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Who is your favourite free iPage web host?

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Quick question: Who is your favourite free iPage web host? Hoping for any response. 2nd question I got is.. I have a simple html iPage site with a few products that has a pretty good Google PR and has been a steady source of income. I'm planning to switch to rebuild the iPage site with OSC and will be adding more products..

I'm a bit concerned about the switch, because I always read about how Google doesn't index dynamic pages very effectively. Does anyone have any suggestions on what measures I can take to preserve my existing PR with the new site?.

Thanks in advance!..

Comments (158)

I would like to know the answer too. Anyone here know what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some research in Google and get back to you if I bump into an answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably can answer it..

Comment #1

"Google can have problems with some dynamic sites, but oscommerce isn't one of them as long as you disable sessions for spiders.".

Thanks. Just to clarify, this means I should set "Prevent Spider Sessions" to FALSE, right? What's this feature for, anyway? Under what circumstances would someone want to prevent spider sessions?..

Comment #2

Hang on I hit the button too soon lol.

Okay....

Actually, you want to set it to TRUE..

True , meaning you WANT to prevent spider sessions.

If a spider opens a session, it will be able to add to the shopping cart..

Also session id will change, therefore, everytime a bot sees the page, it will be different... hope that makes sense.

This post has been edited by.

Cyanide.

: 10 September 2004, 20:44..

Comment #3

Cyanide... thanks for the heads up on that... I was curious about that....

I kept on wonder why my iPage site didn't gain anything on google...

Prevent Spider Sessions are in the admin or the configure.php?.

Thanks.

This post has been edited by.

Djgizmo.

: 10 September 2004, 21:58..

Comment #4

My version of OSC (a loaded version of 2.2) also has a "Use Search Engine Friendly URLs" feature, but it says "under development". I have it set to false, since I'm not sure if it's functioning. Does anyone know what exactly this does when it's activated?..

Comment #5

"Search Engine Friendly" URLs changes the URL to look as if it is a static page rather than dynamic. I suggest ignoring this - it causes problems with some contributions and the major search engines have no trouble with dynamic pages..

To answer your original question - you need to add a series of RedirectPermanent directives to your .htaccess that redirect accesses of your old pages to the new. Google and other SEs will transfer PR when they see this...

Comment #6

Could you please elaborate on the problems that SE Safe URL's feature could cause, and with which contributions? I've got many contribs installed, so maybe it won't be worth the trouble to use this feature. Someone posted on another forum that, after turning this feature on, all of their pages were quickly indexed by Google, whereas before, only a few were indexed..

I guess 301 redirects are the way to go to capture the traffic from those who have bookmarked the old (html) site, as well as existing links, rather than a meta or javascript redirect or something like that?.

When doing a 301 redirect, I assume you remove the page that's being accessed and replace it with a 301 redirect page, right? Otherwise, if I leave the original site's index.html page in the root directory, it'll pick that up, instead of the osc index.php page...

Comment #7

I can't answer what Steve said about se-friendly pages and problems with contributions, but the default url strings will have no problem being indexed.. It could take a little bit longer. One thing that helps is a sitemap..

As far as 301 redirect... It is better, because google sees this as an 'official' page being moved, therefore the new page will be indexed a bit faster, from what I've seen..

It's not necessary to remove the old page, just add the lines to the htaccess, eg ).

Make sure it's on one line, then add the lines for each of your other pages underneath.

You might want to do a test, so you can see how it works..

Comment #8

I have no first-hand experience with the problems of SEF URLs, but I have seen others refer to them. I also have assisted people with problems solved by disabling SEF URLs..

If you do the RedirectPermanent, then there is no point leaving the old page around as it will never be accessed. I have not seen a problem with speed of pages being indexed, but I agree that a iPage site map, or the "All Products" contribution, helps a lot..

Other things I have done that help search engines include:.

- Removing the cPath= value from product URLs, so that there are not multiple URLs for the same page.

- Removing the links to sort the product listings - ditto.

- Making the page titles be H1 tags rather than just plain text - search engines give these more weight..

Comment #9

Thanks for the tips..

Regarding the SE Safe URL's feature, it does seem to have some bugs. For one thing, it caused the links manager contribution to malfunction...

