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 thoughts on “Offsite Redirects

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. I wish Facebook had this before they deleted my account, that I spent 2 years on and developed a network of 4000 ‘friends’ through. All gone, and I won’t use Facebook again.

  4. That’s a quality move. I’ve always been self hosted, but this just creates one more reason to stick with the WordPress family of products.

  5. This will help make a case for getting people started on WordPress, because I can assure them they have very little risk. Just start with WordPress.com, and if it’s a good fit, I can help them move later.

    I have to agree with Dave Winer. I”m certainly ready to permanently escape a couple of software applications as soon as I can… never to return.

  6. That’s great! Thanks. I’ll let our bloggers know at BlogHer.

    I wish Google would do this for blogspot blogs.

  7. 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!

    1. We charge for it because we also charge for domain mapping, so it seemed logically consistent for them to be the same price because they do the same thing, just one you host with us and one you host elsewhere.

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