and begins to assume that it no longer exists. They have no way of actually knowing where or even when I moved it. Search engines can't do everything and it's up to me to make the necessary changes to the site for where it's being moved to and the one it's being moved from in order for those changes to be recognized. Once the move is made, I'll have to prepare for search engines to find it and for the former site to redirect people to it. Yes, search engines, at least some of them, will pick up the new URL with the proper information placed in the HTML itself. But others will not. So, to solve this problem, I'll place what we web site designers call a redirect page on the old site. This is done to ensure that people are still going to the site and finding it with ease. Sound hard? Not at all, and I'll give you the coding that is used for just such an occasion.

There's no real trick to it at all, and if you take into consideration the time it saves you in emails and the like, it's well worth it to have people find you. But first, lets go into a little bit of detail here to help you out even more.

The actual move itself and the time spent in work on the site depends on how large your site is, what all is involved for information and what the new server will allow you to do. Do they allow you bandwidth or not?  Do they allow others things such as images and how large? Is there enough space to handle what you need for your site? So on and so forth. All this has to be considered when looking for a server that will best suite your needs.

Then you must consider the amount of bandwidth allowed you and space that will determine how long your site is accessible. I've seen some servers that only allow bandwidth as long as no images are linked to other places and must be within your site. Each time a site is accessed, it takes up bandwidth, and that bandwidth in some cases is limited to only a few surfers at a time. Once that bandwidth has reached its limit, it will not allow anyone else to view the site until someone has left. So this is a problem if your site is popular and exceeds the bandwidth allowed at any given point. In such cases, you need to look for servers that have as much bandwidth as possible and will allow you to have several ways of using it. But at the same time, you need to keep in mind that even those servers must have a limit to what is allow.

Now, to let people know where you've moved, you simply add the new URL to the search engines and place the redirect coding on the old server on just a single web page. Here's the coding and where to place it.

<meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="0; url=">

As most of us webmasters/webmistresses know, the coding above goes between the <head> and </head> tags. Where it says content="0; ... this is where you place how many seconds before it redirects the person to the new site. The URL you see is where you place your new URL. It's just that simple and easy to use. Most allow at least 10 seconds before having their visitor redirected to the new site. This allows the visitor time to read any information that is place on the redirect page before it goes on to the new site for the visitors viewing.

For example, you might wish to tell the visitor something like this:

"This site has been moved. Please update your bookmark once you have been redirected to my new location. Thank you."

Now that you have the redirect page and all seems well, there is one more thing that you need to place on that redirect page for the convenience of the visitor. With all good things comes a little extra work to make it better for your viewing public.

With all this in place, you now need to add a link on the page for those visitor who's browsers will not read the redirect that is in place. So here is how you do that:

If your browser does not redirect you to the new site, click on the link below:

<a href="">Click here to go to the new site!</a>

There you go...all set for your visitors to find you and be able to update their bookmarks to your site.


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