Redirecting a Website URL: How & When?
Websites get complicated over time, after being simpler in the beginning. There is hardly anyone who plan their website structure for the long term and keep it simple even after many years. You add new pages, functionalities as per the latest technologies and updates to your business, this is bound to complicate the URLs and navigation for any visitor.
In a website redirect, one URL will be pointed to another when a visitor seeks it. For those whose website is getting cluttered day after day, they will surely need to implement a redirect now. Following are the scenarios when you must do this activity for your business:
Old URL to New one: Sometimes you will move some pages around to give a better structure for your website, in that case, the old URLs will turn useless. If any person visits these old URLs, he/she will be greeted with an error message and most likely leave your website with a bad impression. Avoid this misfortune and do a redirect to make the visitors know about it.
Subdirectory to a page: Often businesses have some pages on the subdomain of their websites instead of the main site. E.g. a page is – page.site.com, instead of – site.com/page, and now if you want to bring the subdomain page to the main site, then a redirect is needed.
Old domain to a new domain: You got your desired domain name much later when you already got your website made on another domain, or you went through a big rebranding change, or a business name change. In each case, transferring an entire website takes a lot of time, till then, you can redirect your old domain to the new one.
Duplicate content redirecting to the original page: Duplicate content can crop up unknowingly and confuse your site visitors. It can also confuse Google into thinking which page to rank, which one is the original page. Hence, it is advisable to redirect the duplicate content to the original one. This will also prove beneficial for your website’s search engine rankings.
- A single domain for multiple domains: If you have more than one domain name for your business website which are related to the main URL, then are you going to keep them idle? Rather, you can redirect them to the main website if they are idle.
Doing redirects for your website can proceed as a page-by-page basis or on the URL. It can be done in quite a few different ways. Some of them are:
- A 301 redirect: This is the most commonly used and permanent redirect option. It is also the most powerful one as it redirects all of the link data. You can execute this on the server and browser level too; even the search engines index this redirect easily.
- A Meta Refresh: If you have encountered any message like – “You are now being redirected to a new URL as the original URL has moved. If you are not redirected in the next 5 seconds, click here,” then you are experiencing a meta refresh. It is not used as often as a 301 redirect as it doesn’t transfer all the data.
- 302 redirect: If you want to redirect a URL only for a limited time and plan to move back to the original URL in the future, then this 302 redirect is for you. It can be used when you are redesigning your website and want to take people to a different URL till then.
Redirecting your website URL has some important benefits attached to it. Besides, it is always useful to know about this even if your website is fairly new and doesn’t need redirecting now, as it will need in the future.