If you have an old URL that is being replaced and do not want to lose web traffic to the page, consider creating a 301 redirect. When a site visitor navigates to the old URL, the redirect will automatically send them to a new page of your choosing.
What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect directs users from an old URL to a new URL. In order for a 301 redirect to work, we need to have permission and control of the root domain. What this means is that you cannot create a redirect from a site that is not your own.
For example, a 301 redirect cannot be created from your previous AMS such as http://www.yourassociation.OLDAMSCOMPANY.com going to www.yourassociation.com.
However, creating a 301 redirect from your domain, such as changing https://www.yoursiteurl.com/meeting-2017 to https://www.yoursiteurl.com/meeting-2018 is an example that will work perfectly.
How to Create a 301 Redirect
- Head to the backend of your site and select the Static Content tab.
- Click on 301 Redirects.
- Enter in the old URL.
- Enter in the new URL.
- Save the redirect and you're done!
Note: You may need to do a hard refresh (Shift + Refresh) to see the redirect immediately.
Two common ways 301 redirects are used:
Old Links: Making sure that old links still work after you have re-arranged your site structure.
Example: https://www.yoursiteurl.com/meeting-2017 is changed to https://www.yoursiteurl.com/meeting
Long Links: Verbally send visitors to a page on your website. If you are presenting on stage and you want to send people to a page or event with a long filename, simply create a short redirect that will go to the longer page for simplicity purposes.
Example: https://www.yoursiteurl.com/super-long-file-name-for-the-2018-event becomes https://www.yoursiteurl.com/event. The "short" URL should be entered as the "old" URL when setting up the 301 redirect.
301 Redirect Tips & Tricks
If you create a 301 redirect and then test it by clicking on the old URL and it doesn't open the new URL (e.g. the page loads a "404 Page Not Found" error), try adding the following to the old URL:
- Add an 's' - change http: to https:
- Add a 'www' - change https://yoursite.com to https://www.yoursite.com
- Add a slash '/' at the end of the URL - change https://www.yoursite.com/event to https://www.yoursite.com/event/
- Your URLs should not contain capital letters
Links ending in ".html" are not supported.
A 301 redirect cannot be created from your previous AMS, because Novi needs to have permission and control of the root domain.
301 Redirects are "Permanent"
A 301 redirect is defined as a "permanent redirect" by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The result of this is that web browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) treat the redirect as "permanent" and keep it cached permanently until you clear your cache. This is a technical limitation caused by the definition of a 301 redirect, and is not something we can change on the Novi side.
Therefore, a 301 redirect is not designed to be used as a temporary redirect to a link that may change soon and/or frequently. In this case, we recommend:
- Create a page on your website that has a URL of the "old" link. This is the link that has been shared and/or posted multiple times (e.g. www.association.com/catalogue). That way anyone who has that link will land on an active page.
- Enter the link that will change repeatedly (the destination link) in the body text of the page. You could create a simple link or get fancy and create a button (e.g. Download Catalogue Here).
- Then each time you have a new destination link (e.g. you need to update the 2018 Catalogue PDF to the 2019 PDF) all you have to do is update the link/button in the body text of the webpage.
- This approach will prevent you from needing a 301 redirect, and will also avoid problems with a user's cache directing them to the wrong link.