How to setup a 301 Redirect

by Daniel in — 50 Comments — Updated — Reading Time: 2 minutes

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The “301 Permanent Redirect” is the most efficient and search engine friendly method for redirecting websites. You can use it in several situations, including:

  • to redirect an old website to a new address
  • to setup several domains pointing to one website
  • to enforce only one version of your website (www. or no-www)
  • to harmonize a URL structure change

There are several ways to setup a 301 Redirect, below I will cover the most used ones:

PHP Single Page Redirect

In order to redirect a static page to a new address simply enter the code below inside the index.php file.

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");

PHP Canonical Redirect

The Canonical 301 Redirect will add (or remove) the www. prefixes to all the pages inside your domain. The code below redirects the visitors of the version to

if (substr($_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'],0,3) != 'www') {
header('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');
header('Location: http://www.'.$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']

Apache .htaccess Singe Page Redirect

In order to use this method you will need to create a file named .htaccess (not supported by Windows-based hosting) and place it on the root directory of your website, then just add the code below to the file.

Redirect 301 /old/oldpage.htm /new/

Apache .htaccess Canonical Redirect

Follow the same steps as before but insert the code below instead (it will redirect all the visitors accessing to

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$$1 [r=301,nc]

ASP Single Page Redirect

This redirect method is used with the Active Server Pages platform.

Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"

ASP Canonical Redirect

The Canonical Redirect with ASP must be located in a script that is executed in every page on the server before the page content starts.

If InStr(Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME"),"www") = 0 Then
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location","http://www."
& Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_HOST")
& Request.ServerVariables("SCRIPT_NAME")
End if

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50 thoughts on “How to setup a 301 Redirect”

  1. Forgot to mention that you have done a great service to all blog users and that you have great resource on your site.

    Thank you and best wishes to you.

  2. Great Tutorial. The PHP code worked great but I am having some serious issues with the ASP code for another site. When applied to the default.asp page I get the following error, Microsoft VBScript compilation error ‘800a0400’. So I removed the code so the site will work.

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

  3. Thanks for a nice tutorial. The PHP Single Page Redirect just came in handy as I created a custom 404 page for my blog and main site. 😉

  4. Hi,

    I am bringing in in a new website and plan on setting up 301 redirects in the .htaccess file.

    Do I need to keep the OLD .html pages on the server?

  5. I am currently using the following permalink structure and am looking to change it through a HTACCESS 301 redirect but cannot find the code that works.

    Currently permalink: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
    Future permalink: /%postname%

    So, I want to remove the year and month from all posts and well as the .html ending.

    Can someone help me?

    • @Shannon – SKS Designs: I suggest you install Scott Yang’s Permalink Redirect plug-in. I use it on my blog and it works like a charm 😉

  6. Moved permanently is big part of SEO. It’s elementary know-how every SEO Specialist.

    Most important implementation in link building:

    * allow to collect linkjuice

  7. After hours on the phone with technical support it seems my hosting company won’t support the use of 301 re-directs.

    My site is on a Windows server and there doesn’t seem to be any way to make it work.

    Now looking for a new host that uses Linux servers and has better technical support!

  8. After surfing online for an hour, I finally found an answer to my problem, tried it out and URL redirection worked like a charm. Unlike other sites I found, your article is concise, less words and straight to the point.

    Some readers might find this helpful, if your launching a new website or blog, plan from the beginning if you’re going to use the root of your website or if you’re going to use a subfolder. I installed my blog (wordpress) to a subfolder, and eventually changed my mind and want to move my blog to the root directory. Fortunately there is this URL redirection thing.

    Now I can finally use my main domain without typing any additional subfolders.

    Nice article thank you!

  9. I have done canonical redirection in ASP.

    Google is treating my main page as “/” and also as “default.asp”

    I mean when I log in to webmaster tools, google is saying that I have a duplicate content on two pages and pages are “/” and “default.asp”

    Can anyone tell me why is it doing so?

  10. hi,

    this is really a nice URL

    I wonder if anyone could advise me on how to setup a 301 redirect page using html ?

    I have some URLs with .htm extensions indexed by Google
    I can only see php and asp stuff here

  11. When I use the .htaccess method, it redirects all my non-www traffic to the homepage. That’s a big mistake.

    I recommend using the PHP direct. Much cleaner. No .htaccess files to deal with, plus it’s a pitch and paste coding task. Redirect 100% better.

