.htaccess Redirect Rules & How to Implement Them

If you’re learning about .htaccess and how to use it, here’s your primer on setting up a redirect rule.

The “htaccess rewrite rule generator” is a tool that allows you to generate .htaccess redirect rules. It also includes a list of all the possible rules that can be generated.

Websites are always evolving. You may change domains, rearrange, and add or delete content. You must understand how to manage redirects if you want your site to run successfully in the face of all of these changes. 

Creating redirect rules in an.htaccess file is one approach to achieve this at the server configuration level.

What Is an.htaccess File and How Do I Use It?

Even if you don’t have access to the main server configuration files,.htaccess files on Apache servers allow you to make configuration modifications. 

.htaccess files work on a directory-by-directory basis. If you need to construct a rule that just applies to that directory and its subdirectories, this is a good option. This may also save you from having to make changes to your server’s major configuration files. 

Because.htaccess has the same syntax as the root configuration, you may use whatever directives you’d put in the server configuration files here.

However, according to Apache’s official documentation, you should only use.htaccess files when absolutely essential, since they might slow down your server’s performance. Consider utilizing alternative redirect mechanisms, such as your server’s primary configuration file, JavaScript, PHP, or HTML, if it makes sense for your site.

There are additional plugins available, such as Redirection on WordPress, that enable you to redirect pages without requiring any technical expertise.

On Your Server, Enabling.htaccess

You’ll need to enable.htaccess on your server if it isn’t already enabled. To perform this, you’ll need sudo or root capabilities. Enlist the support of someone who does if you don’t have root rights.

To begin, open the http configuration file for your website. Then add the following after the VirtualHost() block: 

/VirtualHost> /var/www/test.com/public html> /VirtualHost> /VirtualHost> /VirtualHost> /VirtualHost> /VirtualHost> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride /Directory> All Require all granted

After that, save the file and restart Apache. 

.htaccess files are created automatically by certain CMS systems, such as WordPress or Drupal. If you don’t already have one, you can make one using a text editor. Save it with the extension “.htaccess” and place it in your site’s public html folder in the root directory. 

Always keep a backup before making any changes to a configuration file (whether it’s your root configuration or.htaccess). HTTP 500 Internal Server failures may occur as a consequence of human mistake. If you make a mistake, you may instantly undo your modifications if you have a recent backup file.

In.htaccess, use the “Redirect” directive

Once you understand the syntax, using the redirect directive in.htaccess is quite straightforward. 

We’ll break it down with the help of a simple directive that redirects a single page on the same domain to another: 


The name of the directive is underlined in green. We’re going to use Redirect in this scenario. Because everything in.htaccess is case sensitive, make sure the R is capitalized. 

The HTTP status code you intend to use is marked in blue. The number 301 is used in this example to denote a permanent redirect. You may update this to the most suitable status code. If you don’t provide one, the system will presume the redirect is temporary and return a 302 response code.

The third place, shown in yellow, is the one you’re diverting people away from. Your current domain is represented by the forward slash at the beginning of the address. The information that follows will tell you where the page you wish to redirect may be found. We’ve put our page in a subdirectory in this example. 

You would only need to use a forward slash to refer to your full domain rather than a single subdirectory if you were redirecting your entire domain.

Finally, the position of the target page, or the destination to which you are directing your visitors, is shown in purple. Because both the source and destination pages are on your current domain, the destination path starts with a forward slash in this example. You must provide the complete url if you’re redirecting to a page on a different domain. 

Depending on what you need to redirect, you may modify this directive in a variety of ways. The diagram below shows seven typical redirects as well as how to create them.

Rule of Redirect

How to Compose It

Within the same domain, redirect between pages: 

/subfolder/old page.html /subfolder/new page.html 301 redirect

To redirect one page to another on a different domain, use the following code:

301 /subfolder/old page.html redirect https://www.exampleurl.com/subfolder/new page.html

Within the same domain, redirect across subfolders:

301 /old subfolder /new subfolder redirect

One subdirectory should be redirected to an external location:

https://www.exampleurl.com/redirect 301 /subfolder

A domain may be redirected to a subdomain within the same domain:

302 /subfolder redirect

Domain-to-domain redirection:

301 /https://www.exampleurl.com/ redirect

Redirect to a personalized 404 page:

404 /error/pagenotfound.htm ErrorDocument

Note that custom 404 page redirects have a different directive name than the other redirect rules in this chart, but they are constructed in the same manner. Make sure you’ve previously generated your error page if you’re going to use this.

Using the Rewrite Module, redirect to HTTPS.

Instead than using the Redirect directive, some more complex redirects employ the Rewrite module (also known as mod rewrite). Under some settings, the Rewrite module allows you to alter and rewrite URL requests. 

For example, if you want all URLs used to visit your website to automatically convert to HTTPS, you’ll need to utilize this approach.

To begin, declare the following sentence to activate RewriteEngine: 

RewriteEngine On

Even if you’re establishing many rules, you only need to do this once per document.

You may use this code to rewrite all URL requests to utilize HTTPS once RewriteEngine has been enabled:

RewriteRule (.*) RewriteCond percent https off $ https://www.ExampleURL.com/$1 [R=301,L]

The first line determines if HTTPS is already present in the current URL. The word “off” in this line indicates that the new rule will be applied if the address does not include HTTPS.

The rule is created on the second line. When the requirement is met (i.e. HTTPS is not included in the URL), the URL is rebuilt appropriately.

Finally, [R=301,L] indicates that this is a permanent HTTP 301 redirect. The L indicates that this is the final rule in the set, and that the server should deliver a result when it has been performed.

Site Audit may help you keep track of your redirects.

Maintaining a website is difficult job that demands meticulous attention to detail, and it’s simple to make errors. By reviewing your site on a regular basis, you can ensure that it remains healthy. 

Site Audit can help you automate this process by scanning for faults, making suggestions, and even assisting you in prioritizing the most critical changes. It may inspect your redirects for problems such as: 

  • Links that are canonical
  • Links that are broken
  • Redirections that are just temporary
  • Redirections that are permanent

You may design a site that performs effectively for your existing users and in organic search by using appropriate redirects and thoroughly reviewing your work.

Examine Your Redirects

utilizing the Audit Tool for Sites

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Watch This Video-

The “htaccess redirect to subfolder” is a method of implementing .htaccess rules. The htaccess file is located in the root directory, and the syntax for how to implement them can be found on their website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I redirect with htaccess?

A: If you have a web site and want to redirect your visitors from one URL to another, youll need to use the .htaccess file.

What is redirection rule?

A: Redirection is an HTTP status code that indicates a temporary failure of the connection to your web server. Its typically seen when youve typed/typed in something wrong and hit enter or tab instead of clicking on the submit button, making it impossible for your server to get back with what you asked for.

What is R 301 L in htaccess?

A: R 301 L in htaccess is the default setting for redirects on Apache servers. It sends a temporary error message to clients that are unable to access your website, and tells them they need to update their security certificates.

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