Instead of paying developers to do 301 redirects for you take the easy and inexpensive way out and do it yourself. There is no need to get all crazy with coding when cPanel makes 301 redirects easy enough for someone with even the most basic of programming skills.
This method also works for 301 redirects for Joomla and 301 redirects for WordPress as they are both likely hosted in a cPanel account.
Note: This How To is for 301 redirects for websites that are hosted on servers running Apache
The Easy 301 Redirect in cPanel
There are two fairly simple ways to do a 301 redirect in cPanel. Below we will demonstrate the easiest way. In this How To, I will be 301 redirecting an old domain of mine (writingseocontent.com- which I have since let lapse) to my new domain (http://www.thedigitalelevator.com/). You can do a 301 redirect from a domain to a completely new domain or do a 301 redirect within the domain. For example http://www.thedigitalelevator.com/home to thedigitalelevator.com. In this situation, I am redirecting writingseocontent.com to thedigitalelevator.com because I merged the two companies and want to brand and market them as one. Additionally, I want the SEO value of that old website writingseocontent.com to transfer to my new website.
For the more visual learner, watch this video instead.
Log into your cPanel account if you have not already. I use Hostgator for hosting. In case you didn’t know, their customer service kicks ass.
Scroll down to the “Domains” section and select “Redirects.”
On the Redirects page, you will see the below box in which to place your redirects. For a 301 redirect, choose “Permanent (301)” in the dropdown box Type. (This is likely already preselected). Note that the next dropdown box says “**All Public Domains**.”
Step Three A
Next, in the dropdown box that says “**All Public Domains**” choose the URL of the old website that you are going to be redirecting. In my case, I want to 301 redirect writingseocontent.com. Because I am redirecting the entire domain rather than a page on the domain, I leave the box to the right of my selected domain blank. If I wanted to redirect an individual page, I would grab the text beyond the forward slash (/) and place it there. In other words, I’m redirecting the entire domain, not just a single page (URL).
Step Three B
Now you insert the website/webpage that you want the old website/webpage to redirect to. I want my old website (writingseocontent.com) to redirect to (thedigitalelevator.com) so I put this new domain in the box next to the words “redirects to.”
I then selected the radio button “Redirected with or without www.” as this is my preferred choice. After clicking “Add” you are essentially done.
Validate that you have properly redirected your site in two ways:
- The bottom of the page will have the redirected info shown there to show your current redirects (see below).
- Secondly, type in the old domain and see if it works! (note: mine won’t because I no longer own the writingseocontent.com domain)
The Other, more challenging way
The traditional way of doing 301 redirects is manually editing the code in the htaccess file. You have to first update a file, in the file manager, from (.htaccess.txt) to just (.htaccess). Then you have to edit the actual code manually. Like I said, the above way is easier but some prefer this method. Find more about this method in this blog post that discusses the coding method.
Error Handling and Password Protection Made Simple
If you are not familiar with .htaccess or want to expand your knowledge of how this configuration file can make things easier for system administrators, this guide will do its best to tell you everything you need to know.
Why 301 redirect?
First off, 301 redirects are good for a number of reasons. What it is: A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which tells the search engines “Hey, this page olddomain.com should now be recognized as newdomain.com.” Google recommends 301 redirects and offers the following information on them on their 301 redirects Webmaster tools page:
301 redirects are particularly useful in the following circumstances:
- You’ve moved your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
- People access your site through several different URLs. If, for example, your home page can be reached in multiple ways – for instance, http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com, or http://www.example.com – it’s a good idea to pick one of those URLs as your preferred (canonical) destination, and use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL. You can also use Webmaster Tools to set your preferred domain.
- You’re merging two websites and want to make sure that links to outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages.
Still hungry for more knowledge on 301 Redirects? Learn more in this comprehensive post:
Hope this helps you avoid paying a programmer for his time. Let us know in the notes if you have any other questions or if you want to learn more about our SEO services.