Mechanics of Replacing iWeb website with RapidWeaver Website

This question is related to a recently closed thread: SEO Duplication Penalty

I am in the process of replacing a ten year old website written under iWeb with a brand new one written under RapidWeaver 8.

My approach to this has been to create a parallel site with essentially identical content albeit with a different site name for each URL on the original site. Indexing has been turned off on the parallel site so as to not create any duplication penalties.

Assume the original website was called and the parallel practice site is called

A typical URL on my original (iWeb) site would, for example, read

On my parallel website the URL would read:

QUESTION 1: As soon as I like the contents of my parallel practice site would I simply change the temporary URL names to the original URL names, re-index each page then just re-publish the new RapidWeaver onto the original domain?

QUESTION 2: Is there any advantage to having “cruft-less” links? What is the downside to having the URL names exactly like the original ones?

It was recommended in the original thread to use lowercase for both folder and file names. This had something to do with linux web servers.

The “cruft-less” discussion is a bit above my pay grade. I can easily manage keeping all file and folder names in lower case.

My apologies for any obtuseness or redundancies.

My answer to question 1 would be to make sure you remove the no index and republish to the old URL. If your site is a page for page replacement then all should work pretty well. If you’ve removed pages or renamed then you’ll probably want to do 301 redirects from the old pages to the equivalent new page names. That will help with search engines and user experience regarding bookmarks and external links.

For question 2 - tidy or “cruft-less” links provide a cleaner shorter url. Makes it easier for users to enter and looks nicer when displayed.

Hi Doug,

Thanks for your help (again).

Regarding Question 1: If the new RapidWeaver file overwrites my old iWeb file, where do I go to find the 301 redirects? I can understand how I might go to the old URL and discover it has a broken link. Where do I go to affect the 301 redirect if the new RapidWeaver has overwritten the old iWeb?

Regarding Question 2: To clarify about “cruft-less” links: If my old URL was called the “cruft-less” version would be called ??

Just to be sure: Not having the appendment “.html” doesn’t change how search engines find the URL?

you have to name all the files index.html…or .php
then only point to the folder…no file name will show.
You can play with 301’s or just edit the html in a blank file with a redirect…
< meta http-equiv=“Refresh” content=“0; url=” / >
no space before the meta…

If I aunderstand what you are asking
I would put together what I call a “page map” not a sitemap persay, but a document (numbers or excel work well for this) that list every URL in the existing site. I would then add a column that indicates the new URL for the that page. If it is the same then nothing to worry about. If it goes away then where would you want a customer to end up if the tried to go to the old page? Customers often bookmark old pages, and hopefully other sites may have links to the old pages.

Now once you have everything mapped out you would then need to add rules to an htaccess file on the site. RW8 has an htaccess file editor built into the publishing settings.

The basic format for the simplest individual file redirect is:

Redirect 301 /oldfile.html /newfile.html

You can get very creative with htaccess rewrite rules. Keep in mind that 301’s are permeant redirects, that means they have no expiry date so they are eligible to be cached forever. I always suggest you set them up as 302’s first and test them completely before changing them to 301’s.

Here is a real world example:
The RealMac page for RapidWeaver has a file called The Best Mac Website Builder - RapidWeaver Classic but the URL to the page would be: The Best Mac Website Builder - RapidWeaver Classic. You just drop the index.php or index.html` from the link. By the way both links above get you to the same page, just the second “looks cleaner”.

Thanks Doug,

Your answer made JoeMart’s a little easier to understand.

I hadn’t really thought about producing a spreadsheet that compares original URLs with new URLs.
That seems to make it really hard to fail. Your question “where would you want a customer to end up if the tried to go to the old page?” also makes the Redirect 301 easier to comprehend.

I am guessing I have a lot of vicarious links to my website. I see what I think is them show up in my website traffic analytics. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to them because I don’t really know how to interpret the analytics. My existing site averages about 70-75 visits per day. There is a portion of the analytics called CONNECT TO SITE FROM:This indicates 3000+ pages come from direct address / bookmarks. I am guessing this is what you mean by: “Customers often bookmark old pages, and hopefully other sites may have links to the old pages.”

My understanding of SEO is that there is a correlation between website legitimacy and links. If more people link to you Google will think you got the juju for better search position.

I doubt, however, that Google really cares too much about customer satisfaction once they click those links. My thinking is that as long as the content is relevant to why the users click the users will continue to click and Google will continue to favor my site in subsequent searches.

So as long all the old links are maintained adding new content should not constitute significant changes but rather just embellish them, right?

Once the new site is live I intend to push a lot of pages onto Pinterest. Pinterest is curated by

anarchists. If you have good kitchen pics these guys will create an army of volunteers to ricochet you all over the link-sphere.

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