How to Implement Perfect Redirects in cPanel for SEO

by | Oct 27, 2015 | Web Host How-To

cPanel is the universally loved application that controls most hosting. It’s what users use to do things with their host. If you’re confused and a first time user, that’s normal, there’s a lot going on. Essentially this is what the backend of a lot of cPanels looks like. Notice the Redirects option, which is where we’re going to start out:

The Importance of 301 Wildcard Redirects

If you’re changing domains, 99% of the time you want every page on your old domain to perfectly 301 redirect to the page on the new domain. A 301 redirect is not that scary. All it means is that it is a permanent change.

The other option is a 302 redirect, which would rarely be used, but is used sometimes. A 302 is a temporary redirect. These are important for Google to know if you care about your website pages showing up in Google search (should be everyone).

It’s like if your ice cream shop moved to a new location downtown, where it’s hotter and there’s more people. If your location permanently moved downtown, you want people to know that  you’ve permanently moved. 301 redirect.

If your ice cream shop is just moving around the corner while your store is remodeling, you want people to know that you’ll be at the new location just temporarily, but you’ll be back. 302 redirect.

Wildcard redirects means that when you change your website name from websitelame.com to websitesuper.com that all of the old pages on your old site are going to perfectly line up with the new site. What happens if you don’t do this is that all of the old pages would just go to the home page of the new site. Maybe 10% of the time, people would want this if they just wanted to give up on the old site because they were terrible writers and the pages were lame, but most of the time you’d want the old pages to go to the new one.

For example, your beautiful About Us page might have lots of sites linking to it because your picture is on there and you’re so good looking. So you would want all of your fans to make sure when they follow a link to your new site that they end up on websiteawesome.com/about-us instead of just the home page.

How to 301 Redirect All Pages in cPanel

Take a look at this lovely screenshot:

Here are the important things to do:

  1. Make sure it’s a permanent 301 redirect if you’re changing domains for good
  2. Enter your new site, and be sure to put the http:// or https:// (if it’s with an SSL). It’s better to add in now if your site is at www.example.com or example.com, but not critical.
  3. Related to above, make sure you leave the “Redirect with or without www.” checked. 99% of the time you’ll want this.
  4. Important! Check the “Wildcard Redirect” option. This will make sure your old pages go to your new.
  5. Then click “Add” and go test out your new site. It may take several minutes for changes to take effect.

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