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How do I change domains, while not losing links to old forum stuff?

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  • How do I change domains, while not losing links to old forum stuff?

    Here is my situation. Largish forum, nearing 1million posts. I am going to change domain names. Yeah, crazy. Oh well.

    And note, this is not a question about licensing. If I need two licenses to do this, I have no problem with that. I am just wondering about the technical aspect right now.

    But there are many external links to the existing forum that I would like to keep. And there are many internal links where someone puts a link to another post or thread in a new post or thread.

    So my thought is, create a new domain. Flip a switch and have everyone now using the new domain. Lock the old instance of vbulletin so no new posts are made. But that forum exists. Does that make sense?

    I have done searching and read threads here back to 2002, and I am still confused about the actual method of doing some of this. I keep reading that on the same server, which this will be, all I need to do is update the admincp to point to the new domain. But examining the unsaid stuff a bit, I really need to do this (or not?):

    1. Register new domain. Set nameserver. Create domain in Cpanel. Done.
    2. Upload the content of the old domain, onto the new domain. Leave DB alone where it is.
    3. Close VB on old domain.
    4. Revise new instance of VB to point to new domain. Pointer to old db will not change as it did not change.
    5. Open new VB on new domain.
    6. Ditto with gallery and portal hacks.

    So that is the method correct?

    Second part of this... what do I do with the old domain? What have other people done in this situation. Hosting and bandwidth are absolutely not an issue and I can leave it there for 10 more years... but am I doing myself a disservice because I am losing out on SEO, etc because things will continue to link to the old domain? Am I better off biting the bullet at some point and just doing a simple domain redirect to the new site?

    Help.

  • #2
    A little more searching and I found this from Floris-
    Originally posted by Floris View Post
    You should either move the forum to your own domain, and point the old domain as an alias to your new one. Or use impex and import it into your already existing own vb forum, and point the old domain as an alias to the new one.

    Then, in the new one, set up .htaccess in the root and use perm redirect mod_rewrite rule to tell the browser, if they come from this host, go to that host instead. This way search engines also update their results once then run into it.

    Code:
    ###########################################################
    # MOD_REWRITE
    ###########################################################
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    
    #########################
    # SITE REDIRECTS
    #########################
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.old-domain.com
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www.new-domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    Note that the old domain should be set up as another domain on your new hosting account, so it's an alias.. basically, when someone types it in, it should end up on the new site .. but your .htaccess will catch it and handle the request.

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    • #3
      To add to this in case anyone else is looking for this information.

      I simply downloaded the forum files including the portal and gallery files (not the actual database, attachments, gallery images). Then I uploaded the same files directly to the new domain on the same server.

      Everything worked with no issues except for one, which is probably because I have not told VB that I am using a new domain which may affect the cookies. I can't stay logged in.

      When I toggle over to the new domain, I will change the setting in admin cp and close the old domain. Then maybe use CNAME to point from the old forum to the new forum. The point being to maintain the old links.

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