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Why does an htaccess file not work well with an ISS server?

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  • Why does an htaccess file not work well with an ISS server?

    Hello again:

    In my quest to find out how I can fix my 404 errors (about 8600 now) duplication , errors in sitemap etc I came again across the comment the was made in the Google webmaster forum I was visiting. The comment was that the htaccess file does not work well with an ISS server. I have both.

    Here is the link to the conversation I had. You need to scroll down to see what is being said:
    Sudden increase in Google Indexed Pages that with 404 errors - Webmaster Central Help

    So: what is this file and why does it not work well with the server I am on AND most importantly, how do I find the errors and how do I fix them?

    Does anybody here have an answer? Or maybe know where I can go to get it?

    Thanks,
    Uta

  • #2
    .htaccess file runs on Apache server, while 3dcarts are using ASP which runs on Microsoft IIS web server.

    Short answer, if you are on a shared server, there's nothing much you can do. .htaccess is simply one of your rewards for using Apache servers. It gives you a level of control that Windows can only dream about.

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    • #3
      Motorcycle:

      Thanks for posting.

      According to one of the Google guys, me being on/in a htaccess file on an ISS server could be the cause of all of my 404 error messages. With that said, how would I figure out if that statement is true? In other words: when I open my htaccess file, what would I be looking for that would indicate errors?

      Thanks again,
      Uta

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      • #4
        The Google guy "webado" is correct.

        The .htaccess file controls server access (including redirections) for an Apache server. It is generally NOT usable for an IIS server . It doesn't apply to your site.
        Did you do any 301 redirects when you migrated from Prostores to 3D? (Settings -> General -> Redirects) IF you did, did you remove those redirects recently?

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        • #5
          Good morning!

          Yes to both of your questions.

          I had somebody help me with the first set of 301 redirects and they were working just fine. Then in December I noticed that my 404 errors were increasing. I filed a support ticket (cause I don't know what I am doing) and changed my redirects according to the instructions given at that time.

          Unfortunately that did not help and my 404 errors increased dramatically. So I filed another support ticket, received different instructions and put those in place. Did not help either. Back to support for yet a third set which I implemented and I even mentioned what the Google person had said, but have not received advice/help on trying to figure out if that htaccess file might be to blame.

          So here I am. I am trying to learn how to do this but I don't even know what I am looking for. All I know is that I have this htaccess file and I am on an ISS server. But where do I go from here?

          Uta

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          • #6
            Good Afternoon! :)

            You shouldn't remove those redirects. They must remain in place "forever".

            What you need to do now is to resubmit ALL the 301 redirections back in (Settings -> General -> Redirects).

            disregard the .htaccess file or IIS server, they are way beyond our control and 3D won't let us access them anyway.

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            • #7
              Motorcycle:

              Thanks.

              I have done the redirects and I am watching my 404 errors in the webmaster tools. The last couple of days the numbers were the same, no increases.

              But help me understand something, please. If I am in/on an htacces file and everybody is aware that that is a problem, why put me and others there to start? And if you do, why not put a code in so the potential problem would be addressed before it becomes a monster one like mine?

              I am not looking for fault, I am looking for explanations that will help me understand the reasoning.

              Thanks again for taking the time to educate me.

              Uta =)

              Comment


              • #8
                Different Opinion

                There should be no reason why you are using redirects at all. You're move was several MONTHS ago. I took down ALL redirects on all the sites I moved to 3D after two weeks. Not one is having the 404 problems you are. Some that moved to 3D did not use redirects at all. With the Panda update and increased crawl rate, keeping those redirects live MAY be the problem. Your current links should be the only links "out there", not your former links.

                The ONLY time I'd keep the redirects live is IF you redesigned your site on this server or changed your CURRENT store directory structure. When you look at commentaries on the web, be sure to look at the date and whether they are discussing a current site or moved site. The methods do/can vary.
                Last edited by celebra1; 02-19-2012, 06:11 PM.

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                • #9
                  OMG! You think that might be it? If I WERE to take them down, how long would it take before I'd know if that was the cause? Do you know celebra?

                  If I could fix it as easy as that, my gosh, that would be great. But everything I have read suggests that they need to be there FOREVER.

                  Thanks,
                  Uta

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                  • #10
                    It Could Be That Simple

                    OK, look at it this way. When you move you leave a forwarding address. After a while, everyone knows you moved and goes to/sends things to your new address. So why keep sending out "moved" messages?

                    BUT, when you move things within your CURRENT address, your current website, you need to redirect to that new location. If I totally restructured my categories or moved a category or subcategory, I might need a forwarding address. That redirect you need to keep.

                    You might get a few 404s from PS searches. That is probably not significant. Don't you want to be found at your new address? Don't your customers already know where your current address is? Don't you want your current URLs to take precedence over the PS URLs? You may get a few broken links to past blog posts, links to articles, etc. If they had insignificant traffic draws, is much lost? Probably not. Most people search for current information and Google shows current information first.

                    I think you could easily keep a copy of your redirects as they are now, and then delete all but the few you KNOW were drawing "serious" traffic. If, after 2 weeks, the majority of the problem isn't resolving, or it compounds, put the redirects back. I think all your attempts to "correct" the problem has compounded it. I may be wrong. I don't think I am.

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                    • #11
                      Celebra:

                      Thanks for your post and explanation. That makes total sense to me and being that this is such a big problem, I am willing to try anything to get it resolved.

                      So I will make sure I keep a copy of my redirects and delete the file, according to previous instructions and we'll see what happens. I guess it can't get much worse than it is right now.

                      Thanks again.

                      Uta =)

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