What is the Need of 301 Redirects?
When the site is growing in size, it is unavoidable to update the content and the page URL to offer latest information to users. Let us take an example. Assume you have written an article “Top 10 Weebly Apps 2018” during end of the year 2016. Now that you have updated the same article for 2020 with the title “Top 10 Weebly Apps 2020” and updated the permalink in Weebly. Now that the URL is changed and here are the impacts:
- External links pointing to your old URL will lead to 404 page not found error.
- Search engines will think that your old page is deleted remove it from search results.
- You will loose the search ranking position of your content and the new page will be shown in search results with very lower rank.
This will be a disaster and modifying couple of high traffic pages will drag down your entire site’s search engine rank.
Solution for Changed or Deleted Pages
The solution to avoid this disaster is simple!!! You should setup a permanent redirect from the old page to the new page. This will help users not to see the outdated URL and titles which is no more relevant. And also your new page will retain the search position similar to the old page.
The permanent redirection is called as 310 redirect and is very easy to setup in Weebly. 301 Redirect is a simple tool used for diverting users from your old URL to new URL. Weebly offers a simple solution to setup 301 redirects for the following two scenarios:
- You want to delete a page.
- Change in your existing Weebly page URL.
- Temporary redirection during an event or product launch.
- Upgrading from free domain to custom domain
Upgrading from Free Weebly Subdomain to Custom Domain
Most of the users send us emails asking what will happen when they want to migrate from Weebly subdomain to custom domain. In this case, Weebly will automatically setup 301 redirects at server side and forward all old pages to new site. This is very helpful so that you will not loose your traffic to the old site and your search engine ranking for the new site is retained as that of the old site.
Make sure, you are not changing any page URL. Otherwise, there will be no option to redirect the old page to new page.
Note, we do not see Weebly will setup redirect when change from one custom domain to another. It will also not work when you change the free subdomain name. You have to check this with Weebly if they can help to setup redirect at server side, especially if you have purchased both domains from them.
301 Redirects for Weebly Page URL Change
It is common for a webmaster to change the page URL based on the search engine performance and other factors. Whenever you change your Weebly page URL it is required to setup a 301 redirect to avoid loosing the page reputation and hence the search engine ranking. This is the ultimate purpose of redirect option in Weebly.
How to Setup a Weebly 301 Redirects?
For both domain transfer and page URL changes Weebly offers single site setting option to setup a 301 redirect.
Enter old and new URLs and save your changes. You have an option to select the new URL from the drop down list and you can add as many as redirects for a single site.
What You Can’t Do with Weebly 301 Redirects?
Weebly’s 301 setup will not be useful in the following domain transfer from another host to Weebly:
- Old and new sites are having different domain names.
- Old site’s page URLs are not matching with new Weebly site’s page URLs.
- Old site uses different page extensions like .php pages instead of .html pages.
- In addition, redirecting to external pages is not possible with Weebly. Therefore, it will not be useful if you want to migrate to other host from Weebly.
So basically it is a very simple one to one redirect that Weebly offers. On top of that 301 redirects are not supported in the following cases:
- You can’t setup 301 redirect from old blog post to new blog post.
- You also can’t setup redirect from old single product to new single product.
What you can do with Weebly is to setup redirects between standard pages, blog pages and products pages. Even you have a paid hosting, setting up 301 redirect at .htaccess level will not work as Weebly server is not controlled by these directives. So ensure to have appropriate URLs for blog posts and products which can’t be changed later.
Related: 22 Weebly SEO tips to optimize your site.
Redirect Trick for Product Launch or Special Event
Though redirection options are simple, there is one big advantage here. What is you want to send your users to a different page only during an event or a product launch.
- Create a new page and setup redirect from the site settings from old page to new page. When you are done, remove the redirect and delete your new page.
- If you want to redirect home page (index.html), create a new page and move to top under “Pages” tab. This will make your new page as the home page (index.html) for your site. Now, you can setup a redirect from old home page to new home page. After you are done, you can swap the redirect to go back to your old home page.