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Moving from BC to 3dcart

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  • Moving from BC to 3dcart

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm new to 3dcart and I must say I cannot believe i spent my time with BC when there are SO many more functions!

    Anyway, currently i'm still working on my site and tweaking it. Since BC was a mess, i'm doing everything from the start and putting my products in there and checking it twice to make sure I did it properly plus learning the new pricing level, function, templates, etc...

    The one thing I stumbled on was the 301 redirect. I am having issue understanding and not sure if I should do any 301 redirect...

    I started my site about a month and 2 weeks ago and not all my products on BC has a meta title and description (I know! I launched and realized my mistake after reading blogs and forums). I have two domains, one is .com which from the domain host i redirect it straight to .CA. I believe I'm using the permanent forwarding. My question is, if i do 301 redirect would it affect the .COM redirecting?

    I havent launched my 3dcart site yet, and I dont plan to use the name that 3dcart given me. Once i'm ready i would do the DNS move. Right now I still have my BC site running while working on the 3dcart site...

    If anyone can give me some hint or some advice on how to move smoothly that would be great! I just dont want to keep making mistakes and having to deal with fixing it one by one afterwards... it has been a pain in BC and i do not wish that again while i'm at 3dcart!

    Thanks! and Loving 3dcart!!!

  • #2
    Hello and welcome. I cannot advise you on 301 redirects, unfortunately. Good Luck with your move.
    http://www.pack-secure.com

    Packaging and Shipping Supply Specialists

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    • #3
      You're going to want to setup 301 redirects for any BC pages that are not exactly the same url path as your new 3dCart store. You can mitigate this a lot by using "friendly url's", so like "www.yoursite.com/CategoryName.html" instead of the default "www.yoursite.com/CategoryName-12345_c_12345.html"

      Every ecommerce platform has a different url structure, so friendly url's mask this behavior and make it so your urls can remain constant, no matter which platform you're on. This helps majorly with search engines and SEO in general, but also think about customers with favorite links saved in their browser, or links in old forums, etc. You don't want to break them all every time you switch platforms. In 3dCart, you will setup friendly url's by using the Custom File Name area under "SEO Title and Meta Tags" in each category page from within the admin. Whatever you put there, is what the page will appear as when you browse to it.

      301 redirects will take care of the rest of the cases where you cannot setup the same url structure. Essentially it just redirects to whatever page you map a url to. For example, we migrated from a PHP site, which had many url's ending in ".php". 3dCart is not a PHP platform, so all these links would have broken. We used the 301 redirects to map, say... "myaccount.php" to "myaccount.asp" so that anyone trying to visit the old link, wound up on the expected page.

      When you do your final go-live migration, I would recommend keeping your BC store online and working for a week-ish after you do the DNS cut-over. DNS takes time to propagate, and some DNS servers will cache records far longer than any TTL that is set (since TTL is merely a suggestion to DNS servers, not a requirement to be obeyed). This way, any customer's who still have your old DNS records cached, will still be able to shop and checkout (instead of getting a "Site can't be reached" error page. This does mean you'll have to operate two stores temporarily, but you won't lose any sales or customers.

      Also, about a week before you do the cutover, I would recommend changing your TTL in your DNS records to something shorter than normal, as this should help most DNS servers get your new DNS settings faster. After the cutover, switch the TTL back to whatever default your registrar has.

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      • #4
        Hi,
        The 301 redirect is the most important part when switching system. It's actually pretty easy but very time consuming. Download the redirect sample file from the knowledge base page. I downloaded the URL's from my old system and copy/past to the sample file then add the new URL's (this is the time consuming part).
        As for the URL's: sample: www.yoursite.com/productx you'll add the URL as productx.
        Note: redirect all pages including categories, products, content pages such as bog posts and articles. I also did a redirect for all customer service pages such as contact form, about us etc.

        Hope this helps.
        Good luck!
        Peter

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        • #5
          Wow everybody, good advice, all around! Helga T we can have someone reach out to you to guide you through the process. I'll drop you a line for confirmation at the address on file.

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          • #6
            Hi Everyone,

            Thanks a lot for your help! I have 1500 SKU so this might take some time LOL. I just started about 1.5 months ago and was hoping that maybe since i dont have a lot of traffic, maybe this would be okay to just skip... but it seems like it would affect my customers and my google search so maybe i'll have to reconsider.

            I'll have to go through each and every single URL hopefully maybe i can do an excel spreadsheet using index search haha

            3dcart-Alex Thanks! I think that might be a good idea. I'm trying to clean up what i messed up in BC so i really hope i get this done right and never have to deal with it again

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            • #7
              Helga T Check in BC and/or with their support team before "brute forcing" you way... there's likely a way to export your url information in a spreadsheet, which will make things a lot easier.

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              • #8
                I didn't move from BC, but from another cart -- the problem I had with the 301 redirects was it was difficult (for me anyway) to determine what the actual old link was -- I had a bunch of 404 errors after moved because the link I put in the redirect wasn't properly formatted - can't remember exactly what it was now -- something about only including everything after the "/" in the original link rather than the entire URL. If someone has a link to a site that explains it better to novices, that might help out folks moving over.

                The other thing I had an issue with was importing customer records -- I did a CSV export of my customer data from my old cart and it imported into 3Dcart just great -- the problem I ran into was the formatting in Excel formatted the zip code as a number, which dropped the leading zeros off all zip codes from those areas of the country -- which created errors for customers when they tried to place their first order on our 3dCart store -- took me a while to figure out what was happening and to be able to in and correct. So look at your data closely before importing.
                Joe Arbogast
                http://www.birdsafestore.com

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