Redirects: don’t send your customers astray

The internet has many protocols that help a reader and a website developer in order to have a website that can load up in a short amount of time, but with the latest web standards, so that it can be displayed as intended on millions of different devices.

Sometimes, a site will need to be moved to another hosting company; whether it’s down to an expansion or that there’s other services that aren’t available to the previous host.

Once the site and the domain address has been moved, there are some scenarios where the URL will need to be changed, causing a need for a ‘redirect’.

A redirect is similar to moving house; your contents are secure but the location will be different, with a taxi showing you exactly where this new location is now based at.

There are usually three redirects used for a website:

  • 301 – A redirect that automatically moves the user from the old URL to the new one and to the new website.
  • 302 – A redirect where it temporarily redirects the URL due to the site being down for maintenance for example.
  • Meta Refresh – These aren’t recommended for SEO uses, but these are five-second countdowns on a web-page that lets the user know that they’re about to be redirected. Due to its slow process it’s rarely used.

What Types of Redirects Should I Use?

When looking at redirects for a business, it needs to be quick enough that the user barely notices it; that it’s a fleeting process when they click on the link.

This is why we recommend using the 301 redirect. Serving this type on a website shows search engine bots and web browsers that the page has moved permanently. This is incredibly important for a search engine, as it will need to decide whether to index the website again with the new URL.

Usually it will, and it will take time for these search engines to process the pages with the new link, and also the same rankings of the previous URL. However, site ranking on search engines such as Google are very important for a user to discover the site in question.

A Route 301 Redirection

The 301 redirect is another aspect of making the experience feel seamless to a new visitor to your website. There are plenty of hosts that do all the moving for you, while keeping your site in the same ranking on the search engines as before.

When it comes to a campaign, it’s important to make sure that the website involved for the business is maintained enough, that any redirects go to the right site, and that the site ranking stays in the same position as before. Users like consistency, and a 301 redirect can certainly help with achieving that.

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Creative Team | Distract

The Creative team at Distract have experience in a range of exciting and innovative branding refreshments, hard-hitting design projects and more to complement the rest of the agency’s skills.

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