301 Permanent Redirect

Creating a 301 permanent redirect is very simple and can be done in less than two minutes. Truth is, I spent months trying to figure these out on my own, before a friend finally stepped in and walked me through it.

There are many reasons why you might eventually need a 301 permanent redirect for your site. For me, it made it simpler to handle owning two versions of the same domain name.

Let’s back up for a moment here …

When the domain name you want is available in both the regular version and the hyphenated version, I personally recommend buying both. For example, I own both www.gncwebcreations.com and www.gnc-web-creations.com

I use the scrunched together version for OFFLINE marketing purposes only. This version is NOT referred to on the net and I have no links pointing to it from anywhere. Telling a potential client on the phone how to find your site is much easier using the scrunched version. In addition, many of us have an actual storefront for our business, besides the online portion of our business. For radio ads, using the scrunched together name is simpler. It is also much easier for people to remember later.

However, on the internet I find it more effective to use the hyphenated version for search engine optimization purposes. The challenge was in the fact that each type of name had their own benefits and I wasn’t willing to give up either. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too!

Redirecting One Domain to Another Domain

Creating two sites with identical content was not an option. Search engines call this duplicate content and it can get you penalized or banned from showing in search results. The solution was to direct traffic from www.gncwebcreations.com to www.gnc-web-creations.com using a 301 permanent redirect.

This type of redirect requires that the site you are forwarding be hosted on an apache server. (Ask your domain host.) You must also have access to your .htaccess file. This means that the site you are forwarding is actually hosted and not simply parked.

Once you have all of the above in place, it is really very simple. I am going to continue to use my site as the example for how this is done. Remember that I am redirecting traffic:

FROM: www.gncwebcreations.com
TO: www.gnc-web-creations.com

Create .htaccess File
  • Right click on your desktop.
  • Select new text document from the menu.
  • Open the text document you created.
  • Insert: redirect 301 / http://www.gnc-web-creations.com/
  • Select file > save as
  • Save document as .htaccess
  • Upload file to root (directory) of gncwebcreations.com
Special Notes

When you select save as in the menu, a box will appear. At the top of that box it will say save in. Select a location from the drop down menu where you can find this file later. At the bottom of the box it will say file name. This is where you type in .htaccess Directly below there it says save as type, select all files.

Once the file is uploaded, verify that it does not say .htaccess.txt
If so, change the file name, using FTP to .htaccess


J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and SEO Training Specialist
Copyright © 2007 J. Walker of GNC Web Creations All Rights Reserved