What Are Redirects?
URL Redirects (or URL Forwarding) is a technique used to automatically redirect your visitors from one URL to another. This is most commonly used when you've made changes to your website and a previously-existing URL no longer exists, but you want to auto-forward your visitors to a different location instead.
A URL redirect essentially takes an old URL and points it to a different one: whoever types the old location into their browser would immediately be redirected to the new URL, either within the same website or to somewhere else on the web.
Creating a redirect allows you to ensure a seamless experience for these users, while preserving any SEO that the old URL had accrued in search engines.
Creating A New Redirect
The redirect manager can be accessed from the "Studio" dropdown in the top menu, once you've opened a website project in Brandcast.
Initially, the redirects window will be empty. To add a new redirect, click the "Add New +" button at the top-left.
You'll be presented with two text inputs that allow you to specify the old URL ("Redirect From"), and the new URL ("Redirect To.") You'll need to provide a value for each of these fields to successfully create your redirect.
Redirecting To/From a Page on the Current Website
When you click on one of the fields, you'll see a dropdown menu immediately appear that allows you to select an existing page from the website you're working with:
Redirecting To a Page on a Different Website
You don't have to select one of the pages on this website if you don't want to, though. If you want to redirect your visitors to an external URL somewhere else on the web, just type the URL into the text field. Make sure that you properly format the URL if you're typing it in manually (only alphanumeric characters, "-", "_", and "/" are permitted. No spaces are allowed.)
Selecting a Redirect Type
When you've specified the old and new locations, you can choose a redirect type. Redirects use status codes defined within the HTTP protocol. Brandcast allows you to set each redirect to either 301 (permanent), 302 (temporary.)
Most often, you'll want to use a permanent redirect (301), but there may be situations where the structural changes you've made to your website are only temporary.
When creating your redirect, a dropdown allows you to choose between the two types:
Applying the Redirect
Once you've specified the old and new locations, and chosen the type of redirect you want, you can click the "Add Redirect" button to save your redirect. You'll see it appear as a new row in the panel.
You can create up to 50 redirects for each Brandcast website.
Note that you must republish your website before this change will take effect.
Even once the site has been republished, it can sometimes be difficult to verify that your redirect is working correctly, because your browser may be caching the old website structure. The most reliable way to verify that your redirect is set up properly is to clear your browser cache, or open a new browser window in incognito mode, then test it out.
Editing or Deleting Redirects
Once you have one or more redirects added to your site, you can update or remove them at any time.
A "Search" input, and a "Sort" dropdown at the top of the window can be useful for finding the specific redirect you're looking for, in cases where you have a lot of them.
To edit an existing redirect, select it from the list and click the "Edit" button at the top of the window:
The redirect will expand to display the old and new URLs, and the type dropdown. You can make whatever changes you'd like, then click "Update Redirect" to save.
To delete a redirect, select one or more from the list (you can use the checkboxes to select more than one at a time) and click the "Delete" button at the top of the window:
Keep in mind that once you've edited or removed redirects, you'll have to republish your site for the changes to take effect (and issues with browser caching may apply, as noted above; we recommend using incognito mode to verify your changes.)
When specifying the old or new URL in a redirect, you have the option of using "*" (the "wildcard" character) as part of the address. This functions as a placeholder that accepts any string in this part of the URL.
So for example, if you specified the old URL as:
...it would redirect users who typed in any URL that started this way. In other words, a user who navigated to "www.mywebsite.com/examples/page1" would be forwarded to the new URL, as would a user who typed in "www.mywebsite.com/examples/page2", and so on.
This is potentially very powerful, as it can be used to auto-forward users who type in a variety of different URLs without having to individually specify each and every one of them.