What are 301 redirects and why use them?
When a page has been moved to a permanent new address, Google recommends to use a 301 redirect. Here we will explain as why this is important and how it can be achieved.
First of all: What Is A 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is the internet equivalent of a postal change of address in the real world. It's some code that gets added to a file to inform browsers to redirect page hits to another page. When encountered by the browser, this directive takes users to the redirected page without any indication that the first page no longer exists or has been replaced by the second one.
Why Use A 301 Redirect in Website Design?
As simple as they might seem to implement, 301 redirects are a very effective technique that should be used by every good website design company in a numberof situations, including the following:
- Updating an existing webpage – Anytime a new web page is created to update an existing one, a permanent 301 redirect is the most effective way to guide all traffic to the newer, updated version. A user will never know there was a previous version and will only see the newest available information.
- Relaunched website within the same domain name – When launching a fully reworked website design but keeping the same domain name, 301 redirects are essential for transferring all traffic from the old links to the new ones. The redirect can go either to the same URL on the new site or to a new URL if site structure or other details have changed.
- Change in Domain Name – A 301 is also useful when combining one website with another one, such as when there is a change of domain name while everything else stays the same.
- Converting to HTTPS – 301 redirects are also essential when updating websites to HTTPS, as they will permanently guide any hits on the original HTTP page to the new HTTPS one.
The Critical Value of 301 Redirects
The most obvious value of a 301 redirect in web design is that it ensures that all traffic gets where it needs to go, even after URL changes and site updates. These directives are also critical for maintaining good SEO, as they prevent the loss of page rank. By using a 301 redirect, pages take any ranking value with them rather than being viewed as brand new pages. This eliminates the need to keep up with two versions of the same page (which would eventually be penalized as being duplicate content), while preserving all the positive SEO already generated. It also prevents the possibility of users accessing older pages, as they can be taken down once the new versions are launched.
Effective web design must take both function and optimization into account. To make sure page updates, URL changes, and other modifications can be made without negatively affecting valuable SEO, a skilled website design company must utilize 301 redirects in page code. These simple additions to website design code ensure that designers can make updates and changes without affecting page rank or reducing optimization in any way. Before launching site redesigns or updated pages or modifying a site’s URL in any way, be sure to add in the appropriate 301!