Mind Your Permalinks When Setting up WordPress Multisite

Wow, just wow!! So I recently changed my several standalone WordPress installs to a network. I ran across one problem with blanking out my MX entries that I discussed here. I logged on to Webmaster Tools the other day to find out I had thousands of errors in there. There was another aspect of changing over to a network I hadn’t considered, my permalinks. Part of it was due to how WordPress handles things and most of it was due to me being a bonehead!

I used my main blog as the main site in the network. I hadn’t given it much thought, I just went with that. I would recommend if you decide to convert a bunch of sites to a network, you use the one that can afford to lose traffic the most to being the main site. Had I thought things through, I might have even used some sort of dummy site as my main site to have the least impact.

See I use the domain mapping plugin for my sites in the network, so for all of the subsites, nothing changed with the permalinks. Once I set up each subsite, I just went in and changed the permalinks to %postname% and I was good. That is the setting I had in place for each site to begin with. I – wrongly – assumed it was that way on my main site as well. Here’s all the problems I caused myself on that main site.

First, I set that site up back in 2007 or 2008, at the time you couldn’t use %postname% as your permalinks setting. So I used date based. I later changed that to category/postname when things evolved to allow it. I remembered that when I changed permalinks, WordPress would redirect all my posts. I knew that by converting my main site to be the network main site, it would add /blog to my URL. I was cool with that so I didn’t bother removing it. Afterall, this was a blog, and maybe in the back of my mind I though WP would auto-redirect. Just to be clear – it doesn’t!

Well, I converted my main site and forgot to check the permalinks settings. By default, they set to date based permalinks. I imported all my posts and everything was good to go. I spent a week converting all my other sites into my network. Well, when I converted my main site, my URLs had gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname and Google crawled it all and indexed. A week later I realized my mistake, I didn’t want date based URLs, so I converted them to %postname% thinking that’s where they started, but on this site they had never been that way! I had also had an important event going on that I was blogging about during this time and decided I wanted to keep my URLs as they are now.

So where I was at. I had, in a month, gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname to blog/postname. Google was angry and I was confused! I still haven’t solved it how I would like… I’d like to have everything fixed in .htaccess for speed sake, but I don’t know .htaccess well enough and every attempt I make botches it thoroughly! Every attempt I make either gets me stuck in a loop or throws off the links for my subsites.

I had to install two plugins to make it all work, due to my limitations and the limitations of the plugins. I like the Redirection plugin, it’s pretty powerful. But I couldn’t make wildcards work with it. I also installed Simple 301 Redirect because that one handled my wildcards, but I couldn’t make my regex entries work right. In Simple 301 Redirect I could handle redirecting all the old category/postname to blog/postname redirects easily through wildcard entries. Same with the old category, tag, and date archives. In the Redirection plugin, I could use regex to redirect that week long mistake with blog/date/postname.

I think I have everything caught but I’ll continue to monitor Webmaster Tools. The date based mistake will go away with time and I won’t need to keep that redirect forever, but the change from category/postname to blog/postname will be forever. I have a Yourls install which I heavily use. Those links all go to old, very popular posts on my website that I want to maintain links for.

Anybody know how to handle this all in .htaccess?? Especially for the category/postname to blog/postname without affecting subsites in a network? That would be peachy!

Setting up Your Own Yourls Short URL Service

For those of you who missed the original article, check it out here. We discussed how I set up Vudu.Me, The Voodoo Empire’s short URL service using Yourls. Well recently Ipstenu set up Yourls, and lived to write about it! That means more quality reading for you. Check out her article for information beyond what I provided, then why not take the plunge? You can also check out Otto’s article, which was the one that pointed me towards Yourls. Custom URLs are what the cool kids are doing!

Switching Web Hosting Isn't so Hard, Here's What I Did!

I just completed my first ever hosting switch from GoDaddy to Bluehost. Aside from a couple of easy to fix errors, it went off without a hitch. Since I’d never done this before, I was pretty concerned. I wanted to do it a year ago, but wasn’t sure I could handle it. Now I’m mad I didn’t do it sooner. The process is a little time consuming, but it isn’t hard. I’m going to try to recount how I did everything, and hopefully this can help you out!

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VUDU.ME Gets a VoodooPress Facelift

My URL shortening service, VUDU.ME just got itself a fancy new facelift. It’s nothing too special, but I had a few extra minutes, and thought it would look nice if the site fit everything else around the empire. So matching perfectly with VoodooPress, and fitting in pretty well with my blog too, it’s done….. for now. I’m sure I’ll want to tinker with it later. Check it out, let me know what you think!

How I Set up Vudu.me URL Shortener With Yourls

I’ve had a URL shortener set up for a while. it was go.rvoodoo.com. Not the best starting point for a URL shortener. So I decided to start over. No worries, I have a bunch of URLs all over the web using the old method, those will stay in effect. I’ll keep the old service in effect for now, I may eventually just use some redirects for it, but either way the URLs will be good. Anyway, I just set up the cool new vudu.me service. For now it’s front facing, we’ll see if it gets abused. Let’s check out what I did to get vudu.me working.

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