A redirect is a tactic to change a URL to a different one when a user tries to visit it, and it can be used to prevent the access of broken or non-existing pages, to shorten links, or to send users to the same domain from multiple other domains.
What is a redirect?
A redirect, known as URL redirection or URL forwarding, is a technique to make a website or a page available under more than one URL address.
Example of redirect use-cases
A redirect is when a browser tries to open a page or domain URL that has been redirected, and it opens a page with a different URL or an entirely different domain. Examples of redirections could look as follows:
- visitor-analytics.net is automatically redirected to visitor-analytics.io
- visitor-analytics.io/blog/understanding-power-of-analytics could be redirected to visitor-analytics.io/blog/understanding-analytics
Why use a redirect?
There are various reasons to do URL redirections, but here are just a few of them:
- When a page has a long URL, and you use a URL shortener;
- If the content is moved from a page to another one, redirects are used to prevent access to broken links
- If a website owner has multiple domains and wants everyone to land on the same page, redirects allow multiple domain names to refer to a single web site;
- to guide navigation into and out of a website;
Besides practical purposes that solve a problem, redirects are often used for hostile reasons such as phishing attacks or malware distribution.