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Creating URL redirects

You can create URL redirects to forward visitors away from pages that don't exist to active pages. This can be for a permanent change (301 redirect) or a temporary change (302 redirect).

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301 vs. 302 redirects

The basic difference between a 301 and 302 redirect is that a 301 redirect indicates a permanent change and a 302 redirect indicates a temporary one. 301 redirects are more common than 302 redirects.

301 redirects

301 redirects are permanent. They tell browsers to go to a different URL when someone clicks a link to a nonexistent page. They tell search engines that a page has moved, and search engines transfer the old page's Page Rank to the new page. To use a 301 redirect, the original URL can no longer exist.

Most likely, when creating a URL redirect, you'll use a 301.

302 redirects

302 redirects are temporary. They tell browsers to go to a different URL when someone clicks a link to the old page. They tell search engines that a page has temporarily moved. Search engines don't give the new page the same Page Rank as the old one. However, since this is temporary, it lets search engines know that the original page should keep its rankings, as it will be back online.

302 redirects are commonly used in eCommerce when a store or restaurant changes its products and offerings seasonally.

When should I use URL redirects?

Usually, you'll use a 301 redirect. Depending on your situation, a 302 redirect may be better. Here are the common scenarios where you'll need to create redirects.

Using 301 redirects

Since 301 redirects are for permanent changes (the page has moved permanently), 301 redirects are mostly used when a URL has changed. For example:

  • If you changed a page's URL (in its Page Settings)
  • If you deleted a page from your site and want to redirect to your homepage
  • If URLs are different after importing content. In this scenario, it's usually because your previous site didn't have a page slug for the blog page, just posts. Squarespace has a page slug for the Blog Page followed by the slug for the post.
  • If you're redirecting to another domain
Note: Ensure the old URL doesn't exist and that the new URL does. You can do this by deleting the old page, disabling it, or changing its URL. For more information on deleting pages, disabling page, and changing URLs, visit Adding pages to your navigationEnabling and disabling pages, and Changing URL slugs.

Using 302 redirects

Since 302 redirects are for temporary changes (the page has gone on vacation, and will be back soon), 302 redirects are uncommon and usually used by stores and restaurants whose offerings change seasonally. For example:

  • If you need to temporarily take down a page to update it for your new offerings
  • If you want to temporarily replace a page with another page as you cycle through different offerings through the year

The rest of this guide will walk you through setting up your redirects.

Before you begin

  • URL redirects only apply to the built-in and custom domains connected to your Squarespace site. If your domain is hosted by another provider, connect it to your site before using URL redirects.
  • Ensure you keep the same capitalization as your URLs. If your URLs are all lower cased, then your redirects should also be all lower cased.
  • Most URL redirects can't use "?" "&" or "#" symbols, as these interfere with the redirect process.
  • Ensure that your URL redirects don't use any reserved URL slugs.
  • The URL mappings field has a limit of 400 KB, which is usually around 2500 redirect lines. We recommend deleting inactive redirects to keep this area manageable.
  • When a visitor activates a redirect more than once within two minutes, it sends them to a 404 page. This is a security precaution that helps prevent redirect loops.
  • Your site activates redirects from top to bottom, so higher redirects will take priority over conflicting redirects below them. If you have specific redirects (for example, an individual blog post), place them above broader redirects that may conflict (for example, the main Blog Page).

Step 1 - Go to Advanced Settings

From your Home menu, click Settings. Then, click Advanced and URL Mappings.

Step 2 - Create shortcuts

Redirect one page

To create a URL mapping, you need four elements:

  1. The old URL for the page that doesn't exist
  2. The "arrow", which is a dash immediately followed by a greater than sign (->)
  3. The new URL for the page you want to redirect to
  4. The redirect type (301 or 302)

The URL mapping looks like this:

/old-url -> /new-url 301

Redirect multiple blog posts, events, or products

These pages usually include multiple items:

  • Blog Pages (there are usually multiple blog posts in the page)
  • Product Pages (there are usually multiple products in the page)
  • Events Pages (there are usually multiple events in the page)

Each item has its own URL that includes the page's slug followed by the item's slug (for example, /blog/example-post).

If you change a page's URL slug in Page Settings, every item in the page will have a new URL. You'll probably want to direct visitors to the right place even if they use an outdated URL to open an item. Instead of adding separate redirect lines for every post, you can save time by adding one line that redirects all item URLs.

To do so, use the [name] variable when creating the redirect.

For example, your old Blog Page's URL was /blog. You changed it to /posts. You want to ensure visitors can still view "Example Post" through http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/example-post. To do so, you’ll enter [name] in the redirect:

That redirect looks like this:

/blog/[name] -> /posts/[name] 301

Step 3 - Save

After adding your redirects, click Save.

RSS feed URLs

The best way to redirect an RSS feed for podcasts is in Page Settings.

If you're redirecting an RSS feed manually, follow the steps above, but remove the ? and everything after it from the original URL. If you leave the original URL as-is, it will result in a 404 error.

For example, if you're trying to redirect this:

/old-url?format=rss -> /new?format=rss 301

Change it to:

/old-url -> /new-url?format=rss 301

Once you've set this up, you can visit the URL with the format /old-url?format=rss directly, and the redirect will work correctly.

