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Constructing Redirect Pages


Web "hyperlinks" are easily broken when the structure of a web site, or its host domain name, is changed. Visitors quickly lose interest when they meet broken links.

This is a particular problem when a web site evolves from using the "free" space (and URL) provided by an ISP, to having its own domain name.

Assuming that the original (obsolete) URL can still be used, redirect pages are a useful means of overcoming potential problems. The general approach is to place a web page at the obsolete URL which redirects web browsers (and web search engines) to the new URL.


Disclaimer

This information is supplied "as is". Neither Curlew Communications Limited nor the author take responsibility for any loss or damage caused by use of the information.


Redirect Techniques

There are three popular redirect techniques:

These techniques can be used separately, but all three can be combined on a single redirect page. (Belt, braces, piece of string ......)


HTML Redirect

Place in the "head" section on the web page.

This works only with modern web browsers. Older browsers will safely ignore it. This example automatically redirects modern web browsers after a delay of 2 seconds.

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="2; url=http://www.curlewcommunications.co.uk/index.html">


Java Script Redirect

Place in the "body" section on the web page.

This works only if "java script" is enabled in the user's web browser, but is safely ignored by older browsers.

The layout of the Java Script is critical. Keep these 5 lines exactly as shown (change only the URL).

<script type="text/javascript">
<!-- Begin
window.location="http://www.curlewcommunications.co.uk/index.html";
// End -->
</script>


Manual Redirect

Place in the "body" section on the web page.

For completeness, it is a good idea to provide a manual hyperlink to the new URL, with a message such as:

<p>We have moved. Please update your bookmarks. New site:</p>
<p><a href="http://www.curlewcommunications.co.uk/index.html"> http://www.curlewcommunications.co.uk/index.html</a></p>


Final Trick

Well behaved search engines will obey the "Robots" Meta Tag. They can be instructed to follow the redirect without indexing or caching the redirect page. For example:

<title>Curlew Communications Consultancy has moved to http://www.curlewcommunications.co.uk</title>

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">


See Also:



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Registered in England; Reg. Number: 3365967; Reg. Office:
Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.