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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.

<?php
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: http://www.newdomain.com/page.html");
exit();
?>

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 http://domain.com version to http://www.domain.com.

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

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/http://www.domain.com/newpage.htm

Apache .htaccess Canonical Redirect

Follow the same steps as before but insert the code below instead (it will redirect all the visitors accessing http://domain.com to http://www.domain.com)

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

ASP Single Page Redirect

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

<%
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader='Location','http://www.new-url.com/'
%>

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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About the author 

Daniel

Daniel Scocco is a programmer and entrepreneur located in São Paulo, Brazil. His first company, Online Profits, builds and manages websites in different niches. His second company, Kubic, specializes in developing mobile apps for the iOS and Android platforms.

  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. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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