The web address to a specific page of your website (called a URL) is unique. URLs become especially important when they are stored by visitors or have good search engine ranking. If you simply abandon or delete a URL, you'll create a dead end for both visitors and search engines that try to use that link. That's why URL redirects (also known as 301 redirects) can be so useful: they allow you to point an old URL to a new URL.
While there are different reasons to use a URL redirect, it's important that everything is done correctly and in moderation. Redirects with typos or other errors in them can damage your site.
Note: The URL Redirect feature is only available to JimdoBusiness customers.
What is a URL redirect?
With URL redirects, it's possible to reroute an existing or promotional URL to an existing target URL on your website.
The most common use for this feature is when a page on your website already has a good search engine ranking, but for some reason you need to change its URL. This might happen, for example, if you are restructuring your website, switching from a website host with an outdated URL structure, or want to change the name of your page. In order to keep your hard-earned search engine ranking, you can forward the old URL to the new URL of the existing page on your website.
A URL redirect (301 redirect) tells search engines that the URL has permanently moved, so that visitors will be directed to the new URL instead. Anyone who types in the old URL will also be automatically taken to the new URL.
Creating URL redirects
To start creating URL redirects, log into your Jimdo website and follow these steps:
- Open the Menu and navigate to SEO > Settings > URL Redirects.
- Add the source URL into the Redirect this URL... field. When you type in the URL you want to redirect, do not include your domain (yourwebsite.com)—only the URL that comes after that, including the initial forward slash (/). For example: enter /bicycles/spring-sale instead of yoursite.com/bicycles/spring-sale.
- Choose a Target page from the dropdown menu of pages on your website.
- Click Save.
Use the trash can icon to delete an entry, and the plus sign icon to add a new entry.
The source URL might be an old, existing URL, or it could also be a new, made-up URL that you want to use for promotional purposes (sometimes known as a "vanity URL"). The destination URL or target page has to be a real page already created on your Jimdo website. When you set up the redirect, traffic from the source URL will go to the target page instead.
The source URL, whether existing or made up for promotional purposes, has to be from a domain that is associated with your Jimdo site.
Note: Business and Platinum users can add up to 200 URL redirects.
URL redirects are powerful, so please be careful. If you enter an active navigation link into the source URL field, this can cause a redirect loop. Please only use source URLs that are inactive to prevent this.
When to use URL redirects
There are lots of times when a URL redirect is helpful. Here are a few examples:
Move your website to Jimdo
If you already have an existing website with a different provider and want to move your website to Jimdo, you'll need to set up URL redirects if the URLs for your old pages don't match the URLs for your new Jimdo pages. Doing so will ensure that you keep the search engine ranking for your old URLs, and also that there will be no dead links from your previous site.
If the URLs from your old site match the URLs from your new site, then you don't have to set up any redirects. Phew!
Redirects are especially critical if you restructure your site. Any page on your old site that no longer exists on your new site should be redirected to a page on your new site (perhaps your homepage) to avoid dead links.
You can even start creating redirects before you transfer or connect your domain to Jimdo.
Create custom promotional URLs (vanity URLs)
For example, if you have an online bike shop and are having a sale, rather than renaming your shop page or sharing a long URL (such as http://awesomebikes.com/products/beach-cruisers/sale), you can create a short custom URL for your sale page (http://awesomebikes.com/spring-sale) and redirect it to your existing sale page.
Sharing a short URL makes it easier for your customers to remember your website, and will make you look more professional. Short URLs also make it easier to add promotional links to print
Avoid the dreaded 404 Error page
If other sites are linking to your website, there will no doubt be instances where the link on the external site is incorrect. You can use URL redirects to point the incorrect URL to the correct URL on your site, thus avoiding the 404 error page.
Google Webmaster Tools can help you find 404 errors associated with your site. Avoid the negative SEO effects (and negative visitor experiences) of 404 errors by redirecting them to existing pages on your site.