301 and 302 Redirects – The Inside Story

301 and 302 Redirects – The Inside Story
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301 and 302 Redirects

If you have a website or a blog, then it is usual that you have to face the following situation any time;

  • permanently shifting your website to another domain
  • changing ecommerce platform of your website
  • changing the url structure
  • temporarily closing the website for a short period of time
  • closing a website for maintenance for a specific time

In all these cases, you need to use either permanent or temporary redirects (301 and 302 Redirects) and today’s lecture will focus on the same topic. Although you can find a lot of articles about redirects but in this post, I will try to make this concept really clear so that any webmaster or SEO expert with less knowledge can understand the concept.

What is 301 Redirect and its use?

This type of redirect is permanent and used when you want to move your website from one point to another completely i.e. you are going to close a website permanently and want to move to a new one. In this type of redirect, you are telling the Google that move the properties of your old site to the new one to whom you are redirecting. In this case, properties like Page Rank, page authority, Alexa ranks and active links will completely shift to the new link.

Another point in 301 redirect is canonicalization i.e. a website can be accessed through www.domain.com or without www. While using 301, you have to make sure that you are correctly redirecting to www or non www address as per you choice.

Also, if you are using SSL certificate, then properly redirected to https or https version of your site.

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How to do 301 Redirect?

Each CMS has different method of redirection; I will discuss here only WordPress. Here you can 301 redirect using 3 methods;

  • using WordPress Plugin
  • From htaccess file
  • Using Yoast SEO

The most simple method is using a plug-in.(wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/). After installation of this plugin, go to tools>redirection where you just need to input your old url and destination url and then click on add redirection.

What is 302 Redirect and its use?

This type of redirect is temporary and used when you want to redirect your website to another address for a short period of time. For example, your site is closed for maintenance and you have redirected you website to another one.

In this case, the link properties will not be shifted to the new address i.e. it will be associated with the old address.

This type of redirect can be best used for ecommerce store that is used when some product is out of stock and the redirected takes the customers to another similar product.

How to do 302 Redirect?

For 302 redirection, you can also use this plugin (wordpress.org/plugins/302-moved-temporarily/) this also needs only initial and final address to temporary redirect.
Note: 301 or 302 redirect should be used with extreme care because it can harshly affect your SEO efforts in the form of losing Page rank, authority and links if used incorrectly.