What is it?
The web redirect record can redirect a request for one URL to another URL. It is also known as URL redirect or HTTP forward and is often written as WR record.
You can use it to make a particular web page available on multiple URL addresses.
There are two types of web redirects:
- 301 redirect. This redirect is permanent. You will be showing that the URL that was before is already gone for good, and this is the new location of the page that the search engines should learn. Eventually, the search engines will forget the previous URL and remember the new one.
- 302 redirect. This redirect is temporary. It will tell the search engines that they should not forget the URL and just give it some time to get back. During the time the URL is not working, the traffic can be redirected to the main page or to another. If it is a product page, you can direct to a similar one, so you don’t lose sales.
What’s inside a Web redirect record?
- Host: name of the host.
- Type: WR.
- Point to: The new URL address.
- TTL: by default, usually 1 hour.
When and why should you use web redirect records?
There are at least a few times when it is good to use web redirects. Here are some ideas:
- Redirect many to one domain name. When you want to redirect one domain name to another. Imagine you have a hard-to-spell brand and domain name. You can buy all the possible misspells of the domain name and redirect them to the right one. That way, even if your visitors can’t remember the proper spelling of your brand, they will still go to the right site.
- To show URL changes to search engines. Imagine a URL does not exist anymore, or you change the location of a page. How would Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another searching engine understand that? By seeing the 301 or 302 redirects. They can index the new location and forget the old one.
- Forward client to another domain. What if one of your businesses can’t be reached? Move the visitors to another one that you own and don’t miss them.
- URL shortening. This technique is used to create super short links. You can use either a separate domain name or use shorter URLs with your current one, but the goal stays the same – make it easier for your visitors. Shorter means easier to remember, and you can use them for your marketing campaign too.
How to use it?
- You will need to go to your DNS management panel. This could be at your domain registrar or if you have a separate managed DNS service there.
- You will need to go to the DNS zone, where you want to put the web redirect.
- Choose the type of DNS record – web redirect or URL redirect, depending on your provider.
- Add the host if you want to specify a particular host for your domain name.
- Put to where you want to redirect it. It could be another URL from the same site or to another site.
- Choose if it will be 301 permanent redirect or 302 temporary redirect.
- Confirm the creation of the record, and you are ready!
Web redirect record vs. CNAME record
The CNAME is used to show that one domain is an alias for another. But it is used exclusively for subdomains to point to other subdomains or the domain name. CNAME does not allow any other DNS record to exist together with it. CNAME or nothing.
You now know what WR record is, how to redirect with it and why.
Manage your DNS well and get the best possible results for your business!