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Website redirects (also known as URL redirects or URL forwarding) are very useful way to send visitors to a different URL (website or web page) than the one they requested. They are often used for:

a) When you have several domain names you have purchased but only 1 website, you can redirect all your name variations to the one website

b) When you changed the name of your company and moved to a new domain name, you can redirect everyone to your new website

c) Redirecting from non-secure to secure versions of your site, although this is usually done automatically by software like WordPress and you do not need to do it manually

d) Moving parts of your website around because you have decided to use different software or decided that a new structure to your website works well

e) Combining multiple pages or articles into one

f) To provide easy to type URLs for marketing purposes

There are two types of redirects, a permanent or “301” redirect, which is the one most often used. There is also a temporary “302” redirect that can indicate a redirect to another page due to a technical problem of some kind.

You will often hear redirects talked about when anyone talks about SEO. The reason is that people often want to keep any link juice associated with an old website or and old page and pass it onto the new version of the site or page and they do that using a permanent redirect. Search engines by and large ignore temporary redirects as they should only last a few days at most. However, they take permanent redirects into account when calculating link authority and if you have an old domain that was popular and has lots of links to it, you should keep it and redirect it to your new domain.

If you are using WordPress you most likely do not want to use this cPanel feature. WordPress has a lot of built into tools for dealing with Redirects and it is better to keep it all under control of WordPress.

When adding redirects please test that they do what you expect and also check 2 or 3 other pages on your website just to make sure it is all working as planned. Also bear in mind that information can be cached in your browser and it is often a good idea to clear your browser cache before doing the final tests.

1. To setup a Redirect:

a. Type “redirect” in the find functions box

Click the “Redirect” icon.

2. The choices on this page are:

a) Permanent “301” or Temporary “302”. Almost always you want it to be a “301”.

b) All Public Domains, or select one of your domains.

c) Source path, / (root directory) or directory path.

d) Full Destination URL.

e) You have a choice of redirecting requests with our without the www in the domain name. Generally, it is best that you keep it consistent and tick “Redirect with our without www.”

f) Wild card redirects can be used to redirect multiple files in a source to a destination without needing to specify them individually.

The best way to explain how to use these is to give specific examples, listed in order of the most common uses of Redirects.

1. Redirect an OLD domain to a NEW one:

a) Should be “301”

b) will be the old domain

c) leave this blank

d) New domain including the “https://” prefix

e) Select “Redirect with our without www.”

f) Tick wildcard so that any files referenced on the old site will redirect to the new one

2. Setup a shortcode to a product page

a) should be “301”

b) will be set either your main domain or All domains

c) The shortcode, in this case we used the word widget to people can goto example.com/widget

d) The full URL where the widget product page is

e) Redirect both with and without www

f) No wildcard is needed

3. Combining two pages into one. I.e. if you have a prowidget and a premium widget, but you have now decided it is not worth selling two versions and you only sell a widget, you need to redirect your “/products/prowidget” and your “/products/premiumwidget” pages to “/widget”, so this will take two redirects, one for each page.

a) Will be “301”

b) Will be set either your main domain or All domains

c) The old product URL

d) Full URL of where the new product is

e) Redirect both with and without www.

f) No Wildcards needed

4. Now repeat the steps from point 3 above, changing “C” to “products/premiumwidget”