Redeveloped static site as rails site but where have my .html gone.

I've replaced a well established static site, http://pollenceramics.com
with a rails based site. Rails seems rather ideal for adding various
dynamic facilities like a shopping carts etc. During development, I
ignored that rails does not use .html extensions. As the site has been
around for some time and contains lots of nice images which has caused
other sites including Google to point to it. Its page rank on Google
is quite good because over time it has what Google calls 'inbound
links'. These are links on other sites that point to this site.

Except for inbound links that point at http://pollenceramics.com these
inbound links have all been broken. The question is how do I put
the .html back on the sub-pages?

For instance, the old site had a page pollenceramics.com/artist.html.
The rails version is now pollenceramics.com/artist which is a
completely loss to links that point at pollenceramics.com/
artist.html.

I hope I've been clear in explaining the problem. A session of RTFM
has left me in a state of total confusion. Help would be appreciated.

Rick Pflaum wrote:

I've replaced a well established static site, http://pollenceramics.com
with a rails based site. Rails seems rather ideal for adding various
dynamic facilities like a shopping carts etc. During development, I
ignored that rails does not use .html extensions. As the site has been
around for some time and contains lots of nice images which has caused
other sites including Google to point to it. Its page rank on Google
is quite good because over time it has what Google calls 'inbound
links'. These are links on other sites that point to this site.

Except for inbound links that point at http://pollenceramics.com these
inbound links have all been broken. The question is how do I put
the .html back on the sub-pages?

You can do this with Rails routing or mod_rewrite (or a non-Apache
equivalent).

Best,

Getting rid of the page suffixes is a good thing, particularly from the
point of view of using Rails for new features. As a quick fix for your
inbound-link 404 issues I would front-end the site with Apache httpd
and use mod_rewrite to strip the .html off all requests.

FWIW,

If you want to move to the 'canonical' versions of the pages, put in permanent redirects (301) from the .html to the non-html versions. Could do that in a variety of ways, depending on what your server config is. Eventually you can get rid of the redirects, once they're out
of the search engines' indices.

dwh

Hassan Schroeder wrote:

Appreciate the mod_rewrite suggestions. That will clearly solve the
problem of the broken inbound links.

However, I need to do some more research on what Google counts as an
inbound link. The Google page ranking may just want to see what its
always seen i.e. <site name>/<page name>.html or the ranking software
may be clever enough to figure out that pollenceramics.com/artist
still works and is accepted as an inbound link.

I certainly take the point that its much better to follow the rails
convention of <site name>/<page name> and forget the .html.

I'm not an SEO expert, but I am about 99% sure if you switch from the .html to non-.html URLs, you are going to want to have permanent redirects in place or your ranking is going to take a hit for a while (not to mention users who have bookmarks, other sites with links to you, etc).

dwh

Confused about Rails wrote:

I'm not an SEO expert, but I am about 99% sure if you switch from the
.html to non-.html URLs, you are going to want to have permanent
redirects in place or your ranking is going to take a hit for a while
(not to mention users who have bookmarks, other sites with links to you,
etc).

Agreed. The issue is how to implement those redirects. mod_rewrite
seems to have two problems. The documentation basically says that this
stuff is really complicated, don't expect to understand it in a day
but more to the point the Passenger documentation says don't use
mod_rewrite and mod_rails (passenger's implementation) together or
everything falls appart.

Basically, what I need it to take for instance ...

pollenceramics.com/artist.html and point the inbound client to
pollenceramics.com/artist.

I'd expect that a routing expert would be able to do that. I'm
definitely not that expert. I'm trying to make what strikes me as some
other simple routing changed and they have sent me running to the
documentation in tears.