About URL redirects

URL redirects reroute one URL to another, typically forwarding visitors away from pages that don't exist to active pages. This can be for a permanent change (301 redirect) or a temporary change (302 redirect).

In Squarespace 5, you can also use URL rewrites to create a new URL that points to an existing page on your site.

To create any of these redirects, visit Creating a URL shortcut. This guide explains their differences in more detail.

301 redirects

301 redirects are permanent. They tell browsers to go to a different URL when someone clicks a link to a nonexistent page. They tell search engines that a page has moved, and search engines transfer the old page's Page Rank to the new page. To use a 301 redirect, the original URL can no longer exist.

Since 301 redirects are for permanent changes (the page has moved permanently), 301 redirects are mostly used when a URL has changed. For example:

  • If you changed a page's URL.
  • If you deleted a page from your site and want to redirect to your homepage.
  • If URLs are different after importing content. In this scenario, it's usually because your previous site didn't have a page slug for the blog page, just posts. Squarespace has a page slug for the Blog Page followed by the slug for the post.
  • If you're redirecting to another domain.

302 redirects

302 redirects are temporary. They tell browsers to go to a different URL when someone clicks a link to the old page. They tell search engines that a page has temporarily moved. Search engines don't give the new page the same Page Rank as the old one. However, since this is temporary, it lets search engines know that the original page should keep its rankings, as it will be back online.

Since 302 redirects are for temporary changes (the page has gone on vacation, and will be back soon), 302 redirects are uncommon and usually used by stores and restaurants whose offerings change seasonally. For example:

  • If you need to temporarily take down a page to update it for your new offerings
  • If you want to temporarily replace a page with another page as you cycle through different offerings through the year

URL rewrites

In Squarespace 5, you can create a URL rewrite to point a new URL to an existing page on your site. For example, you could replace a long URL with a short, memorable URL to make it easier for visitors to find and share your content. Visitors can still use the original URL to access the page.

About URL forwarding

URL forwarding with "masking" uses browser tricks to display another site's content while keeping your URL in the browser address bar. URL forwarding isn't possible for Squarespace domains on Squarespace 5. For domains registered with third-parties, we don't recommend using URL forwarding, because it can:

  • Break your site's URL structure.
  • Cause issues with search engine indexing.
  • Prevent you from remaining logged into your site. 

Instead of URL forwarding with masking, we recommend you connect a third-party domain or create a URL shortcut.

Tip: A CNAME record isn't the same as URL forwarding.
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