I want to convert one of my sites into a dynamic site with PHP because there is a lot of repetitive code on each page that I would like to put in a single php script to make the maintenance of the site easier.
The problem is, the site is almost a year old and a lot of SEO work has been done on this site. Its traffic can still be greatly increased, but I do not want to loose the traffic I already get from the search engines.
I have not access to the .htaccess file so I am forced to rename all my pages to php to have the code parsed by the server. Because of this I also can't do 301 redirects from a file with an htm/html extension.
I have prepared all the html files with the proper meta refreshes, but I would like to know how long should I keep these "place holders" for my old pages on my server. The search engines may re-index my site and hopefully transfer the PageRank to the new pages, but what about all the inbound links from other sites (even some I may not be aware off) is it wise to keep these redirecting pages for an infinite time on my server.
Thanks I appreciate the help.