    Thanks for the tips, Daniel.

  12. Hi

    Hey guess what i found out : Did you know that you can manually choose the domain page by going to googles webmaster page and chose the settings tab.

  13. If you can avoid PHP or other backend level redirection if you have access to .htaccess. Not only will it be faster because you don’t have to start PHP every time someone enters or visit your blog or site with the “wrong” canonical name.

    Code-level redirection is necessary only if it is application specific, or not as permanent.

  14. I tried doing it. But after several minutes my server went down. Internal server error. I removed the .htaccess file and it goes up again.

  15. ..really useful and informative post.
    I have just successfully redirected a site by ammending a code that wasn’t working due to an error…thanks for sharing.

  16. well recently we moved to a new domain frm googlepages free server, now the worst part is googlepages doesnt support any of the methods stated above, only option left is meta refresh and loose my pagerank, any other solution i could not find till now, can any one of you help me out???????????????

  17. There’s an error on the ASP single page redirect.

    The line that reads Response.AddHeader= should not have the =

    Response.AddHeader=’Location’,’’ won’t work

    Response.AddHeader ‘Location’,’

  18. I have a question.
    I currently work on blogger domain and will soon shift to a custom domain.301 redirect will be enough to transfer the google juice but does the same goes for Technorati?

  19. The ASP Canonical Redirect code above is for redirecting the non-www domain name to the www domain name. What is the code if you are going the opposite direction–redirecting from the www domain name to the non-www domain name?

    Also, I assume the code is placed at the top of every page before the and tags. Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance for your help on this.

  20. Very interesting info. However did anyone have any experience with trailing slashes at the end of subdirectory on your domain. For instance: and
    how are these treated? I saw some of people having problems with that and both pages indexed. any htaccess ideas on that?

  21. I’m using a 301 redirect on my main blog to include the www. The problem is that I have a few other blogs on this domain that I put in directories ie I want the directory blogs to have urls that do not contain the www because they have higher PR without the www in their urls, yet the main domain has a higher PR with the www in it’s url.

    So I’ve been using the nowww plugin on my directory blogs to keep the www out of the urls. I suspect this might actually be causing a bit of a problem on a few of the blogs because now they occasionally have the primary domain thewebfiles in their url as well if it’s accessed without a trailing slash. for example the Odd Planet blog sometimes converts it’s urls to

    I’d like to use an htaccess redirect to keep the www out my directory urls so I could avoid using the plugin. I’ve also read that the plugin might be using more cpu resource in my account and I’ve just had a terrible experience with web hosts and cpu resource over use so I want to trim down.

    Do you have any idea what htaccess redirect I might use to solve my problem?

  22. TechZilo, maybe it is something related to your host then.

    The easiest option now is just to go to Google Webmaster tools, verify your blog and choose a “Preferred Domain”, that way Google at least will know what version it should use.

  23. Did you try the PHP one? If the PHP words there is no need to use an .htaccess redirect. Also there is a plugin that does this job, check this post:

  24. I don’t have an htaccess file now, and need to upload one. My FTP client, fireftp, doesnt allow upload of .htaccess file

    I tried uploading a txt and renaming it to .htaccess
    it didnt work either.

    how can i set up htaccess redirect now?

  25. What should I do if my virtual host provider do not configure IIS to do redirect for me? My host use html+asp.

  26. wow, many many thanks. I used the .htaccess way, and it worked like a charm. now i understand why sometimes I see a google page rank of 4 and sometimes 0 on a site of mine. those nasty “wwww” makes huge difference.

  27. For the most part I’ve been trying to make sure all of my sites just have the redirect for www. to the non www. For one, it’s a lot easier and quicker to type in the non “www” and if I’m going to submit my sites to hundreds of directories, it can save a lot of time.

    So, I personally go with non “www.” 🙂

  28. Well I think it`s the easiest way,
    check this article. I don’t mess with my file templates..and I think the code is true but I want the “OKAY” from a prof. that`s all. :s

  29. Enblogopedia, I am not sure about changing the URL structure with .htaccess. I tried it sometime ago with PHP, but it was a mess.

    I will let you know if I find something online.


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