Configuring 301 redirect using Apache and htaccess for SEO in Drupal
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BY webmaster
12 years ago
Drupal-Technical
4 comments comment

Most webmasters do not realize this, but a lot of the content on lot of websites can be accessed from multiple URLs. A simple example would be where www.example.com and example.com leads to the same page. This is a fatal mistake in Search Engine Optimization and search engines penalize you for duplicate content. The correct configuration would be where the above two urls will lead you to the same page but example.com will redirect you to www.example.com with a 301 (Moved permanently) status which will not result in search engines penalizing the page. It is very easy to configure 301 redirects using Apache .htaccess file and the process is the same for a Drupal installation also.

The article is relevant only to those webservers running Apache. There are two ways in which you can issue a 301 redirect using .htaccess on an Apache Webserver. One is using a mod_alias Redirect statement and the other is using the mod_rewrite Rewrite statements. Redirect statements take paths and assign corresponding paths to be redirected to while rewrite statements take regular expression patterns and associate paths where matched urls have to be redirected to.

When you install Drupal, it will automatically insert statements in the .htaccess file that will allow you to redirect www.example.com to example.com or vice versa. The only thing you have to do normally would be to uncomment the statements corresponding to your preference of accessing your domain ie with or without the www part.

# If you want the site to be accessed WITH the www. only, adapt and
# uncomment the following:
# RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC]
# RewriteRule .* http://www.example.com/ [L,R=301]
#
# If you want the site to be accessed only WITHOUT the www. prefix, adapt
# and uncomment the following:
# RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC]
# RewriteRule .* http://example.com/ [L,R=301]

There is however a problem with the above redirections in that they lose the rest of the URL. Say for example if you try to access example.com/somepath and your configuration is to use the www prefix the user will be redirected to www.example.com but the somepath part will be lost. This can easily be rectified by the following small change in the Rewrite Rule

# For the first option you can use the following rewrite rule
# RewriteRule (.+) http://www.example.com/$1 [L,R=301]
#
# whereas for the second you can use the following rewrite rule
# RewriteRule (.+) http://example.com/$1 [L,R=301]

These modifications will ensure that the user will be redirected to the correct page with or without the www prefix and without losing on your page ranks. So make the necessary modifications and make sure that you can access the pages to your site using only one version of the URL. The above configuration of .htaccess should be used not just for Drupal websites but for all websites. If however your problem is the reverse, ie you don't have pages corresponding to the URLs that the user typed, ie if you are getting lot of 404 errors (page not found errors) and users are thrown to the default Page not found page, you can try installing the Drupal Search404 Module to search for the keywords in the URL and show relevant results to the user.

You can read more about apache mod_alias and apache mod_rewrite at the apache official documentation Apache mod_rewrite and Apache mod_alias


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on 01st January 2008 / by webmaster
We have added a few new modules to our site recently. Drupal Technical StumbleThis Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Sean (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 Hi there, I uploaded the files, enabled the modules to use SU, and now I see the link, but there is no icon... How can I fix this? Thanks, Sean webmaster access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 In reply to Icon doesn't show by Sean (not verified) What do you see when you view the source? Search for stumblethis_button and you should be able to see the code for the image and the URL. Then you should be able to troubleshoot from there. Juicy Couture Addict (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 thanks for the post. would love to hear more of you. by the way, drupal's really popular nowadays as it has easy and fast features. you agree with me? thanks. Add new comment
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on 16th January 2008 / by webmaster
Most webmasters do not realize this, but a lot of the content on lot of websites can be accessed from multiple URLs. A simple example would be where www.example.com and example.com leads to the same page. This is a fatal mistake in Search Engine Optimization and search engines penalize you for duplicate content. The correct configuration would be where the above two urls will lead you to the same page but example.com will redirect you to www.example.com with a 301 (Moved permanently) status which will not result in search engines penalizing the page. It is very easy to configure 301 redirects using Apache .htaccess file and the process is the same for a Drupal installation also. Drupal Technical Apache htaccess SEO Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Anonymous (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 Hello. I'm trying to make example.com show as www.example.com, and I'm running into difficulties. I'm on Apache 2.0 and using the following lines in my httpd.conf file: RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^xxxxxxxxxx\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/$1 [L,R=301] When I go to http://xxxxxxxxxx.com, I get http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (as expected). However, when I go to http://xxxxxxxxxx.com/node/1 (it's a Drupal site), I get a 404 thrown and the URL changes to xxxxxxxxxx.com/var/www/drupal/node/1. Same thing with www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/node/1. Any suggestions? I want to run without Drupal's .htaccess file (instead incorporating these calls into my httpd.conf file). webmaster access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 In reply to Rewrite including filesystem path by Anonymous (not verified) I think the problem is with the base path which results in the redirection to /var/www/ part. The best approach I would think is to start with drupal htaccess and then strip out parts and move to httpd SNVC (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 This is definitely a good guide. Thanks for this. wellyson access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 This is really nice and helpful. Add new comment
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on 08th February 2008 / by webmaster
Attachment Size slashdotit.tar.gz 173.55 KB Similar to the StumbleThis module that we had created earlier we have created another bookmarking Drupal Technical Slashdotit Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Shlomi Fish (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 Hi! I'm interested in this module, but Drupal 6.2 complains that it's incompatible with it. Can you please update it or tell me how? Regards, Shlomi Fish shlomifish.org webmaster access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 In reply to Can you update it for Drupal-6.x? by Shlomi Fish (not verified) Sure we are working on this currently and will post an update soon. Also we will post this module on www.drupal.org as well Cheers Anoop John Team Zyxware Anonymous (not verified) access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 08:08 Hello! Nice Article very interesting, thanks Add new comment
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Anonymous (not verified)
access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 10:00
Hello. I'm trying to make example.com show as www.example.com, and I'm running into difficulties. I'm on Apache 2.0 and using the following lines in my httpd.conf file: RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^xxxxxxxxxx\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/$1 [L,R=301] When I go to http://xxxxxxxxxx.com, I get http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (as expected). However, when I go to http://xxxxxxxxxx.com/node/1 (it's a Drupal site), I get a 404 thrown and the URL changes to xxxxxxxxxx.com/var/www/drupal/node/1. Same thing with www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/node/1. Any suggestions? I want to run without Drupal's .htaccess file (instead incorporating these calls into my httpd.conf file).

author-image

I think the problem is with the base path which results in the redirection to /var/www/ part. The best approach I would think is to start with drupal htaccess and then strip out parts and move to httpd


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SNVC (not verified)
access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 10:00

This is definitely a good guide. Thanks for this.


author-image
access_time 27 Sep 2020 - 10:00

This is really nice and helpful.