Redirection Proposal

As many people have heard now, blogs that were previously hosted at weblogs.com are now needing to find new homes. Dave is going to be sending people their backup files but it looks like a lot of links may be broken, and some people proposed keeping a list of the old and new URIs.

Why not go one step better? I apologize if this is not technically feasible for whatever reason, but here’s my idea. DNS is very flexible, Dave can have specific A records for subdomains of sites that are going to stay under weblogs.com, and then set up a wildcard * A record to point to a different IP. This IP could be anyone running a service that would allow people to redirect their old domains to their new ones. Technically this would be pretty simple, no more than a few hours of hacking. The machine serving the redirects could have a wildcard virtualhost entry in Apache and a simple PHP script (or Python script, or RewriteMap) to serve 301 Moved Permanently headers depending on the hostname.

It could redirect to whatever the site owner wanted. The hosting overhead would be minimal. I’m willing to personally commit to writing the code and hosting it for at least 2 years.

7 thoughts on “Redirection Proposal

  1. And if for any reason you felt like you wanted to break up the load (such as it is), I’ll make the same offer. You could set up round-robin DNS to split it up.

  2. Pingback: Joho the Blog
  3. You can simply set the error and location header in php. I did this when I moved my blogs to typepad.com. It took about a month and at least something like 70% of the pagerank was transferred, for example.

    You might even want to filter out bots and stuff and give normal people a standard page talking about the redirect. You could also make an RSS feed in the standard location updating with a new post each day to move to the new feed location.

    Here is a simple php example code. I hope it has no errors šŸ˜‰

    <?
    header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
    header("Location: http://oliver.thylmann.com");
    exit();
    ?>

    Voila.

    Oliver

  4. I think it would be better to use Apache’s built-in mod_alias:

    Redirect permanent “/” http://mynewweblog.com/

    Using mod_vhost_alias, you can easily set up mass VirtualHosts which only differ in their ServerName and Redirect rule.

  5. Redirect is a complicated option. The free sites are served dynamically via the Manila CMS. Manila has a piece of software which processes request and serves content based on DNS name, much like Apache.

  6. Well the idea is it wouldn’t need to have anything to do with Manilla. A user registers on the site, says they’d like to redirect their old example.weblogs.com address to blog.example.com, or new.example.com/search.php?redirect, or anything. This information goes into a database, someone verifies the info, then when it’s approved requests for that hostname redirect to the URI in the database, and otherwise show the info and registration page. While I suppose it could be tied into Manilla, it seems like that would complicate things quite a bit.

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