How to setup a 301 Redirect

By Daniel Scocco

The “301 Permanent Redirect” is the most efficient and search engine friendly method for redirecting websites. You can use it in several situations, including:

  • to redirect an old website to a new address
  • to setup several domains pointing to one website
  • to enforce only one version of your website (www. or no-www)
  • to harmonize a URL structure change

There are several ways to setup a 301 Redirect, below I will cover the most used ones:

PHP Single Page Redirect

In order to redirect a static page to a new address simply enter the code below inside the index.php file.

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");

PHP Canonical Redirect

The Canonical 301 Redirect will add (or remove) the www. prefixes to all the pages inside your domain. The code below redirects the visitors of the version to

if (substr($_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'],0,3) != 'www') {
header('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');
header('Location: http://www.'.$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']

Apache .htaccess Singe Page Redirect

In order to use this method you will need to create a file named .htaccess (not supported by Windows-based hosting) and place it on the root directory of your website, then just add the code below to the file.

Redirect 301 /old/oldpage.htm /new/

Apache .htaccess Canonical Redirect

Follow the same steps as before but insert the code below instead (it will redirect all the visitors accessing to

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$$1 [r=301,nc]

ASP Single Page Redirect

This redirect method is used with the Active Server Pages platform.

Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"

ASP Canonical Redirect

The Canonical Redirect with ASP must be located in a script that is executed in every page on the server before the page content starts.

If InStr(Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME"),"www") = 0 Then
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location","http://www."
& Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_HOST")
& Request.ServerVariables("SCRIPT_NAME")
End if

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83 Responses to “How to setup a 301 Redirect”

  • Lionel Young

    Sometimes you need to create a dummy file if you want to do a permanent/temporary redirect. When I switched over to WordPress, I had to redirect index.html to index.php, but the .htaccess in your root folder will affect subfolders — this means your add-on and subdomains.

    All my add-on domains were redirecting to the root domain, and had to create a dummy index.html in the root folder for the HTTP_HOST condition to trigger.

    #Redirect only for elegantcab, and not add-on domains
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?elegantcab\.com
    RewriteRule ^index.html$ [R=301,L,N]

    So if you’re having problems, try creating a dummy file.

  • Daniel

    Lionel, that is a good way to solve the problem of redirecting single files without affecting the whole website, thanks for sharing.

  • Bes Z

    Sorry if this is a repost, for some reason I pressed the “Say it!” button and I got refreshed and sent back to this page and couldn’t see my comment [you can delete my earlier comment if it goes through].

    Nice work, Daniel. 🙂 I am going to use it as one of my cheat sheets now.

    For WordPress users who change their permanent links [permalinks] and wish to use 301 redirects to point users, search engines and others to the new urls, Dean Lee created a migration plugin which does just that:

    Of course, it only works on WP pages and not pages created outside of WP.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Enblogopedia

    I want to change my permalinks from

    I believe the code will be something like this:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/([0-9]{2})/(.+) http: //$1

    (of course with out the line break!)
    Am I right?!

  • Daniel

    Enblogopedia, I am not sure about changing the URL structure with .htaccess. I tried it sometime ago with PHP, but it was a mess.

    I will let you know if I find something online.

  • Enblogopedia

    Well I think it`s the easiest way,
    check this article. I don’t mess with my file templates..and I think the code is true but I want the “OKAY” from a prof. that`s all. :s

  • Affiliate Manager

    For the most part I’ve been trying to make sure all of my sites just have the redirect for www. to the non www. For one, it’s a lot easier and quicker to type in the non “www” and if I’m going to submit my sites to hundreds of directories, it can save a lot of time.

    So, I personally go with non “www.” 🙂

  • bohemianbiz

    wow, many many thanks. I used the .htaccess way, and it worked like a charm. now i understand why sometimes I see a google page rank of 4 and sometimes 0 on a site of mine. those nasty “wwww” makes huge difference.

  • praguebuzz

    i used your technique .htaccess. It worked FOR A WHILE. Occasionally, it doesn’t let me access When I remove the .htaccess, it started working again. I put back the .htaccess, I could access the blog section, but then acted out later. The cycle continued. For now I removed the file.
    Here is what I put in this file.

    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine on
    rewritecond %{http_host} ^ [nc]
    rewriterule ^(.*)$$1 [r=301,nc]

    thank you

  • Mexxep


  • 局域网监控

    靠,虚拟主机提供商不帮我做301重定向怎么办? 我的空间是html+asp。

  • FilterInternet

    What should I do if my virtual host provider do not configure IIS to do redirect for me? My host use html+asp.

