Avoid Landing Page Redirects

How do Redirects Work?

Redirecting landing pages helps to ensure that users are directed to a new, or updated, page. It also tells search engines that a specific page has been moved to a new location. Other cases for setting redirects could be due to having a specific page, like your homepage, that has multiple URLs, merging sites and updating to newer, more applicable, pages, or moving your entire site to an updated domain name. In any case, redirects can cause performance issues like slower load times and delays, which all contribute to the overall user experience.

Methods to Avoid Landing Page Redirects

Sometimes page redirects are necessary and unavoidable, but there are several considerations you should consider before making the move. First, PageSpeed recommends reviewing all your redirects and eliminating them where possible. So, consider if your page is going to be moving temporarily or permanently. This also affects how search engines view your page. The best option is to redirect your page via server-side redirects versus using JavaScript, as browsers can handle server-side redirects more efficiently. Parsing and rendering JavaScript can cause the page to use more resources, adds delay, and is just not an efficient means to creating a better user experience.

Examples of Page Redirects

Redirects like HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) status code 301 Moved Permanently and 308 Permanent Redirect are a couple examples that can be used for permanently redirecting URL. For temporary redirects, use HTTP status code 302 Found, 303 See Other, or 307 Temporary Redirect. Temporary redirects can be used to send visitors to a temporary page in cases where you need to inform and explain to visitors or users that your offering is unavailable, while keeping the original URL intact.

If server-side redirects are not possible, then a recommended option is to use meta refresh redirects. There are a couple of distinct types, instant and delayed. These tags are implemented in HTML itself. Search engines, like Google, interpret instant meta tags as permanent redirects and delayed meta tags as temporary redirects. Obviously, for a better user experience, it is recommended to not use a delayed meta tag and opt for the instant meta tag. Again, using server-side HTTP redirects is preferred over these HTML tags.

Additional PageSpeed Recommendations

PageSpeed also recommends never to require more than one redirect to land on a specific page. For example, if you have three pages, but two of them redirect to the same destination landing page, you should not create a redirect chain that goes through two of the pages before ending up at the destination landing page. Those two pages should redirect directly to the destination landing page, not to, or through, each other.

There was also a time where organizations would acquire domain names that incorporated misspellings of their URL to ensure that anyone that may accidentally misspell the URL would get directed to the correct site. Today, that is not really an issue. Redirecting from multiple, different domains adds cost, plus adds unnecessary HTTP requests over time.



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