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How we didn't break the web

How we didn't break the web

In October 2012, we turned off Directgov and Business Link, and redirected over 83,000 URLs to their corresponding content on GOV.UK. This talk goes into depth about why we did this, the tools we built, and a few lessons we learned along the way.


Jordan Hatch

May 18, 2013


  1. Jordan Hatch Developer Government Digital Service @1jh

  2. GDS Jordan Hatch How we didn’t break the web

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  14. Welcome to GOV.UK The best place to find government services

    and information Simpler, clearer, faster This website replaces Driving and transport Includes car tax, MOT and driving licences Benefits Includes tax credits, eligibility and appeals Businesses and self-employed Tools and guidance for businesses Employing people Includes pay, contracts and hiring Passports, travel and living abroad Includes renewing passports and travel advice by country Education and learning Includes student loans and admissions Working, jobs and pensions Includes holidays and finding a job Housing and local services Owning or renting and council services Crime, justice and the law Legal processes, courts and the police Money and tax Includes debt and Self Assessment Births, deaths, marriages and care Parenting, civil partnerships, divorce and Lasting Power of Attorney Disabled people Includes carers, your rights, benefits and the Equality Act Inside Government Government departments, policies and announcements Citizenship and living in the UK Voting, how government works, moving to the UK Ministerial departments all in one place Search
  15. GDS Jordan Hatch Breaking links is a bad thing

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  17. GDS Jordan Hatch No link left behind

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  23. GDS Jordan Hatch Built a router in Scala

  24. GDS Jordan Hatch Nginx

  25. GDS Jordan Hatch server { server_name www.direct.gov.uk; location = /en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/TaxCredits/

    Gettingstarted/whoqualifies/DG_201943 { return 301 https://www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit/ overview; } location = /en/Dl1/Directories/DG_10011810 { return 410; }
  26. GDS Jordan Hatch 100,000 URLs > 400/sec

  27. GDS Jordan Hatch Mappings

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  31. GDS Jordan Hatch Redirected 83,000 URLs on release day

  32. GDS Jordan Hatch 180,000 URLs redirected to date

  33. GDS Jordan Hatch github.com/alphagov/redirector github.com/alphagov/migratorator github.com/alphagov/review-o-matic

  34. Jordan Hatch Developer Government Digital Service @1jh