Happy Monday everyone!
One of the topics that my readers suggested I should cover in last year’s contest was domain redirecting, and though it is rather technical, it’s also a very simple topic and today I’ll give you precise, step by step instructions on how to set this up.
But first of all – what is redirecting?
Well a lot of people will purchase a domain name (e.g. andrewminalto.com) when they come up with a brand name/business name, BUT not all of these people will use that domain name straight away for an online shop.
And what that means is that the domain is “empty”, i.e. there is no website on it, so if people visit that domain they’ll just be presented with a stock holding page – which is a waste!
Instead, you can redirect visitors from that domain to somewhere else – ideally either your eBay shop’s home page or your Amazon seller home page (depending on which you sell on).
There are 4 main types of redirect, but for our purposes we only really need to look at two:
- 301 Redirect – this is a permanent re-direct, and should be used if you’ve changed your domain name and want all the traffic and search engine data to be passed on to the new domain.
For example, say I close down andrewminalto.com and create a new domain called andrewmblog.com, I would want the new domain to inherit all the SEO value from andrewminalto.com and I would want the search engines to index the new domain, not the old one.
So in this case I would use a 301 redirect to let Google (and the other search engines) know that it’s a permanent change.
- 302 Redirect – a 302 redirect on the other hand is temporary. Search engines will still index the original domain name, and will display that in search results.
In our case of having a domain name but not yet having an ecommerce store set up on it, we would obviously want to use a 302 redirect. As that way your domain can actually gain some trust and SEO value for when you do launch an online store, while still converting customers by redirecting them to your eBay/Amazon shop – a win-win situation!
How to properly set up a domain name redirect?
The procedure for setting up a redirect depends on whether or not you have a hosting account as well as a domain. If you have both then you should use your hosting provider to set up the redirect, but if you only have a domain then you will use your domain registrar.
I’ll first go through the steps if you don’t have a hosting account, using Go Daddy as an example, because it’s the most popular company for domains.
- Log in to your GoDaddy account.
- Next to domains, click Manage.
- On the domain you want to set up, click either Use My Domain (if the domain is newly registered) or Add Website.
- Click Connect to an Existing Site.
Choose from one of the following options to point your domain name to:
- A Domain You Own (other domains in your account)
- Websites (Tumblr, Squarespace, Weebly, etc.),
- Social Sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.)
- Online Stores (Shopify, Etsy, etc.)
- Media Sites (Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
- Somewhere Else (enter the URL of your choosing)
Once you choose a forwarding destination, simply follow the instructions, either by clicking on the Connect Domain button or entering the correct website URL.
But as mentioned above, if you do already have a hosting account (which you may want to get for the custom email and picture hosting) then the process will be different.
- Log into cPanel.
- Under Domains, click the Redirects icon.
From the Type drop-down menu, select which type of redirect is to be used.
- Permanent 301 is a redirect that will update the visitor’s bookmarks and direct search engines to the new site.
- Temporary 302 is a redirect that will redirect the visitor or search engine but will not update the bookmark, and search engines will continue to index to the original page.
From the “http://(www.)” drop-down menu, choose the domain name you would like to redirect.
If you would like to redirect a single page or directory, you can use the adjacent text field to enter the name of the folder or file.
In the “redirects to” field, enter the full URL of the page to which you will be redirecting.
Select one of the following www redirection options to dictate whether or not the domain will be redirecting:
- Only redirect with http://www. only redirects visitors that type www. as part of the URL.
- Redirect with or without http://www. redirects all visitors regardless of if they use www. or not.
- Do Not Redirect http://www. will not redirect visitors that use www. as part of the URL.
Clicking the Wild Card Redirect option allows users to set up a redirect to the same file on a new destination.
- With Wild Card Redirect, http://www.example.com/about.html will redirect to http://www.example-destination.com/about.html
- Without Wild Card Redirect, http://www.example.com/about.html will redirect to http://www.example-destination.com
Click Add to create the redirect as specified.
And that’s it! Don’t get put off by some of the technical jargon, this is incredibly easy to set up, but if you do happen to run into any problems, you can always quickly go onto live chat (nearly all hosting providers have it) and they’ll walk you through it step by step.
Alright, well that about covers everything for today’s post. For those of you who requested I write about this topic, I hope you’ve found this guide useful.
One last thing – just make sure you remember to remove these redirects when you’re ready to launch your online store!
All the best,