Eric from Be Creative Photography was referred to us by Good Gallery to help with his migration. Good Gallery typically serves the whole website once you switch to it, but photographers with slide shows, shopping carts, PDF price lists, and other things running on their hosting need to do something a little more complex to make sure these other systems keep working. Read on for more details of how we were able to help Eric.
Eric asked for a few things done to support the migration to Cloudflare:
- Make his PDF files (price lists and such) available from his web hosting
- Make the embedded images which are displayed on a Blogger blog available
- Make his four different slideshow systems available
- Make his RedCart shopping cart available
- Create redirect rules for all the old pages and resources on his old website on Good Gallery, so they forward to where they are on the new website setup
Some of this was reasonable easy: we simply created a subdomain on his web hosting that would still work after the Good Gallery migration then set up symbolic links on the Unix file system. This meant that files that were previously available at http://www.becreativephotography.com/photos were now available at http://photos.becreativephotography.com . To support the new URL we set up 301 permanent redirects on Good Gallery. The RedCart move was also fairly simple, with redirects put in place, as was redirecting all the pages on the old website to the locations on the new website. This helps retain the SEO of the old website, and helps Google direct searches to the correct page on the new website. We used Unix scripting to create the list of redirects required far more quickly than they could be done by hand.
Eric has thousands of photos taken over many years displayed in his Blogger blog. The normal way to cope with embedded images being displayed on external websites after a Good Gallery migration would be to set up redirects for each image, which was impractical given the number of images. Good Gallery very helpfully added a whole directory redirect feature for Eric, but we had trouble getting it to work given his setup. In the end we found another way around this problem: we migrated his Google Blogger blog to a new WordPress blog running on Good Gallery, then copied all the images from his web hosting into the WordPress media gallery. This meant all the posts, images and comments were on Good Gallery, which is the ideal situation for SEO and performance. The only downside is the SEO “value” of the old website isn’t fully carried over, because you can’t create 301 permanent redirects on Blogger to tell Google “hey the blog has moved, but it’s over there, give us the old SEO value”. We did however create browser forward redirects, which means any human trying to view the old blog was forwarded to the same page on the new blog, and Google may pay attention to those. We also did a few tidy ups on the new blog – changing menus to work with Good Gallery, installing plugs to help with security, that kind of thing.
Migrating the slideshows was relatively straightforward. The Into The Darkroom slideshows are locked to a specific website and directory, so you can’t just move them around. However the ITDR guys were super helpful and helped with configuration and licenses to make it happen.
When Eric was ready for his Good Gallery site to be the main website for their business we did the change in DNS, which is fairly simple. The only thing to be careful of was to change the main website to point to Good Gallery, but to leave the subdomains pointing at the existing web hosting and the email pointed at Google Apps / Gmail. Eric also migrated to a new web host at the end of our migration exercise, with a little bit of advice from us and the work done by the new web host everything went smoothly, the services and redirects we set up kept working perfectly.
All in all it took a fair bit of time to make all these services available after the Good Gallery migration, I learned a lot in the process, but we got everything Eric wanted done. Eric’s a great guy and I really enjoyed working with him. You can read his testimonial about our work on our testimonials page.