How to Set Up a 301 Redirect for Your Website Domains

Last week, we wrote about the many reasons you should register multiple versions of your business website’s domain name.

The goal, of course, is not to have multiple versions of your website out there, each competing for attention, dividing and diluting your SEO efforts.

On the contrary, every alternate URL you have should redirect to your primary domain name via a 301 redirect.

This week, we’ll show you just how easy that is.

As a bonus, we’ll also show you how you can set up a global redirect to specify that visitors either go to www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com (and let you know why that matters).

Steps to create your 301 redirect:

  1. How to set up a 301 redirect from the Web Hosting Control CenterLog into your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Center at control.earthlink.net.
  2. In the upper-left corner of the page, select the domain you want to redirect in the Show & Manage list.
  3. Click the Manage Domain tab.
  4. Click the Domain Redirect button.
  5. Select the website directory to redirect from the drop-down menu (usually this will be the main directory, which may be called /public).
  6. Select the file to redirect (again this is the main file, usually index.html)
  7. Enter the URL for your primary domain/website (this is where you want to redirect your alternate domains).
  8. Make sure the 301 Moved Permanently radio button is selected.
  9. Click the Create Redirection button (you should get a confirmation that your redirect worked or an error message if you made a mistake), and then Save Settings.

After you have successfully set up your redirect, you will see it listed in the Manage Redirections drop-down menu. You can come back to this Control Center page to either change or delete the redirect in the future.

You will also notice a Global Redirection section at the bottom of the page. This is where you can specify that all visitors are redirected to either www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com.

Don’t bother doing this for the domain you just set up as a 301 redirect, but you should choose your main domain name from the Show & Manage drop-down menu and then go back to the Domain Redirect page and choose one of these global redirects for your main domain. This will help your SEO (search engine optimization).

If you don’t choose a global redirect, search engines essentially treat your one website as two sites (one at www.yourdomain.com and one at yourdomain.com) and therefore spilt your SEO credit between the www and non-www versions of your site.