How To Correctly Redirect Your Website

What Is A 301 Redirect

Find The 301 Redirect You Need

Whether you need to redirect a single page or an entire website, the type of redirect you need depends on your website and server architecture. If you have a WordPress site, choose one of the WordPress links. Likewise if your site is based upon PHP or ASP.Net.

Find your website or server type. Click the link and you can learn how to 301 redirect in less than 5 minutes.

What Does Google Think About Redirects?

Just in case you’re wondering what Google thinks about redirects, this is what Matt Cutts has to say about 301 redirects and rel=”canonical”.

So What Is A 301 Redirect?

To skip the technical jargon, a 301 redirect (also called a URL Redirect) is a web code that redirects one webpage or website to another.

Web designers use them all the time. If a you need to change the name of your website domain, a subfolder or even a single webpage, a URL redirect is how you change the name without losing all your hard earned traffic.

There are multiple types of URL redirects. The way these are broken down is Redirect Type – Brief Translation – Benefits – Search Engine Directions.

  • 301 – Moved Permanently – Passes link equity and saves PageRank – Use new URL from now on.
  • 302 – Found – Page temporarily located at a different URL – Continue to use old URL.
  • 303 – See Other – Page found under a different URL – New URL not a substitute for originally requested resource.
  • 307 – Temporary Redirect – Page temporarily located at a different URL – Redirection MAY be altered on occasion – Continue to use original URL.

All redirect types courtesy of the World Wide Web Consortium. **Note** Not all URL Redirect types were listed here. For a more comprehensive list, go to The World Wide Web Consortium’s list.

Example

For the sake of having a good example, let’s say that you own www.website.com and had an informational page at www.website.com/WhyWeRock.php. If you wanted to change the page URL to something more like www.website.com/OurCustomersRock.php, you would lose all the traffic that you currently get to the old page at www.website.com/WhyWeRock.php. However, if you implement a 301 redirect from the old page to the new one, anybody who goes to the old page or URL will be redirected to your new page and URL.

You could also redirect your whole domain from the boring and innocuous www.website.com to the more exciting www.daredevil.com. A 301 redirect will get all your visitors from the old site that they have bookmarked, to your new site that they haven’t bookmarked yet.

I’ve heard that a 301 redirect can also help with SEO. How?

You’re quite correct. It can. Especially if your website is an ecommerce site.

If you’re familiar with the concept of SEO, you’re probably familiar with the importance of incoming links also. Well, let’s say you have 2500 incoming links to www.website.com but because www.daredevil.com is new, there are no incoming links to it. Therefore, if you don’t redirect your domain, you have just lost all of your 2500 links.

But, If you do a 301 redirect from www.website.com to www.daredevil.com, you keep approximately 99% of the link equity that you built up for the first domain. This means that once Google and Bing recognize that you redirected your domain, the links that you built to the old domain will now point to the new domain and therefor you already have some street-cred with the search engines.

Ok, so how do I create a 301 Redirect?

Creating a redirect can be done different ways and which one is right depends upon the type of website architecture you have and the server software that you have your website hosted on. Refer to the top of this page for a list of the redirects you can learn about.