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Known by many names, URL redirection is a technique used to make a web page accessible to users via multiple domains. There are several reasons to do this, not all of which are on the up and up. In this tutorial, we will look at each one, and in our next article, learn the various methods used to achieve this effect.
You may have heard URL redirection referred to as URL forwarding, domain forwarding, and domain redirecting. Whatever name you decide to use, below you will find a list of reasons why you may wish to do it. A brief note, where possible I will point out the nefarious reasons and methods, with the understanding that I strongly advise against using them. I only include them here for completeness, and to ensure that they are not used unwittingly.
Why Would I Redirect a URL?
Before you actually dive into the methods of how you should redirect a URL, you'll probably have a reason for doing so. Of course, you might not even know that you need to redirect your URL, and that, really, is what this section is all about: uncovering why and if you should.
You Got a New Domain
There are any number of reasons you might want to get a new domain. I know back when I bought my first domain (back then they chiseled them on stone), I was irked to see that not only had someone purchased my name, but they had used it for a pretty grotesque purpose, which I won't mention here; since then the purpose of the site has changed, and now it just sits there in parked page land, taunting me.
If I ever get the opportunity to purchase it, you can guarantee that I will redirect my new site to it. As a writer in particular, name recognition is important for my marketing. Imagine if Stephen King had settled for the URL steveyking(dot)com.
Another reason you might get a new domain is if it is court-ordered. The coffee company Starbucks is well known for launching lawsuits against people that have companies with names anywhere in the realm of Starbucks. I recall at least one instance in which a woman whose last name was Starbuck was forced to change the name of her store. The same can potentially happen to your URL.
You might also merge with another company and wish to meld your two websites into one. Consider Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. How would the world exist if we had to say both their names instead of Brangelina?
If your old site was Chickenboo(dot)whatever, you can make it so that, when users type that address into their browser, they get sent to your new domain instead.
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