301 Redirect is an HTTP status code of a redirected page. It is a web server function which manages the complete or permanent redirection of a page. It tells the users and search engines that the original page is no longer available and all the information is shifted to a new page.
Thus, 301 redirect helps a website to redirect its users and search engines to its latest version from its old or original URL. So, it is a process of forwarding one URL to a different URL.
301 redirects can be used in the following circumstances:
- You have shifted your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- When your site can be accessed through different URLs, for example; user can reach to your homepage in multiple ways such as http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com or www.example.com. In this case, you can choose one of your URL as your main or preferred (canonical) destination, and use 301 redirect to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL.
- When two websites are merged and the links to outdated URLs are required to be redirected to the correct pages.
How to do a 301 redirect: You can do 301 redirect in many ways, however, the most common method is to edit your site's .htaccess file.