Websites often change addresses and will need a way to tell visitors that a vital change has been made. While some websites would merely put a link to their new domain, the more professional approach is to utilize what is called a 301 redirect.
In essence, a 301 redirect will instantly direct a website visitor to another domain. For instance,
This is done to tell users and search engines that a website is still available, but it is now located at a new address.
301 redirects indicate that a website has permanently moved. There are other redirects that are used for a temporary change. With a 301, search engines are aware of the change as well. What does this mean? This means that all of the search engine optimization that is in place with the original domain is now transferred to your new domain.
Oftentimes, this may take a few days to work itself out in the search results, but it does suffice when a website would still like to retain its current search engine rankings.
Redirecting does not need to occur on an entire domain. In fact, it can be done on specific files and folders. First, let’s look at how we perform a redirect using the .htaccess file.
There are also other various ways to perform a redirect of this type depending on your webserver as well as the utilized programming languages.
A 301 redirect is an easy and more professional manner in which a website user or search engines can be notified of a direct change in your website’s structure or URL. When used correctly, prior search engine optimization links and rankings should be retained.