  • Ranjana


    We have several domains pointing to the same web site.

    For instance –,,

    Our main domain name is –

    All the above mentioned domains and the main domain point to the same server… as in
    there is only one folder for these domains.

    How do I incorporate .htaccess in this case?

    I mean I do not have separate folders for any of these domains but I want that if any one

    types in “”, it should get resolved to “”.

    One of the domains is very old and is registered in search engines. I do not want to lose out on that. Am desperately looking for a solution to this problem.

    I hope I have been able to explain the situation properly.



  • Daniel

    Renjana, if is pointing to, people will already get forwarded there, there is no need to setup a 301 in that case.

  • Ranjana

    Hi Daniel,

    The problem is it does not get resolved to, it stays as

    As a result “” is still in the search results and “” is not getting the required exposure.

    How do I tackle that?



  • TechZilo

    I couldn’t understand the second method, ie non-www to www redirect. Where should I place the code? .htaccecss?

  • Daniel

    Which one, the PHP Canonical redirect?

    This one go on the header.php file on your theme.

  • TechZilo

    Yes, Canonical redirect. Where in header? at the beginning, middle or end?

  • Daniel

    Put it in the beginning, but it should not matter.

  • TechZilo

    I don’t have an htaccess file now, and need to upload one. My FTP client, fireftp, doesnt allow upload of .htaccess file

    I tried uploading a txt and renaming it to .htaccess
    it didnt work either.

    how can i set up htaccess redirect now?

  • Daniel

    Did you try the PHP one? If the PHP words there is no need to use an .htaccess redirect. Also there is a plugin that does this job, check this post:

  • TechZilo

    I tried the plugin,but it took down the blog.
    i tried the php one, but it didnt work. can you explain in detail?

  • Daniel

    TechZilo, maybe it is something related to your host then.

    The easiest option now is just to go to Google Webmaster tools, verify your blog and choose a “Preferred Domain”, that way Google at least will know what version it should use.

  • Tricia

    I’m using a 301 redirect on my main blog to include the www. The problem is that I have a few other blogs on this domain that I put in directories ie I want the directory blogs to have urls that do not contain the www because they have higher PR without the www in their urls, yet the main domain has a higher PR with the www in it’s url.

    So I’ve been using the nowww plugin on my directory blogs to keep the www out of the urls. I suspect this might actually be causing a bit of a problem on a few of the blogs because now they occasionally have the primary domain thewebfiles in their url as well if it’s accessed without a trailing slash. for example the Odd Planet blog sometimes converts it’s urls to

    I’d like to use an htaccess redirect to keep the www out my directory urls so I could avoid using the plugin. I’ve also read that the plugin might be using more cpu resource in my account and I’ve just had a terrible experience with web hosts and cpu resource over use so I want to trim down.

    Do you have any idea what htaccess redirect I might use to solve my problem?

  • Outlaw

    Very interesting info. However did anyone have any experience with trailing slashes at the end of subdirectory on your domain. For instance: and
    how are these treated? I saw some of people having problems with that and both pages indexed. any htaccess ideas on that?

  • Jerry Peters

    The ASP Canonical Redirect code above is for redirecting the non-www domain name to the www domain name. What is the code if you are going the opposite direction–redirecting from the www domain name to the non-www domain name?

    Also, I assume the code is placed at the top of every page before the and tags. Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance for your help on this.

  • Ashwini

    I have a question.
    I currently work on blogger domain and will soon shift to a custom domain.301 redirect will be enough to transfer the google juice but does the same goes for Technorati?

  • Chris

    Great article!
    But I do have a question about the www or no www
    Where exactly do I add this code? .htaccess file?

  • MaiURL

    thanx bro.. i search many at google.. but your tips is better..

  • cachiladomr


  • Gilbert

    There’s an error on the ASP single page redirect.

    The line that reads Response.AddHeader= should not have the =

    Response.AddHeader=’Location’,’’ won’t work

    Response.AddHeader ‘Location’,’’ will work

  • Tom – Graphic Design

    Thanks for the useful info! I used your advice to easily setup a 301 on our design site!

  • shekhar suman

    well recently we moved to a new domain frm googlepages free server, now the worst part is googlepages doesnt support any of the methods stated above, only option left is meta refresh and loose my pagerank, any other solution i could not find till now, can any one of you help me out???????????????

  • Ashfame

    Thanks Daniel for the article and the help via IM. Got it done through .htaccess file.

  • isaac

    do the redirecting through the net for me

  • SEO Genius

    Yey 😀 been wanting to know how to do this for a while now

  • Internet Marketing Leeds

    ..really useful and informative post.
    I have just successfully redirected a site by ammending a code that wasn’t working due to an error…thanks for sharing.

