Understanding 301 Redirects, and why you should use them

Maine Hosting Solutions

By Team MHS

January 5, 2021

301 RedirectsWhenever you are rebuilding a website, converting to another platform or just renaming a page you should be familiar with 301 Redirects.

Here are some examples of when you should use a 301 Redirect:

Example 1: If you have a page named /prods.html and you want to change the name to something that makes more sense like /products.html you should then use a 301 Redirect to so anyone going to the old page will be forwarded to the new page.

Example 2: You’re converting your website from an old html website to WordPress. All your old pages have .html at the end of them like products.html, and all your new pages in WordPress are just /products/ – Again, using 301 Redirects are very important so visitors visiting the old page are forwarded to the new page.

Example 3: You have a page that is no longer needed on your website, or has been combined with another page’s content. Use a 301 Redirect to forward the traffic to the old page to the new page, or to your homepage.

Reasons to use a 301 Redirect:

  • Forward visitors to old content to the new content
  • Prevent visitors from getting the dreaded 404 Page Not Found Error
  • Helping Search Engine Spiders and Bots find your new content.
  • Search Engines like Google hate finding 404 Errors

How to use a 301 Redirect:

  • If you are using WordPress the easiest way to use a 301 Redirect is to install the Simple 301 Redirect Plugin.  It easily allows you to enter the url of the old page, and the url of the new page and vwalla, that’s it, your done!
  • Another way is to edit your .htaccess file with a simple line of code:
    • Redirect 301 /products.html /products/

Google Webmasters Forum recommends that you use 301 Redirects anytime you move, delete a page on your website. You should also remember to update your sitemap so the old page is removed and your new page added.

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