What are 301 Redirects?


If you have an existing website which you are migrating over to Shift4Shop, you can use 301 redirects to preserve your established URLs to your new Shift4Shop website. 

A 301 redirect simply takes the entered URL for a requested resource and redirects the browser to its new location.

For example, let's say you have a product on your old store which was represented as http://www.yourdomain.com/product_A_.html. However, now that you're on Shift4Shop, that same product is listed as http://www.yourdomain.com/product_p_01.html or something similar. With a 301 redirect, visitors clicking or going directly to the old URL will automatically be directed to the new location.

This functionality can keep your rankings with the search engines by minimizing the amount of URLs on your site that come up as no longer valid. 

Please keep in mind the following regarding 301 redirects:

-301 redirects will NOT work if you are switching to a different domain name.
-301 redirects will NOT work if the old web page exists on your new site.  For example, if you have a contact-us.html page and you migrate the exact files of that page to Shift4Shop, (including the same filename) a 301 redirect will not work in that situation.
-Lastly, Shift4Shop's 301 redirects will only apply to traffic coming INTO your Shift4Shop store. They cannot be used to direct traffic elsewhere outside of your Shift4Shop service

301 Redirects

To create your redirects:

  1. Go to Marketing >SEO Tools
  2. In the "Redirects" section, click on the "Edit Page Redirects" button.
  3. Click on the "+Add New" button
  4. Type in the filename of your old website URL in the URL field.  For example, if your old web page URL is www.mydomain.com/contactus.html you would type "contactus.html" into the URL field (minus the quotes).
  5. Type the target filename of your new corresponding web page URL in the Mapped URL field.  For example, if your new web page URL is www.mydomain.com/crm.asp?action=contactus you would type "crm.asp?action=contactus" into the Mapped URL field (minus the quotes).
  6. Click Add.

While it's very unlikely that you will ever need to exceed it, be aware that there is a 250 character limit in the URL fields for 301 redirects.

You can also perform a CSV import of your 301 redirects by clicking on the Export/Import button located at the top of the page. More information on this function can be found by clicking here.

The 301 Redirect will not work until your site goes live with Shift4Shop, i.e. you point the DNS of your domain to Shift4Shop's servers.

Unmapped Pages

Beginning with version 8, your 301 redirects will also contain a section for unmapped pages. This is a small database of pages that were requested on your site, but don't exist. Since the pages are not available, they result in a 404 (page cannot be found) error message.

The purpose of this section is to let you see the pages that resulted in 404 errors, so you can make the decision whether you need tocreate a 301 redirect for it or not.

For example, let's say you have a product URL that normally reads http://www.yourdomain.com/widget-a.html and someone mistakenly goes to a misspelled URL like http://www.yourdomain.com/wiget-a.htm. Since the page doesn't exist on your site, it will generate a 404.

With the new "Unmapped Pages" section you'll be able to see the misspelled URL along with how many requests (hits) it has gotten. You can then determine whether or not it merits its own 301 redirect to the right URL.

To view/use the Unmapped Pages function:

  1. Go to Marketing >SEO Tools
  2. In the "Redirects" section, click on the "Edit Page Redirects" button.
  3. Look towards the top right of the page and click on the "Unmapped Pages" button

The page will show you the unmapped URL, the number of hits it has gotten and a section where you can add the new mapped URL. As with the regular 301 redirects mentioned above, simply type in the filename of the new URL (you don't need the www.domain/ part)

Be aware that the unmapped pages database only keeps about 15-days of data so that it doesn't become unmanageable.

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