301 Redirect: what it is, why and how to use it
(Last updated on: December 17, 2019)
If you’ve ever changed your mailing address from one place to another, you already know how important it is to redirect all messages sent to your old address!
This also applies to changes to the website URL. Missing access to your old website URL can be catastrophic for your brand and disappoint your customers.
Imagine you have an e-commerce shop selling Christmas trees and your website address has recently been moved to a different URL. If all traffic goes to the old website address and customers receive a 404 error code, you would miss potential sales that can be particularly devastating for a seasonal product like this!
A 301 redirect corresponds to an email redirect service for website URLs. This is the best way to redirect if you permanently move your website address, as opposed to the 302 or 511 redirects, which are more useful for temporary URL moves.
If you want to better understand 301 redirects, you’ve come to the right place. Find out what they are, why you should use them, and how to implement them as a traffic source for your site.
So when you’re ready, let’s get started!
What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect instruction that drives website traffic to your desired URL. It is an HTTP status code that can be easily interpreted and implemented by search engines. Therefore, it is probably the most SEO-friendly way to change a website URL.
The great thing about 301 Redirect is that it helps transfer all of the link weight and ranking authority that your old URL would have accumulated over time to the new URL, so you don’t lose the previous SEO efforts, that you may have done Improve your search rankings.
A 301 redirect is a comprehensive search engine redirect statement that indicates that the website URL along with all of its content has been permanently moved to another location on the Internet. The important word here is permanent,
Why use 301 redirect?
You may want to use 301 redirection in the following situations:
In all of the above scenarios, you need to redirect incoming website traffic to a new location, the right place, so that your website visitors can access you.
Another important reason to use 301 redirects is that they get up to 90-99% of your search engine ranking performance. This means that all social releases, backlinks and references that have given your old URL a better ranking are transferred to the new URL ranking.
A 301 redirect is also a status code statement that Google can understand easily and that helps index the new website and all new pages faster and more efficiently. Search engines may not be able to easily crawl or interpret other redirects. For this reason, 301 redirects are probably the most appropriate.
How to use / create a 301 redirect
It can take some time for search engines to find that you’ve implemented 301 redirection and changed your website’s URL location. For this reason, we recommend that you implement it at the right time so that you do not miss any incoming traffic. You also need to make sure that you implement a 301 forwarding instruction accurately to avoid technical glitches.
There are several ways to implement 301 redirection:
1. Paste the 301 redirect instruction into the old URL page headers.
IIf the page is in PHP, Java, or another programming language, the 301 redirect statement in the header of each page leads to a successful implementation. This routes the incoming traffic to the new site location that you specified in the status code statement.
You must enter the destination URL in the response header of each page of your old URL. This will automatically redirect anyone who wants to enter the URL address of a particular page from your old website to the new online URL.
2. Access your server, especially the Apache configuration file, by typing htaccess in the file.
You can do this by accessing a command that is called “Allow override” in the Apache configuration file. Once in the root folder, you can edit the code with a UNIX-style text editor.
For a successful implementation, you need to open your FTP server and log in to your website server or hosting admin area. Then try to work your way into the htaccess file in your home folders. Typically, the htaccess file is a hidden file. So make sure your browser shows hidden files to show them.
The instruction codes that you would use with this method are as follows:
- Redirect a single page:
RedirectPermanent / old-file.html / http: //www.domain.com/new-file.hml
2. Redirect an entire domain:
RedirectPermanent / http: //new-domain.com/
Your server reads your 301 redirect code instruction line by line, so it is best to insert a blank line at the end of your code to indicate the completion of your instruction. As a last resort, if you cannot access the “htaccess” file, you can call your hosting provider for help.
3. Use WordPress 301 redirect plugins.
There are several plugins that can easily implement 301 redirects, especially if you use WordPress. We recommend using it The WordPress plugin from Yoast Set up forwarding. This is a safe way, as it is used, tested and rated as trustworthy by several developers.
Some other plugins you could use are:
This is a simple forwarding manager that allows you to easily create both 301 and 302 redirects.
Second Simple 301 redirects
It is an open source tool that works like magic.
An easy-to-use, comprehensive redirection plug-in that lets you keep an eye on all 404 errors, link loose ends on your site, and set up 301 redirects.
It is always good to spend some time testing your website when you are done setting up redirection. You want to make sure that the forwarding instruction works smoothly.
Get some people to visit your website shortly after implementation. Make sure it works properly and processes large website traffic to ensure an efficient and smooth customer experience.
301 redirects are the way to go
It’s no surprise that 301 redirects are the best way to set up permanent redirects to a new website URL. They have been used for ages and are trusted by the online marketing and developer community in the market. You are a safe choice!
Let us know how your first 301 redirect went, and contact PapaSquad if you need help!
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