Set 301 redirects to maintain SEO ranking

301 redirects are useful if you need to permanently route traffic from an old URL to a new URL.

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301 redirects are useful if you need to permanently route traffic from an old path to a new URL. There are several use cases:

  • Reorganized URL structure
  • Replaced or redesigned site using different URLs
  • Moved to a completely new domain
  • Secured alternative domains in case of typos
 

There are other types of redirects, such as 302 redirect which can indicate a temporary relocation, but 301 redirects are best used if you need to permanently route incoming traffic to a new URL.

Why it’s important to set 301 redirects

When an old URL is replaced with a new URL, your old URL may still show up in the search results, it may be referenced in a blog post or a forum post, or it may be bookmarked, printed on business cards, or other materials. Anyone who visits the old URL will be led to a 404 page. When there is a 301 redirect set up, users clicking the old URL will be redirected to the specified new URL.

Google will eventually index your new site structure and old URLs will get updated. However, 301 redirects are a best practice, especially if you want to maintain ranking power from the old URL.

Redirect a page

Permanently redirect old pages or entire folders of pages to new locations in your Webflow site using the 301 Redirects settings in your project’s Hosting settings [Project settings → Hosting → 301 redirects]. Add the old URL in the “Old Path” field (eg. /old-url), then add the new URL in the “Redirect to Page” field (/entirely/new-url/structure). Add the redirect path and publish your site. Test the redirect by entering the old URL in a new browser tab.

Redirect a folder

To redirect an entire folder, add a capture group (.*) in the old URL structure in the “Old Path” Field (eg. /oldfolder/(.*)), then add the target path %1 for new URL structure in the “Redirect to Page” field (/entirely/new-url/structure/%1).

You can add multiple capture groups to create more complex redirect rules. For example: /blogs/(.*)/(.*) can be redirected to /articles/%1/%2

Let's say you want to redirect all pages with the following URL structure /blog.php?category=music&post=beyonce to /blog/music/beyonce

You might have categories like "music", "travel", and "food" and posts like "beyonce", "hawaii", and"pizza". So, these are your variables. In the URL above, "music" and "beyonce" are the variables. To make these variable changes, you'll need to call out these variables with capture groups, which look like "(.*)". For example, you'd need to write this redirect as follows:

  • Old path: /blog.php%?category%=(.*)%&post%=(.*)
  • Redirect to page: /blog/%1/%2

In the example above, "%1" refers to the first capture group, and "%2" refers to the second. With this wildcard redirect in place:

  • /blog.php?category=music&post=beyonce will redirect to /blog/music/beyonce
  • /blog.php?category=travel&post=hawaii will redirect to /blog/travel/hawaii
  • /blog.php?category=food&post=pizza will redirect to /blog/food/pizza

Escape characters

The following characters need to be escaped: % - & * ( ) = _ + ? by using the "%" symbol before the character. For example, /old-folder/(.*) will need to be /old%-folder/(.*) in order to work. 

Let's say you want to redirect mysite.com/blog.php?category=music to mysite.com/blog/music. You'll need to write your redirect as follows:

  • Old path: /blog.php%?category%=music
  • Redirect to page: blog/music

In this case, the "%" signs before the "?" and "=" are required to make the redirect work properly. This also applies for the following special characters: % & * ( ) = _ + ?

Redirect an entire domain

To redirect a domain to another one, connect both old and new domains to your project and make the new one the default domain. Learn more about connecting domains.

Browser support

Can I Use ? Data on support for the feature across the major browsers from caniuse.com.