Tag Archives: http

URL redirection

URL HTTP Redirection

URL http redirection is an automatic URL change operation from one URL to another URL.

URL redirection

URL page redirection is an automatic URL change operation from one URL to another URL.

This redirection is done for the following reasons:

  1. Redirect from old obsolete URL to a new updated URL.
  2. Redirect from old obsolete domain to a new domain.
  3. Redirect from non www domain name to a www domain name.
  4. Redirect from short URL name to a long URL name – URL shortening service.
  5. URL shortening service will allow the user to insert a short URL and be redirected the the long URL that has the real page contents.

The user may reach the old URL from an old external links or a bookmark by the site’s webmaster who adds a script.

Server side redirect

Server side redirection is done in the server, by configuring the Apache / IIS server software or by using PHP / ASP / ASP.NET script.
This is the preferred way to redirect URLs, since you can return HTTP 301 Moved Permanently status code.
Search engines use the 301 status to transfer the page rank from the old URL to the new URL.

Client side redirect

Client side redirection is done in the web browser of the user, by using HTML meta refresh tag or by Javascript code.
Client redirect is less preferred, since it does not return HTTP 301 status code.

Where to put redirect code

Domain
name
Hosting
server
Redirect code
placement
not changed not changed old page on same server
not changed changed old page on new server
changed not changed old page on same server
changed changed old page on old server

* Only with .htaccess redirect: add redirect code to httpd.conf
file or to .htaccess file.

HTTP status codes

Status code Status code name Description
200 OK successful HTTP request
300 Multiple Choices
301 Moved Permanently permanent URL redirection
302 Found temporary URL redirection
303 See Other
304 Not Modified
305 Use Proxy
307 Temporary Redirect
404 Not Found URL not found

HTTP 301 redirect

HTTP 301 Moved Permanently status code means a permanent URL redirection.

The 301 redirect is the preferred way to redirect URLs, since it informs search engines that the URL has moved for good, and search engines should put the new URL page in the search results instead of the old URL page and transfer the new URL page, the page rank of the old URL page.
The 301 redirect can be done across domains or on the same domain.
Google recommends to use 301 redirect.

Redirect options

Redirect script Redirect side Old page file type Redirect URL or domain Old URL server type 301 redirect support
PHP Server-side .php URL Apache / Linux yes
ASP Server-side .asp URL IIS / Windows yes
ASP.NET Server-side .aspx URL IIS / Windows yes
.htaccess Server-side all URL / Domain Apache / Linux yes
IIS Server-side all URL / Domain IIS / Windows yes
HTML canonical link tag Client-side .html URL all no
HTML meta refresh Client-side .html URL all no
HTML frame Client-side .html URL all no
Javascript Client-side .html URL all no
jQuery Client-side .html URL all no

redirect script – the scripting language that is used for the redirection.

redirect side – where the redirection takes place – server-side or client-side.

old page file type – the type of the old URL page that can can contain the scripting language of the redirect code.

redirect URL or domain – does support URL redirection of a single web page or domain redirection of a whole website.

typical old URL server type – the typical software and operating system of the server.

301 redirect support – indicates whether permanent 301 redirect status response can be returned.

PHP redirect

Replace old-page.php code with redirection code to new-page.php.

old_page.php:

<?php 
// PHP permanent URL redirection 
header("Location: http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.php", true, 301);
exit();
?>

The old page must have .php file extension.

The new page can be with any extension.

Apache .htaccess redirect

.htaccess file is a local configuration file of the Apache server.

If you have permission the change the httpd.conf file, it is better to add the Redirect directive in the httpd.conf instead of the .htaccess file.

Single URL redirect

Permanent redirect from old-page.html to new-page.html.

.htaccess:

Redirect 301 /old-page.html http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html

Entire domain redirect

Permanent redirect from all domain pages to newdomain.com.

 .htaccess file should be at the old website’s root directory.

