How to Set up a 301 Redirect Solving URL Redirection Is

How to Set up a 301 Redirect: Solving URL Redirection Issues

URL redirection can be a critical aspect of managing your website. Whether you’re rebranding, restructuring your site, or changing domain names, setting up proper redirects is essential to ensure a smooth user experience and maintain your SEO rankings. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up a 301 redirect, an important tool in your web management toolkit.

The Problem

Before diving into the solution, let’s understand the problem. Imagine you have a website with a page that has gained considerable traffic and authority over time. Now, for various reasons, you need to change the URL of that page. If you simply change the URL without setting up a redirect, anyone trying to access the old URL will encounter a “404 Page Not Found” error. This not only frustrates users but can also harm your SEO efforts, as search engines may devalue your content if it consistently returns 404 errors.

The Solution

The solution to this problem is to implement a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that tells both users and search engines that the requested page has permanently moved to a new location. This not only preserves the user experience by seamlessly sending them to the new page but also transfers the SEO authority from the old URL to the new one.

How to Enable the 301 Redirect

Enabling a 301 redirect depends on the type of web server you are using. We will cover the two most commonly used web servers: Apache and Microsoft IIS.

Installing the Non-WWW 301 Redirect on an Apache Server

  1. Access Your Server: Log in to your server using SSH or any other preferred method.
  2. Edit .htaccess File: Navigate to your website’s root directory and locate the .htaccess file. If it doesn’t exist, you can create one.
  3. Edit .htaccess: Open the .htaccess file with a text editor and add the following lines:
    How to Set up a 301 Redirect
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

    Replace with your actual domain.

  4. Save and Exit: Save the file and exit your text editor.
  5. Test: Test the redirect by typing in the old URL with ‘www’ in your browser. You should be automatically redirected to the non-www version.

Installing the Non-WWW 301 Redirect on a Microsoft IIS Server


  1. Access IIS Manager: Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager on your server.
  2. Select Your Website: In the Connections pane on the left, expand the node for your server, and then select your website.
  3. HTTP Redirect: In the right-hand pane, double-click on “HTTP Redirect.”
  4. Set Up Redirect: Check the box that says “Redirect requests to this destination” and enter your non-www domain in the “Redirect URL” field. Make sure to select “Redirect all requests to the exact destination.”
  5. Apply: Click “Apply” to save your settings.
  6. Test: Test the redirect by typing in the old URL with ‘www’ in your browser. You should be automatically redirected to the non-www version.

Setting up a 301 redirect is crucial for maintaining your website’s SEO and providing a seamless user experience. Whether you’re dealing with Apache or Microsoft IIS, following these steps will help ensure that your URL changes don’t result in lost traffic and diminished search engine rankings.


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