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Offsite Redirects

A new upgrade launched on WordPress.com today, Offsite Redirects. Basically this allows you to retain all of your links, SEO, and visitors when you move from WP.com to self-hosted (or any platform, for that matter). I point it out only because I think it’s central to Automattic’s philosophy, and something I learned from Dave Winer: the easier you make it for people to go, the more likely they are to stay.

27 replies on “Offsite Redirects”

Good move.

I’ve often warned people to upgrade to their own domain if they’re using WordPress.com for anything serious, as if something went catastrophically wrong, they’d lose all of their data and from an SEO standpoint they’ll be in trouble as none of the old links would have continued working.

I’ll still be recommending they upgrade to their own domain, but only to prevent catastropic problems rather than for SEO reasons.

The only thing that sucks about WP.com is its URL killer. If I delete a blog, that URL is gone forever – even I can’t access it again. There are thousands of nice URLs lying around that cannot be used because of this.

That’s great, but unfortunately you charge for it.
I don’t think that really does fit in with the philosophy of making it easier for people to leave should they want to – yes, being able to buy a redirect is a start, but given that it doesn’t cost you anything to redirect to an external site it would be kind of nice if it were free.
Of course, you have every right to charge for the service, there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t pretend to be doing it because it’s morally right or because it’s good for your users. You’re doing it to make money, like any other business.

Now that I’m done being negative… I’d like to say that this is a great start even though you charge for it, and hopefully other companies like Google will start to do the same. Hopefully for free!

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