September 29, 2019
4 min Read
September 29, 2019
4 min Read
Let’s say you want to switch to a new domain because it represents your business better. You need to know how to redirect your domain properly. In this article, we’ll learn what a URL redirect is, how to forward your URL, and when you should do it.
When you redirect a URL, you’re simply forwarding it to another address on the same, or different domain. You can set up a redirect that sends visitors to your new domain name when they’ll try to access a URL that belonged to your old domain.
The easiest way to redirect a URL is by using your hosting provider’s control panel. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the hPanel:
You should be able to follow these steps on almost any cPanel, as the process is very similar.
Take note that the redirect above uses the 302 redirect type, as stated on the hPanel. What does that mean? Let’s learn more about domain redirect types.
Depending on its duration and state, there are a few types of domain redirects:
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. It is used when you don’t intend to use the original URL anymore. The redirect is also unmasked, meaning your visitors will see the URL change in their browsers.
This redirect is good for SEO since you can keep the search ranking of the old domain. 301 redirects tell the search engine that the two domains are for the same website, but operations are moved to a new domain.
302 redirects are temporary. They are also unmasked so your visitors will notice the URL change.
You can use this redirect when your website is under heavy maintenance. In other situations, you can implement a 302 redirect when performing A/B testing.
Unlike the two other types, the URL frame is a masked redirect. That means your visitors will see the exact URL they typed in their browser while, in fact, they’re viewing another URL.
Not only that, as its name suggests, the URL frame doesn’t redirect to a specific webpage but displays a frame from it.
Hiding the original domain is often used by someone who uses a free hosting service. Free hosting requires you to use a subdomain unless you upgrade to a premium plan.
However, if you use a paid hosting service and care about SEO, you should avoid this method. The same content found on two separate URLs causes duplicate content. Search engines will pick one URL over the other that might not be your preference.
It’s worth mentioning that not all hosting providers allow this type of redirect. So, if you ever run into any issues when applying a URL frame redirect, contact your support for more information.
A meta refresh is quite different from the other three types since it happens on the client-side – the browser itself.
This redirect uses a unique meta tag placed in the head section of an HTML document:
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content=“6; url=http://www.hostinger-dev-6.xyz/“ />
Although a meta refresh can be effective for displaying ads while the countdown timer is running, it’s typically frowned upon. First, it risks your site’s credibility because visitors might assume that it has a security issue. Plus, it can negatively impact SEO, if the search engines consider the redirect as mere spam. This may result in your website or page getting deindexed.
There are plenty of situations where redirecting a domain or URL can be useful. The most common reasons are:
A URL redirect is a common practice which isn’t hard to do. Simply specify your old URL and forward it to a new one. However, you must do some research and decide which type of redirect is best for your situation. This way you’ll avoid negatively impacting SEO and credibility.
Let’s recap the four most common redirect types:
Redirecting URLs is great for avoiding issues caused by duplicate content, when using multiple domains, switching to a new domain and when trying to prevent 404 error pages.
April 24, 2017
Hello! Is the hostinger redirect is a 301 type? Thank you!
Replied on April 25, 2017
Hello, Yep, that's correct. Of couse, you can use 302 redirect if you wish.