Examples and common scenarios

This section sets up some common situations that require URL redirects and walks you through how to set up the redirects for them.

301 Examples

Changing a page's URL

In my website, I have a page with the URL www.mybusiness.com/about. I want to change it to www.mybusiness.com/meet-the-team. I'm going to use a 301 redirect because this is a permanent change.

I need to follow these steps:

  1. In Page Settings, change /about to /meet-the-team
  2. In URL Mappings, create the redirect from /about to /meet-the-team

My redirect looks like this:

/about -> /meet-the-team 301

Redirecting from a deleted page to the homepage

I deleted a page from my site that had the URL www.mybusiness.com/history. To prevent visitors from seeing a 404 error page, I want to direct them to my homepage instead. Since my homepage doesn't have a specific page name, I'll use a blank slug to direct to my primary domain.

My redirect looks like this:

/history -> / 301
Note: To prevent a deleted page from showing in Google search results, we recommend indexing (or re-indexing) your site using Google Search Console.

Imported content

My website used to be with a different company, and I imported my blog into Squarespace. My old website's blog had this URL structure:

http://mybusiness.com/the-title-of-this-post

In Squarespace, my blog has this URL structure:

http://mybusiness.com/blog/the-title-of-this-post

To ensure my links still work, I need to create a redirect for every blog post. They look like this:

/the-title-of-this-post -> /blog/the-title-of-this-post 301
/the-title-of-another-post -> /blog/the-title-of-another-post 301

Redirecting to another domain

I have a page in my business's site to display information for our Kickstarter campaign. Its URL is www.mybusiness.com/kickstarter. Now I want to link directly to Kickstarter's website instead of that page.

I need to follow these steps:

  1. In URL Mappings, create a redirect from /kickstarter to my Kickstarter's URL.
  2. Delete or disable /kickstarter in my site.

My redirect looks like this:

/kickstarter -> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/my-business-project 301
Note: Ensure that the URL you're directing to begins with http:// (or https:// if you've enabled the Secure SSL setting)

302 examples

Reusing a page and using a temporary page during updates

I have an online store, www.mystore.com, which sells clothes. I have a Products Page which I use for our seasonal offerings. This page is www.mystore.com/seasonal-promotions

I'm going to use a temporary holding page when I update that page for the new season's offerings. Because my seasonal promotions page is only moving temporarily, I'm going to use a 302 redirect.

I need to follow these steps:

  1. Create my temporary holding page. give it a slug of /temporary-promotions .
  2. In URL Mappings, create a 302 redirect from /seasonal-promotions to /temporary promotions .
  3. Disable /seasonal-promotions .

My redirect looks like this:

/seasonal-promotions -> /temporary-promotions 302

When I'm done updating /seasonal-promotions for the new season's promotions, I follow those steps in reverse:

  1. Enable /seasonal-promotions .
  2. In URL Mappings, delete the 302 redirect.
  3. Disable /temporary-promotions .

Reusing a page and using another page during updates

This is a variation of the above example. Instead of using /temporary-promotions as a holding page, I'm going to use my main products page (www.mystore.com/all-clothes) as my holding page.

I need to follow these steps:

  1. In URL Mappings, create a 302 redirect from /seasonal-promotions to /all-clothes .
  2. Disable /seasonal-promotions .

My redirect looks like this:

/seasonal-promotions -> /all-clothes 302

When I'm done updating /seasonal promotions for the new season's promotions, I follow those steps in reverse:

  1. Enable /seasonal-promotions .
  2. In URL Mappings, delete the 302 redirect.

Cycling through pages

I have an online store, www.awesomestore.com, which sells clothes. I have four Products Pages that I rotate for each season's new styles. The pages are:

  • www.awesomestore.com/winter-sales
  • www.awesomestore.com/spring-sales
  • www.awesomestore.com/summer-sales
  • www.awesomestore.com/fall-sales

Since I create links to each page in its season and I don't want any links to break, I create 302 redirects to the live page.

Currently, summer is ending and my store is beginning its fall sales. I need to take these steps:

  1. Enable /fall-sales
  2. In URL Mappings, create three 302 redirects to redirect /summer-sales , /spring-sales , and /winter-sales to /fall-sales .
  3. Disable /summer-sales .

My redirects look like this:

/summer-sales -> /fall-sales 302
/spring-sales -> /fall-sales 302
/winter-sales -> /fall-sales 302

When fall is over and my winter sales start, I need to update my 302 redirects to redirect spring, summer, and fall to winter:

/summer-sales -> /winter-sales 302
/spring-sales -> /winter-sales 302
/fall-sales -> /winter-sales 302

Error messages

If there's an error in your URL mapping, you'll see a red error message and won't be able to save your changes. Here's how to troubleshoot any error messages:

Invalid mapping: Not enough parts

This means that you're missing the -> or the redirect type.

Invalid mapping: Too many parts

This means you have more than the four parts of a redirect. Check that you only have:

  • The old URL
  • The arrow: dash and greater than sign with no space between the symbols
  • The new URL
  • The redirect type (301 or 302)

Ensure that nothing is duplicated.

Invalid mapping: Expected to find 301 or 302

This means that there's an error in your redirect type. Only 301 and 302 are accepted here.

Check that there are no extra digits or letters in the redirect type.

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Creating URL redirects