Domain redirection is a process that involves forwarding one domain to another. This is similar to a URL redirect. However, domain redirection involves redirecting all URLs from one domain to another. This can be useful in a variety of situations, such as when you have changed your website's domain name or want to redirect traffic from the old domain to the new one. This is especially useful for mergers and acquisitions. In this article, we will explore the different components of domain redirection and how you can implement it for your domain and/or site.
Domain redirects: everything you need to know!
How do domain redirects work?
There are two primary components of domain redirection: the source domain and the target domain. The source domain is the original domain that you want to redirect traffic from, while the target domain is the new domain that you want to redirect traffic to. In the interface of redirect.pizza, we also call the target domain a “destination” domain.
Generally, there are two different types of redirects used by most websites:
301 redirects: this is a permanent redirect that tells search engine crawlers that the source URL has permanently moved to a new location (destination URL). This type of redirect is the best in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) as it passes on link equity from backlinks generated for the old domain. This means that any backlinks pointing to the old page will now point to the new one. Search engines, such as Google, use link equity (backlinks) to rank the pages in their index.
302 redirects: this is a temporary redirect that tells search engines and browsers that the source URL has temporarily moved to a new location. Unlike a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect does not pass on link equity. This type of redirect is generally used for A/B testing, or when performing maintenance on the site.
URL frame (masked redirect): in some situations, it’s useful to use URL frame redirects (also called URL masking). This type of redirect is similar to a URL redirect. However, instead of redirecting the user to the destination URL, the destination URL is displayed in an iframe on the domain itself. So the user still sees the same domain name, but the web page is from another domain.
Learn more about the difference between 301 and 302 redirects and all the other different types of redirects and forwarding options you can use with redirect.pizza.
How to implement domain redirects?
Implementing domain redirects can be done manually on your own hosting solution, but requires some expertise. Aside from that, domain redirects can be implemented using plugins and other tools. Here are three ways they can do it:
- Editing the .htaccess file - this file contains configuration settings for websites running on Apache servers. Website owners and admins can access the .htaccess file via (S)FTP to set up redirects. This is done by adding the necessary code to redirect traffic from the source domain to the target domain. Here's an example of a 301 domain redirect via the .htaccess file:
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.destinationsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
In the example above, you have to replace the domain “destinationsite” with the appropriate new domain name.
- Using CMS Plugins - Many content management systems (CMS) have plugins that make it easy to set up redirects without having to touch any code. For example, WordPress has several plugins that allow you to create and manage redirects through a user-friendly interface.
- Using dedicated redirection tools, such as redirect.pizza. If you have many redirects you’d like to configure, or if you have many different domains, it might be useful to use dedicated redirection tools. The main advantages of using redirect.pizza is that it’s easy to set up, reliable, fast, and offers great support. You can even start implementing redirects for free!
Thinking of building your own redirect software? In our view, it’s probably more efficient, and effective, to pay for a dedicated redirect service. Want to know why? Read our article about why you should pay for redirect software. Don’t worry, you don't have to pay for redirect software, as redirect.pizza also offers a free plan!
How to redirect your domain with redirect.pizza
Step 1: Register your account - for Free
Create a free account using your Github, Apple, or Google account. Or simply drop us your e-mail address. You’ll get access to our redirect service straight away!
Step 2: Choose your Plan
We recommend you start with the free plan, as it’s plenty for most use cases. You can redirect from at least 5 sources and up to 100.000 hits per month! If you need more, simply upgrade your plan as per your requirements.
Step 3: Create your first domain redirect
Setting up a redirect couldn't be easier. Enter the details of the source domain (for instance, my-old-site.com) and the destination you want it to redirect to (like shiny-new-domain.com). Entering the domains without a path will redirect all paths to the destination domain.
That’s usually it! You can generally leave other settings to their default. For all you eager-to-learn starters and pros, we provide an extensive knowledge base from which you can learn more about advanced settings or time-saving options, like bulk redirection.