Setting up SEO-efficient redirection when moving domain, without hosting package at old domain

I am moving a medium sized WordPress site (a few hundred pages) from one domain to another in order to take advantage of a new TLD variant of the name I already have.

Let's say it's moving the site from to

I want to set up page-by-page redirections from the old site to the new site but don't want to pay for a hosting package just to host a .htaccess file at with a few hundred lines in it.

My ISP supports website forwarding by domain redirection but I'm not sure how it's implemented (they support 301, 302 and masked)

I set up a 302 domain redirection (for testing purposes) with the ISP from to a sub-folder at and within the redirect folder, I have a .htaccess file that has a single line like this:

Redirect 301 /test-page/

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I also tried this:

Redirect 301 /redirect/test-page/

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Now, if I open a browser and go to I want to end up at

In both the above .htaccess cases, the URL in the browser changes to but I get the "No Results Found" page back from WordPress which says to me the .htaccess part isn't working or my ISP isn't passing the full URL.

Should I be able to get this to work (preferably with a Rewrite rule) and if so, how? Also, is this good SEO practice?
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Jamie GarrochSenior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbonAsked:
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Firstly, most ISPs and Domain Name Registrars that offer "redirects" are just that - meaning they redirect all the traffic heading to one domain to another domain. In the process the redirect will strip-off anything after the domain name (be that query string or URL content). So in it is unlikely that will help you achieve what you want.

The correct method to handle what you want, and to keep your ranking in place, is to place a series of redirects under the original domain to handle the various URLs and backlinks you are concerned about. And that will require some form of hosting. Additionally, keep in mind that there should only be one redirect for most search engines to recognise and accept as being a genuine movement/change in domain name.

For example:

      Redirect 301  ?test-page/

However a more appropriate catch all would b done using rewrite with the "R" flag set (to denote permanent redirect):

      Rewrite ?(.*)$  http//$1 [R,QSA,L,NC]

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Jamie GarrochSenior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbonAuthor Commented:
After some additional testing, it does appear that this is what my ISP is doing Graham:

In the process the redirect will strip-off anything after the domain name

So, thank you for confirming and for the RewriteRule.

Such a shame that I have to now purchase yet another hosting package to host a single .htaccess file :-(
Jamie GarrochSenior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbonAuthor Commented:
By the way, should the rewrite rule include the 301 declaration?

RewriteRule ?(.*)$  http//$1 [R=301,QSA,L,NC]
The 301 is the default for the "R" tag (in most versions of Apache) in the rewrite, so not necessary to add it - but if you find your host has an older version of Apache (or IIS) running then you can it.
Jamie GarrochSenior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbonAuthor Commented:
Ahhhh. Thank you :-)
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