Can I redirect a URL (web page address) to another page?
You can redirect (forward) a page on your website to another page, either on your own site or elsewhere on the Internet.
For example, if your domain name is “example.com” and someone types “www.example.com” in a web browser, you can redirect that to a completely different address, such as http://www.example.org/.
On this page:
- Using our control panel
- Adding multiple redirects
- 301 "permanent" vs. 302 "temporary" redirection
- Masked redirection
Using our control panel
You can use our control panel to redirect one URL to another:
- Login to the “My Account” control panel (having trouble?)
- Click Redirections
- Click Add New Redirect
You’ll be able to choose from several different options, including:
- Redirect non-SSL requests to SSL
- Redirect to or from “www”
- Redirect requests for certain pages
- Redirect one alias hostname to another
- Redirect all requests
Adding multiple redirects
If you need to create multiple separate redirects, simply add as many redirections as you need in our control panel.
301 "permanent" vs. 302 "temporary" redirection
You’ll have the choice of a “301 permanent” or “302 temporary” redirect.
A “302 temporary” redirect tells search engines that this redirect might not always happen in the future, and that they should keep checking the original page URL. This is the safest choice.
If you’re going to permanently stop using the old URL, and you want to make sure that search engines only “know about” the new site, you can use a “301 permanent” redirect instead. That tells the visitor to always use the new URL in the future, which may mean updating browser bookmarks or changing search engine listings
As a general rule of thumb:
- Use a “301 permanent” redirect if you're trying to stop people from visiting the original URL and you want search engines to completely "forget about" it.
- Use a “302 temporary” redirect if you might want visitors to use the original URL in the future, or if you want search engines to continue indexing the original URL.
With normal 301 or 302 redirection described above, the website address in the visitor's Web browser will change to display the new address.
Another option is “masked” redirection, in which case the address bar will still show "www.example.com". This was popular in the past, but relied on a quirky feature of old HTML versions (framesets) that has several major drawbacks:
- Most importantly, many web browsers no longer fully support this. It produces warnings and errors (including security warnings) in some web browsers. They do this because it’s considered bad practice to hide the true destination of pages for security reasons.
- Most search engines will not be able to match “www.example.com” with the content of the target website. If people search for content on your site, the search engine will send them directly to the other address.
- The browser will not correctly show the “title” of the destination page in the window or tab name.
- The address bar will still show “http://www.example.com/” even when your visitor clicks to go to a new page, making it impossible for a visitor to properly bookmark an individual page on your site. What's worse, in most cases the address bar won't even change if the visitor follows a link from your site to another site, which can make visitors think that other people's pages belong to your domain name.
- Many sites prevent their pages from being embedded in a frameset using the X-Frame-Options header because they don’t want it to appear under other domain names. For example, Google does this.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend against masked redirects, and most people choose normal 301 or 302 redirection, even though it means the address bar changes.
If you really want to set up masked redirection for a website, contact us and we can do it for you anyway, but it won’t work reliably.
How can I set up masked redirection myself?
Our web hosting customers occasionally ask if they can use the “masked redirection” technique themselves to redirect a single file or directory elsewhere, and they want to know how this is done. As we mentioned above, this won’t work reliably on the modern internet, but if you want to try it anyway, the trick is to create a “frameset” HTML page like this:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd"> <html> <head> <title>Page Title</title> </head> <frameset rows="100%,*" border="0"> <frame name="__main" src="http://www.example.com/target/" noresize frameborder="0"> <noframes> <h2>Your Web browser does not support frames</h2> <p> Please click the link to visit <a href="http://www.example.com/target/">www.example.com/target/</a> directly. </p> </noframes> </frameset> </html>
(Of course, you'd replace "www.example.com/target/" with the URL address of the destination of the redirect.)
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