In an earlier post on preserving session state for analytics sake, I described a challenging technical hurdle, and mentioned the importance of thinking outside the box when researching possible solutions.
Recently, a similar challenge presented itself. We were moving a client’s blogs from their servers to ours, and they wanted to change the URL for one of them. Generally, this is not a problem. However, the blog in question had garnered a great deal of social proof (Facebook and LinkedIn shares), and those share counts would be lost with the URL switch. Since social proof is increasingly important in winning customers in the Digital Age, we needed to ensure that this didn’t happen.
A cursory search said that this couldn’t be done, as social proof counts were all based on the domain name in the URL. Being creative problem-solvers, we refused to accept that.
By reframing the problem, we found a way to alter the URL of the social share, based on the original post date. Before you start worrying, this is not considered “gaming the system,” as the domain name of the original posts remains unchanged. While newer posts (those created after the domain switch date) present the new domain name, previous posts have their URLs adjusted back to the original domain name. Here’s the general logic:
It bears saying that the key to making this all work is having a 301 Redirect in place from the old domain to the new domain. In this case, we now hosted both URLs, so we could control it. Those using external hosting should consider keeping the original hosting for redirection.
They say the proof is in the pudding; we say the proof is in the execution.
For more information on our creative processes and services, and how we can help you make your move, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.