IIS 301s

We don’t use IIS very much, but a third party application that we are integrating into the corporate website runs on IIS, and today I had a very pressing need to add a redirect to one of the default application pages to one of our corporate site pages.

I discovered 2 very good solutions:

  • Add the following code to the top of the file you wish to redirect:
    Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
    Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://edgehill.ac.uk/rosetheatre/whatson/"

    This is quick and nasty way to redirect a page if you don’t have admin rights to your IIS server.

  • By far the best way is, if you have access to IIS admin, is to follow the following steps:
    1. Browse the website you want to do the redirect for.
    2. In the right pane, right click on the file you want to redirect, and click “Properties”
    3. Under the “File” tab, hit the radio selection “A redirection to a URL”
    4. Put the target in the “Redirect to” textarea.
    5. Make sure “The exact URL entered above” and “A permanent redirection for this resource” are both checked

Both of these solutions worked for me.

Google Street View


I was right – it took almost three years to arrive in Ormskirk, but this week Google launched Street View across most of the country including Ormskirk.

Argleton might have been wiped off the main Google map but it’s still there in Street View as you can see in the above Street View of Argleton Aughton Village Hall.

Edge Hill’s St Helens Road and Ruff Lane entrances are present but you can’t (yet!) look around the campus or Ormskirk Town Centre:


Strangely on Ruff Lane the section immediately past the entrance is missing.  I don’t think this is a conspiracy, it’s more likely the route the Google Street View car took.


Post links to any interesting things you’ve found on Google Street View.

Learning Something New Every Day

Today, I learnt about cononical linking.  Canonical linking is a way of letting search engines know that your content is accessible through multiple URLs, by publicly specifying the preferred URL of page content. This prevents Google penalising your site for having duplicate content.

I first came across the possibility of  search engines penalising sites for duplicate content when following WPDesigner’s excellent tutorial on creating WordPress Themes. Here, he recommends ways to change the content of pages which might be viewed as duplication by Google – Prevention not cure.

It wasn’t until today that Mike recommended that I “canonically link” Rose Theatre event pages because they are almost identical to the same page in the events section of the site. To do so, within the <head> tags of each Rose Theatre event page, add a link like the one below:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/events/2010/03/09/stand-up-comedy" />

The link tag is an empty tag, and the use of the “rel” attribute defines the canonical nature of the tag. In our case we generate the link URL using symfony routing rules, URL parameters and the page slug so we don’t need to add the link for every page.

So now, when you visit Stand Up Comedy check out the source code and you’ll see the link, just like Google does.