I have written before about never deleting or renaming a page, but there are times when it is unavoidable. Restructuring a site, removing obsolete products and changing scripting languages (moving to shtml from php, or php from html) make this a common problem.
I am in the middle of two large projects that will involve changing the names of many pages. These are both Joomla-based sites, so I am mitigating some of the problems by using sh404sef. It does a great job of helping you control page names, maintain legacy extensions, etc. But there are still pathing and page name changes that will need to be addressed, for these mod-rewrite is the tool.
Stephan Spencer has recently posted an excellent two-part article on the subject, see:
- URL Rewrites & Redirects: The Gory Details (Part 1)
- URL Rewrites & Redirects: The Gory Details (Part 2)
Past articles on the subject include:
- Launching a new Website / Changing an existing one
- Mod Rewrite Rules for Uniform Spidering
- Never delete or rename a page…
- To www or not to www, that is in the URL …