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HOW TO

URL Redirection
By: James Payne
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    2008-10-15

    Table of Contents:
  • URL Redirection
  • Why Would I Redirect a URL?
  • Typos and Similar Names
  • Pranks

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    URL Redirection - Typos and Similar Names


    (Page 3 of 4 )

    Some websites will buy up domains that are similar to theirs. For instance, Yahoo owns Yahooo, Yahoooo, and so forth. Likewise, Google owns googel, gooogle, and a wide variety of other names. If you type those into your browser, you will be redirected to the main site for each. If you own a website that is easy to misspell, you may wish to go this route as well.

    You may have noticed also that when you try to purchase your domain, you are given the option of purchasing other available domains with other extensions, such as .net, .tv, and so on. Purchasing these domains can be a wise investment and help you avoid confusing your visitors who type in example.net and get a totally different web site.

    Keeping a Log

    If you want to track which links your users are using to leave your site, you will need to use redirection. For instance, if I link to a friend's website, I have no way of knowing that they clicked on that link. If I want to figure out how many visitors I am sending his way, I can point that link to a page in my own website, then have it redirect to my friend's site afterward. Then when I view my report it will show me how many times users visited this "redirecting" page.

    Warning Pages

    Similar to the redirecting pages above, some websites will have a warning page that warns the user they are leaving a site prior to redirecting them to a new one. This method has its ups and down; the benefit is that you ensure users are aware that they are leaving your site and won't be confused when confronted with a whole new web page. The down side is that you are adding additional time that the user has to wait before going to the new site, which can be a turn off.

    Imagine you have a warning page that waits fifteen seconds to redirect the user to ensure they can read the warning, then the page you are redirecting to is part of a Flash-heavy site. Users typically get annoyed if they have to wait longer than thirty seconds for a page to load, and you can be sure that the warning page, while a separate page, is considered to be part of that expected time by the user.

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