A 301 redirect is an action that indicates a permanent change from one location on a web page to another. In other words, when a user enters a URL that no longer exists, they are automatically redirected to another. Now we will tell you more.
what is a 301 redirect and what are the circumstances under which it occurs?
With 301 redirects you tell the browser that a specific domain has been permanently deleted and where you want users to go. There are many circumstances under which you can apply this type of redirection, here are the most common ones:
- When you make a domain change
- When you change a URL to make it more user-friendly
- When you create or update content
- When you make a change of structure in the architecture of the website
- To solve or avoid problems with duplicate content
- When migrating from "http" to "https"
- To fix cannibalisation between two or more sites
- When you delete a landing page that you have launched for a specific campaign that is no longer active
how to configure a 301 redirect?
- Redirection in .htaccess. To make a 301 redirection with this method you have to edit the .htaccess file. If you do not know the data to access this file, you have to contact the hosting provider to provide you with the necessary information to access the server via FTP. Once you have it, you must download the .htaccess file that is inside the html folder. Subsequently, when this file is downloaded, a file will open with a text editor, where you will change the code. The commands depend on what you need. We recommend that you make a backup copy before making any changes.
- Redirects using a CMS A CMS (content management system) is a software that helps to manage all the content of a given website. Depending on the CMS used, it will be in a different way.
- Redirecting in Wordpress. You probably know Wordpress, as it is the most popular platform for creating blogs and websites. If your website is created here you can do the URL redirection with a plugin, which is very convenient if you do not have programming knowledge or have not hired a CMS service. The most popular wordpress plugins to make redirects are: 301 Redirects, Redirection, WP 404 Autodirect to similar post, Yoast SEO and wordpress-logo-1.
what other types of redirects are there?
- 302 redirection. 302 code signals a temporary redirect. One of the most notable features that differentiates it from a 301 redirect is that, in the case of 302 redirects or status code 302, the SEO power is not transferred to the new URL. This is because this redirect is designed to be used when there is a need to redirect content to a page that will not be the final one. Thus, once the redirect is removed, the original page will not have lost its ranking in the search engines. Although it is not very common that we find ourselves in the need to perform a 302 redirect, this option can be very useful in cases such as when we realise that there is erroneous content on a page or in the event that an attack on our website requires the restoration of some of the pages.
- Rarely will you have to use the 303 code for your redirects, since, unlike 301 and 302, with 303 you are not offering the user the page they are requesting at an equivalent address. Therefore, they are not used as an SEO friendly gesture. In reality, it is a temporary redirect that is used right after a PUT or POST action so that, when the page that makes the request is updated, the operation is not executed again.
- Redirect 304. In this case we have not modified the URL, but we want to tell Google engines to load the cached version in order to take advantage of the highest possible loading speed. When a browser stores a resource in the cache what it does is to collect the information of the last modified header sent from the web server. So, when the browser returns to that web page and does not know if it has the latest version, then a validation request is sent to the server. If that version has not been modified, then the server sends the HTTP code 304. On the other hand, if the version is outdated, a code 200 is sent and a new copy is used.
- Redirect 307. This redirect is similar to 302, as it is also a temporary redirect. In this case, it is used when non-GET operations are available on the site. In other words, unlike 302, 307 does not allow the sending method to be changed from POST to GET.
- 308 redirect. This is a permanent redirect very similar to the 301 redirect, but it is somewhat more limited, since in this case it does not allow changing the request method from POST to GET. Therefore, the 308 redirect is the equivalent of the 307 applied to a permanent redirect (not temporary, as is the 307). It is best to try to use the 301 whenever possible so as not to affect SEO.