What is a 301 Redirect? How is it Implemented?

What is a 301 Redirect? How is it Implemented?
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Suppose you moved, and consequently, your mailing address changed. If you don’t inform the senders who mail you, you might not receive your mails. The same can be said for your website: if you’re moving a website from one URL to another, you must take necessary steps to ensure your visitors are directed to the right place. In the world of the internet, this is called a 301 redirect.

What is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection from one web page to another. The 301 part refers to the HTTP status code for the redirected page. It’s a status code sent by a server to your browser, among others you might have heard of like 404 (Not Found) and 500 (Server Error). 301 redirects happen so swiftly that you’re often unaware of them, finding yourself on the content page you were looking for without realizing the redirect.

How is a 301 Redirect Implemented?

Another vital role of a 301 redirect is its impact on search engines. Having useful status codes that accurately show where content has moved helps search engines like Google and Bing keep their indexes up to date.

Here are a few scenarios where you might want to use a 301 redirect:

  • If your content is expiring and you want to redirect users to a new location,
  • If you are merging two websites into one new URL, or have already done so,
  • If you’ve changed the control panel for your website or moved your site to another panel like WordPress.

The process of implementing a 301 redirect varies from platform to platform. We can’t discuss every web site panel’s features, but we can take a closer look at WordPress:

How to Redirect a URL in WordPress?

WordPress is the world’s most popular ready-made website panel. Therefore, discussing how to implement redirects in the WordPress panel will be beneficial:

  • Implement a redirect through the server itself:

The best way to implement redirects quickly and from a technical standpoint is through the server itself. WordPress does not offer a service to automatically do 301 redirects, but there are many plugins available that can perform this function. Implementing 301 redirects through the server can vary depending on the software your server uses. If you’re not sure how to implement a redirect through the server itself, we do not recommend attempting it as it could cause service interruptions for your website – instead, you could consult your software team.

  • Use a free WordPress plugin to redirect a URL:

If you cannot implement a redirect through your server for any reason, you might consider using a WordPress plugin. However, this is not the most advisable method as plugins can slow down your site over time.


Why is Permanent Redirection Important?

301 redirects are crucial for SEO.

If a visitor clicks on a link and encounters a 404 page, it negatively impacts their experience with the site, leading to disappointment and likely departure. A 301 page redirect means the visitor can easily enter and navigate the site, potentially converting them into a customer or follower and allowing them to interact with the content.

Using a 301 URL redirect, e-commerce store owners can ensure a positive experience for customers, facilitating easy access to the online storefront. A 301 redirect informs Google that a page hasn’t been removed or otherwise closed down. Instead, various algorithms and bots used by Google to navigate the Web will recognize that a site’s location has changed and update accordingly. Correct use of 301 redirects preserves search engine ranking positions and prevents issues on both the SEO and customer fronts.

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