Understanding When and Why You Need to Apply Website Redirects

When your business or blog goes live online, everything is simple in the beginning. You will have a few content pages, straightforward URLs, and you are building an initial momentum. It is always a good feeling to see your business grow online.

Over a period of time, your website starts to grow in complex dimensions. You will have more posts, pages, and URLs to handle. Posts and pages will multiply, but at this point, you will need to plan on simplifying the URL structure of you contents. 

You may also have bought some new domains, and will want to redirect them to your site. You may even plan to switch domains! If you are looking to start your product or service launch promotions, then you might also want to use coming soon page for WordPress. As you can see here, there are plenty of reasons where the need to redirect URLs will arise.

What’s a site redirect?

One URL of your WordPress website gets pointed to a new, relevant page. Therefore when users come in search of your brand, and click on your original URL, the server takes them to a new page. The 301 redirect acts as a diversion or redirection of users to the new destination. To learn more about how to efficiently implement you redirect strategies, you can visit https://wp301redirects.com/. 

Different types of redirects

301 redirect

It is a permanent moving of a page. A powerful redirect, because the link equity is passed to the current new page or domain. The redirect works on the server and browser level. The search engines index this redirect.

302 redirect

It is a temporary change of a URL. Apply 302 only if you plan to return to the original URL. When you are updating your site, but wish that you users still access the content, then you can use the 302 redirect to send them to another domain. When you complete the updates, things can be restored back to normal. 

Meta Refresh

It is rarely used, but it is seen before the on-page loading screen. You may see a message saying ‘The original webpage is moved, you will be redirected now. This is Meta refresh redirect, where you will be given a click option, if the redirect doesn’t happen automatically. It does transfer a little link equity, but very less when compared to a 301 redirect!

Reasons to implement website redirect

Some common situation, you may need website redirect are –

  • You created a section on a sub-domain, and wish to switch its URL structure. Here you will need to implement a redirect.
  • Having duplicate content on your site can mess up your rankings. The chances are high if your site is large with more pages. More than one version of the same page confuses the search engine, leading to dip in Page Rankings. You must redirect duplicate content to original page, and lessen the confusion. 
  • Multiple domain names are purchased, but make sure to redirect them to your main domain.
  • When you plan an expansive rebranding, where there will be a need to change the domain name, then you will need to execute a redirect of old to new domain.
  • When you are cleaning your current URL structure, as old one are not needed, but are already indexed. It is wise to implement a 301 redirect in this case. 

Please be reminded that your old pages will have valuable link equity, but those can be redirected to a relevant new page with 301, so that you will not have to lose out on their SEO value.