When a website undergoes changes in its URL structure, you must ensure a seamless experience for your viewers. This is where 301 redirect becomes evident. 301 status code acts as the guiding address for your viewers who seek address to the website’s new location. While altering the URL structure, you need to take some perquisites, ensuring you don’t misdirect your visitors. In this article, we will dive into understanding the concept of 301 redirect, examine when the website owner needs to implement it, and discuss the process of redirecting a website’s URL.
What Is 301 Status Code?
301 status code is an HTTP status code sent by a server to the browser. This code redirects all users who request an old URL to a new one. This process passes all the ranking power of the first website URL to the second one.
301 redirect status code is like the other HTTP status code you have heard of. This includes 404-Not Found, 403-Forbidden, and 500-server errors. When you are redirected to the page you searched, the status code attached to that page is 200-OK.
When you search for the old URL on the browser, the server sends the signal to 301, permanently moves the status code, and then redirects your audience to your page.
The exchange of data between the server and the browser occurs so quickly that the time gap is hardly noticeable.
How To Do A 301 Redirect In A CMS?
Establishing 302 redirect varies from CMS to CMS (content management system) and platform to platform. Below are the instructions for redirecting your old URL to a new one.
Many website owners usually use WordPress. If you are hosting a website on the same server and you wish to implement 301 redirect, you must know that WordPress does not offer an in-built facility for this purpose. Still, there are plugins available that you can use to get access to its functionality.
Redirect The Website’s URL Using A WordPress Plugin
- To redirect your 301 status code, you need to install a redirection plugin.
- Navigate to WordPress settings and then redirection.
- Follow the setup instructions on the screen.
- You will see the plugin options menu at the end of the procedure. To add a new redirect, choose the redirects from the top menu.
- Replace your old 301 URL with the new one inside the redirect section. Click on the add new redirection, and insert a source URL (the older URL) and a target URL (the new URL.
- Once done, click on Add redirect. You will see the new redirects in your list of active redirects.
301 Redirect Mistakes To Avoid
Now that you understand what 301 redirect is and how to use it to move your website’s URL. Here are some of the redirect mistakes to avoid.
1. Avoid Setting Up A 302 Redirect Between Versions of Domain
301 redirect is permanent, whereas the 302 redirect is temporary. And when 301 redirects are used, the changes in the links are minimal. So make sure you set up a 301 redirect from all the different integrations of your brand’s domain to boost your search engine results.
2. Avoid Setting Up 301 Redirect After Creating A Web Page
Setting up 301 redirects after creating a web page can let you lose your traffic, as your page will be considered a brand-new domain without inbound links from your old website. Redirecting helps Google understand that the new domain redirects the old web page.
3. Avoid Using a 302 Redirect During The Content Migration
Unless you are temporarily migrating your website, using the 301 redirects to maintain the inbound links and your search ranking while making changes to your domain will be the ideal choice.
The 301 redirects are essential for maintaining a healthy website. The benefit of using the 301 status code is that it permanently moves your website’s old URL to a new one. There are certain situations when you should consider redirecting your website. It includes recreating a piece of content, migrating content from one domain to another, consolidating several pieces of content, etc.