  • Get a free website

    thanks a lot for this tip. Will use it on all of my sites from now on.

  • graphic art

    I tried doing it. But after several minutes my server went down. Internal server error. I removed the .htaccess file and it goes up again.

  • Hendry Lee

    If you can avoid PHP or other backend level redirection if you have access to .htaccess. Not only will it be faster because you don’t have to start PHP every time someone enters or visit your blog or site with the “wrong” canonical name.

    Code-level redirection is necessary only if it is application specific, or not as permanent.

  • Gary Conner

    I am trying to setup a 301 redirect so everyone going from will go to

    Here’s the code to go the other direction:

    Does ANYONE know what is code is to do what I want to do and were the code needs to be placed???

    If you can help me, please email me at:

    Thanks for your assistance!

  • Gary Conner

    The code to go the other direction is above under “PHP Canonical Redirect”.

    Thanks again!

  • Dave Slade

    I have a problem
    my home page or domain is a pr3 but my index is a pr5, i thought these 2 pages were the same.

    How do i make all my links just go the domain or pr3 page. pr3 pr5

  • Dave Slade


    Hey guess what i found out : Did you know that you can manually choose the domain page by going to googles webmaster page and chose the settings tab.

  • Tarik

    When I use the .htaccess method, it redirects all my non-www traffic to the homepage. That’s a big mistake.

    I recommend using the PHP direct. Much cleaner. No .htaccess files to deal with, plus it’s a pitch and paste coding task. Redirect 100% better.

    Thanks for the tips, Daniel.

  • Bang Kritikus

    Thanks for your nice tips, Daniel.

  • Sameer Arora


    this is really a nice URL

    I wonder if anyone could advise me on how to setup a 301 redirect page using html ?

    I have some URLs with .htm extensions indexed by Google
    I can only see php and asp stuff here

  • Mohamed Beshr

    very good and i will apply some of them to my site

  • wie bali

    Thank you for the tip 🙂 You’ve inspired me to bring my .htaccess file up to speed.

  • Email Tracking

    I have done canonical redirection in ASP.

    Google is treating my main page as “/” and also as “default.asp”

    I mean when I log in to webmaster tools, google is saying that I have a duplicate content on two pages and pages are “/” and “default.asp”

    Can anyone tell me why is it doing so?

  • Alexs

    After surfing online for an hour, I finally found an answer to my problem, tried it out and URL redirection worked like a charm. Unlike other sites I found, your article is concise, less words and straight to the point.

    Some readers might find this helpful, if your launching a new website or blog, plan from the beginning if you’re going to use the root of your website or if you’re going to use a subfolder. I installed my blog (wordpress) to a subfolder, and eventually changed my mind and want to move my blog to the root directory. Fortunately there is this URL redirection thing.

    Now I can finally use my main domain without typing any additional subfolders.

    Nice article thank you!

  • Golland

    After hours on the phone with technical support it seems my hosting company won’t support the use of 301 re-directs.

    My site is on a Windows server and there doesn’t seem to be any way to make it work.

    Now looking for a new host that uses Linux servers and has better technical support!

  • pozycjonowanie

    Moved permanently is big part of SEO. It’s elementary know-how every SEO Specialist.

    Most important implementation in link building:

    * allow to collect linkjuice

  • Shannon – SKS Designs

    I am currently using the following permalink structure and am looking to change it through a HTACCESS 301 redirect but cannot find the code that works.

    Currently permalink: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
    Future permalink: /%postname%

    So, I want to remove the year and month from all posts and well as the .html ending.

    Can someone help me?

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi

      @Shannon – SKS Designs: I suggest you install Scott Yang’s Permalink Redirect plug-in. I use it on my blog and it works like a charm 😉

  • Chris Schwarz


    I am bringing in in a new website and plan on setting up 301 redirects in the .htaccess file.

    Do I need to keep the OLD .html pages on the server?

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi

    Thanks for a nice tutorial. The PHP Single Page Redirect just came in handy as I created a custom 404 page for my blog and main site. 😉

  • William Summers

    Great Tutorial. The PHP code worked great but I am having some serious issues with the ASP code for another site. When applied to the default.asp page I get the following error, Microsoft VBScript compilation error ‘800a0400’. So I removed the code so the site will work.

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

  • Chris Lang

    Forgot to mention that you have done a great service to all blog users and that you have great resource on your site.

    Thank you and best wishes to you.

  • Togrul

    Thanks for such an informative post.

    It helped me much.


Comments are closed.