301 Redirect – What,When and How

301 Redirection is a HTTP Redirection method to fix broken URLs and make it easy for your Website visitors to land on the right Page, that has the content they were looking for. It is an important best practice of SEO to preserve link equity and fix 404 Errors on the Website.

What is a HTTP 301 Redirect?

301 Redirect is a redirection technique to redirect one URL to another by returning 301 HTTP Status Code. While an HTML redirect or web page redirect can be accomplished in several ways, a server-side 301 redirect is the most preferred method from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective.

301 redirect is the server-side code that indicates the permanent move of a web page to a new address(URL).This code sent by your server when someone tries to access one of your pages, can be interpreted by browsers, or search engine bots, to find the new location of your data. In this way you can be sure that all of your content remains accessible for all visitors.

When should 301 redirects be done?

301 redirects are useful in the following scenarios:

  • 301 Redirects should be done to change Page URLs – The site has been moved to a new domain and you want to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct pages in the new domain
  • When a web page is accessible using multiple URLs and you want to ensure that all the URLs are redirected to one preferred URL, that represents the webpage, thereby avoiding duplicate content issues with Search Engines
  • When a web page already indexed by search engines is to be removed and the traffic diverted to a newly created web page

301 Redirects using .htaccess file on Apache Server:

Mod_Alias module has to be activated on the Apache server for setting aliases between different URLs and to define permanent of temporary redirections.Once this module activated on your Apache server, the definition of 301 redirects is a matter of few command lines defined in a .htaccess file on the root of the website. On an Apache server configuration, this .htaccess file contains all the commands and controls that the server must execute before accessing a file located within the same directory.

301 Redirect Examples – .htaccess File

The following are some examples of 301 redirects in a .htaccess file on Apache Server.To 301 redirect thispage.html to newpage.html in the same domain, say, www.this-domain.com, add the following to the .htaccess file of the server in which the site (domain) is hosted.

Redirect 301 /thispage.html http://www.this-domain.com/newpage.html

To 301 redirect thispage.html to a new page on another domain, add the following to the .htaccess file of the server in which the site (domain) is hosted.

Redirect 301 /thispage.html http://www.another-domain.com/newpage.html

Note that in the above examples, you should not add “http://www” to the first part of the statement (i.e. /thispage.html). You should only mention the path from the top level of your site to the page. Also ensure that you leave a single space between the two elements.

If you want to redirect the entire traffic on the current site to the index page of the new site (www.another-domain.com), add the following code to the .htaccess file of the current site:

Redirect 301 / http://www.another-domain.com/

301 Redirects in WordPress made easy

If you are not comfortable using .htaccess file or when you want an easy way of doing redirection in WordPress to redirect one Page URL to another, you may use our WordPress SEO Plugin – Platinum SEO Pack. It does automatic 301 Redirects in case of site-wide changes such as moving a site from www to non-www, changing URL structure (Permalink change) or changing a Post name or URL slug which is also known as URL Path. The plugin makes it easy to monitor 404 Errors and fix then by setting up 301 redirection. Here is a detailed step by step guide on Redirection in WordPress using Platinum SEO plugin.

301 Redirects on Microsoft IIS Server:

Microsoft IIS Server lets you set up a redirection for the whole domain or just a single page on the domain. Both can be managed using a graphical interface.

How to Set up a domain redirect on Microsoft IIS Server?

To set up a 301 redirect for the entire domain,

  • Log on to the IIS server
  • Naviage to Start –> Programs –> Administrative Tools –> Internet Services Manager
  • Select the server running the site (domain) you want to redirect
  • Right click on the site (domain) and choose Properties –> Home Directory
  • check A redirection to a URL option under “when connecting to this resource, the content should come from
  • Enter the destination URL address against Redirect to text field
  • Then, check the A permanent redirection for this resource option under “The client will be sent to
  • Click OK

To set up a 301 redirect for a web page,

  • Log on to the IIS server
  • Naviage to Start –> Programs –> Administrative Tools –> Internet Services Manager
  • Select the server running the site (domain) you want to redirect
  • Right click on the file (web page) you wish to redirect and choose Properties
301 Redirect
  • check A redirection to a URL option under “when connecting to this resource, the content should come from
  • Enter the destination URL address against Redirect to text field
  • Then, check the A permanent redirection for this resource option under “The client will be sent to
  • Click OK

That is all about 301 redirects in Apache and Microsoft IIS. We will cover methods to accomplish dynamic web page redirection in Apache (using Mod_Rewrite) and IIS in another article.

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