Clean Sweep 404 Manager for Movable Type
Clean Sweep is a plugin that assists administrators in finding and fixing broken inbound links to their website. It was build to support two use cases:
to help users get a clean start with their blog by allowing them to completely restructure their permalink URL structure and have a system that can automatically adapt by redirecting stale and inbound links to the proper destination
to help users in the process of migrating to Movable Type who are forced to modify their web site's URL and permalink structure
Both of these use cases have to do with preserving a site's page rank in light of a major redesign.
Features and Benefits
- Manage redirects in your blog using an easy to use user interface.
- Help maintain good SEO and page rank by keeping links fresh.
- No need to hack Apache configuration files until you are sure your redirects are correct.
- Clean Sweep 1.17 (zip)
Create a Redirect
View a List of All 404s
View a List of Recommended Rewrite Rules
- Unpack the Clean Sweep archive.
- Copy the contents of
/path/to/mt/plugins/and copy the contents of
- Create a page in Movable Type called "URL Not Found". Give it a basename of "404". Place whatever personalized message you want that will be displayed to your visitors when Clean Sweep is unsuccessful in mapping the request to the correct page or destination.
- Publish the page and remember the complete URL to this page on your published blog.
- Navigate to the Plugin Settings area for Clean Sweep.
- Enter in the full URL to your "URL Not Found" page you created in step #3. Copy that URL into the "404 URL" configuration parameter for Clean Sweep.
- In your plugin settings area for Clean Sweep, make note of the Apache configuration directive that Clean Sweep asks that you place in your
httpd.confor in an
- Add the Apache configuration directive to your web server. This may be placed in your
httpd.conffile or in an
.htaccessfile located in the DocumentRoot for your blog.
- Restart Apache
How it Works
Once properly configured, Clean Sweep will track all inbound links that result in a 404. Administrators can monitor the list of 404s on their web site through a dedicated listing screen in the application found under the Manage > 404s menu, or through a convenient dashboard widget.
If Clean Sweep can determine what file to serve in place of a request that resulted in a 404 it will. If all else fails the plugin will serve a custom 404 page you design.
Clean Sweep will also provide you with a list of Apache mod_rewrite rules that you can add to your web server's configuration settings to permanently redirect users to the proper resource, thereby bypassing the Clean Sweep plugin from that point forward for those specific set of links.
The Redirection Decision Making Process
The following is how Clean Sweep determines what files to serve in place of a requested file that could not be found on the file system:
Check to see if a redirect has been setup by a user for the specific file being requested. If one exists, redirect the client to that file.
Is the target resource using the entry id as a URL This is a prevalent URL pattern for older MT installations. This will:
Map: http://www.majordojo.com/archives/000675.php To: http://www.majordojo.com/2005/07/goodbye-bookque.php
Is the target resource using underscore when it should be using hyphens? Many users have switched to using hyphens for purported SEO benefits. This will attempt to look for a file in the system of the same name, but using '-' instead of '_'. This will:
Map: http://www.majordojo.com/2005/07/goodbye_bookque.php To: http://www.majordojo.com/2005/07/goodbye-bookque.php
Is their a target resource with the same basename somewhere? If a user switches their primary mapping to use a date based URL as opposed to a category based URL, then this rule will apply. This will:
Map: http://www.majordojo.com/personal-projects/goodbye-bookque.php To: http://www.majordojo.com/2005/07/goodbye-bookque.php
Let me know and I will add it!
If all else fails, serve up the users configured custom 404 URL.
During the length of the beta please use the comment form at the bottom of the page to report any bugs with Clean Sweep.
Clean Sweep is licensed under the GPL (v2).
Donated to the Movable Type Open Source Project. Copyright 2007-2008 Six Apart Ltd.