Comment #10

We just finished moving a iPage site from an old iPage site (static links to some stuff & dynamic links to the products). We used a .htacess file:.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>.

RewriteEngine On.

RewriteBase /.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f.

RewriteRule ^newitems((/.*)*|/*)$               /translateold.php?page=products_new.php         [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^specials((/.*)*|/*)$               /translateold.php?page=specials.php             [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^talkback((/.*)*|/*)$               /translateold.php?page=contact_us.php           [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^locations((/.*)*|/*)$              /translateold.php?page=locations.php            [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^freecatalog((/.*)*|/*)$            /translateold.php?page=create_account.php       [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^catalog/orderinfo\.cfm.*$          /translateold.php?page=conditions.php           [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^catalog/shippingcost\.cfm.*$       /translateold.php?page=shipping.php             [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^catalog/sizes\.cfm.*$              /translateold.php?page=size_charts.php          [QSA,L].

RewriteRule ^(catalog/)?selection\.cfm$         /translateold.php?%{QUERY_STRING}               [L].

RewriteRule ^catalog((/.*)*|/*)$                /translateold.php                               [QSA,L].

</IfModule>.

To map static files to a php script called translateold, which we passed the new location or the old querystirng to lookup the new product id:.

<?php.

       // Default the redirect to the sites root.

       $new_uri = "/";.

       // Check to see if we are passed an old id.

       if ($_GET['id']) {.

               // Could pull these from the conf file?.

               $databaselocation = "asdfasdf";.

               $databaseport = "12345";.

               $databasename = "asdfasdf";.

               $databaseuser = "asdfasdf";.

               $databasepass = "adsfasdf";.

               $db_connect = mysql_connect($databaselocation, $databaseuser, $databasepass);.

               mysql_select_db($databasename, $db_connect);.

               $Query = "SELECT new_id FROM translate WHERE old_id=".$_GET['id'].";";.

               if ($dbResult = mysql_db_query($databasename, $Query)) {.

                       if ($row = mysql_fetch_array($dbResult)) {.

                               // This assumes a one to one relationship.

                               $new_uri = "/product_info.php?products_id=".$row['new_id'];.

                       }.

               }.

       // Doing a page redirect.

       } elseif ($_GET['page']) {.

               $new_uri = $_GET['page'];.

       }.

       // Write the header stuff..

       header('Status: 301 moved Permanently');.

       header('Location: '.$new_uri);.

       exit();.

?>.

This script then send the new location with a 301 header, so that the new locations will be picked up. We can now watch our logs for this script to see where old links reside...

Comment #11

The problem with this is that the search engines will consider the old links still valid and will keep indexing them. Then they'll also see your new links and will think that you are "spamming the index" by having the same content on duplicate pages. Lastly, your new pages will start out with "zero PR"..

I can understand that for some stores, using redirects is impractical. But they are the best solution to this problem if you can swing it...

Comment #12

I am not sure that I follow you? You seem to be saying that by redirecting, you "spam" the index, bu then to you say something about redirects being the best if you can swing it?..

Comment #13

I was referring to the suggestion of rewrite rules to map old URLs to new. The reason is that both the old ane new URLs are valid, from the spider's perspective, and deliver the same content. SEs tend to not like that..

Using RedirectPermanent tells the SE to replace the old URL in it's index with the new one, so the old one is no longer used (nor presented to searchers.)..

Comment #14

Oh, I now see what you are saying. I was afraid that I was doing something to offend search engines, but I did not see how, since I was giving a 301. Thanks for clarifing...

Comment #15

I have a simple html iPage site with a few products that has a pretty good Google PR and has been a steady source of income. I'm planning to switch to rebuild the iPage site with OSC and will be adding more products..

I'm a bit concerned about the switch, because I always read about how Google doesn't index dynamic pages very effectively. Does anyone have any suggestions on what measures I can take to preserve my existing PR with the new site?.

Thanks in advance!..

Comment #16

Google can have problems with some dynamic sites, but oscommerce isn't one of them as long as you disable sessions for spiders..

As for pr?.

If you install oscommerce in your root instead of a sub-folder, your main page pr will stay intact no problem..

With other pages it will require a 301 redirect..

You will have to redirect your current pages to the corresponding page in the oscommerce cart..

Comment #17


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.