.htaccess:

Redirect 301 / http://www.newdomain.com/

ASP redirect

old-page.asp:

<%@ Language="VBScript" %>
<%
' ASP permanent URL redirection
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html"
Response.End
%>

ASP.NET redirect

old-page.aspx:

<script language="C#" runat="server">
// ASP.net permanent URL redirection
private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently";
    Response.AddHeader("Location","http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html");
    Response.End();
}
</script>

HTML meta refresh redirect

HTML meta refresh tag redirection does not return 301 permanent redirect status code, but considered by Google as a 301 redirect.
Replace old page with redirection code with the URL of the page you want to redirect to.

old-page.html:

<!-- HTML meta refresh URL redirection -->
<html>
  <head>
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html">
  </head>
  <body>
    <p>The page has moved to: 
    <a href="http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html"> this page</a>
    </p>
  </body>
</html>

Javascript redirect

Javascript redirect does not return 301 permanent redirect status code.

Replace old page with redirection code with the URL of the page you want to redirect to.

old-page.html:

<html>
  <body>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    // Javascript URL redirection
    window.location.replace("http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html");
    </script>
  </body>
</html>

jQuery redirect

jQuery redirect is actually another type of Javascript redirect. jQuery redirect does not return 301 permanent redirect status code.

Replace old page with redirection code with the URL of the page you want to redirect to.

old-page.html:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <body>
    <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    // jQuery URL redirection
    $(document).ready( function() {
      url = "http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html";
      $( location ).attr("href", url);
    });
    </script>
  </body>
</html>

HTML canonical link tag redirect

The canonical link does not redirect to the preffred URL, but it can be an alternative to URL redirection for websites that most of the traffic arrives from search engines.
HTML canonical link tag can be used when there are several pages with similar content and you want to tell the search engines which page you preffer to use in the search results.
Canonical link tag can link to the same domain and also cross-domain.
Add the canonical link tag to the old page to link to the new page.
Add the canonical link tag to the pages that you preffer not to get search engines traffic to link to the preffered page.

The canonical link tag should be added in the <head> section.

old-page.html:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html">

HTML frame redirect

In frame redirection the new-page.html file is viewed by an html frame.

This is not a real URL redirection.

Frame redirection is not search engines friendly and is not recommended.

old-page.html:

<!-- HTML frame redirection -->
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title of new page</title>
  </head>
  <frameset cols="100%">
    <frame src="http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html">
    <noframes>
      <a href="http://www.mydomain.com/new-page.html">Link to new page</a>
    </noframes>
  </frameset>
</html>
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How does remember me differ from session timeout

So what would a remember me bring to the party?

What’s important to distinguish here is the difference between a “session cookie” and a “remember me cookie”.

Since HTTP is a stateless protocol, a session cookie is used to tie several requests to a single user. Without it, every single request to your webserver is completely unrelated to every other request. Can you imagine writing applications without sessions? Every request is completely empty, no logins, no session variables..every request is an unknown user! This basically means no web applications!

Now, important thing here is to realise that you absolutely don’t want your session to last 24 hours! In my book, this is a very big no-no. The shorter your session is, the safer it is (at least theoretically). Why? Because a session can be hijacked! The longer your session is around, the more chance it has of being hijacked.

For example, imagine a banking application. Also, imagine your user is accessing it on a public PC (our user is not the brightest). So he’s managing his account or whatever..and his phone rings. Being an idiot, he takes the call and leaves, without logging out. Do you want your session to expire in 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 24 hours? Don’t know about you, but for something as critical as online banking, I want that session gone ASAP.

Moving on to the “remember me” part.

So session cookie “connects” multiple requests in a single session, what does the “remember me” cookie do? In simple terms: it ties multiple sessions to a single user.

You want your site to be easy and pleasant to use, and logging in is almost never pleasant. It’s just an annoying thing you have to do every time before doing that thing you really want to do. A remember me cookie removes that annoyance.

You log in once, check the box, and now you’re always logged in on that PC. This is why you should never use “remember me” feature while on a shared PC, because the next person will have your identity. Legitimately. This is why remember me cookies are also a security risk, they can be hijacked much like the session cookie.

Finally, there is one crucial difference between a session cookie and a remember me cookie: expiration. Session cookies normally expire when you close your browser (or after a time you’ve specified explicitly), whereas remember me cookies typically last for much longer.

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