Setting up 301 URL redirects for your Instant Site
You can create permanent redirects, also called 301 redirects, that send visitors and search engines away from one page to another. For example, from inactive or deleted pages to active pages of your website.
Setting up redirects ensures that anyone who opens the old URL either from their bookmark or search results, can still reach your site even after you changed the page’s URL or deleted a product from your store. Redirects also pass the ranking power from an old URL to a new one, so Google and other search engines keep your site SEO ranking high even if you migrated your store to Ecwid.
Redirects work only with the Instant Site (New-Gen version). If you use another website builder for your site, you set up redirects on their side.
After migrating your store to Ecwid. When you migrate to Ecwid from another ecommerce platform, your links to products and catalog might change. For example, instead of mystore.com/yellow-joggers your new link will be mystore.com/products/yellow-joggers. To avoid losing traffic and your store ranks in Google, you need to create redirects. Since you probably want all links in your store to be up to date, it’s best to set up redirects in bulk.
To replace outdated product pages. Forward traffic from discontinued products to actual products or related categories. And when an item becomes outdated, you can redirect from its page to a new version or model of this product.
When running marketing campaigns. Promote your products outside your website with short and easy to remember URLs. For example, a short link mystore.com/dress on a landing page can redirect shoppers to the dress category of your store that actually has a longer link mystore.com/products/dress-c1096904. Or you can filter the list of products by a specific parameter and redirect to that page.
You can set up up to 10 redirects from the Website page of your Ecwid admin. For example, if you want to redirect from your landing page to a particular store category.
To change more than 10 links at once, for example after migrating your store, use Ecwid import tool to create redirects in bulk.
To set up a single URL redirect:
- From your Ecwid admin, go to Website.
- Scroll down to the Instant Site redirects and click Create Redirect.
- Click Create Redirect.
- In the left field, enter the old link. For example, a page with a deleted product.
- In the right field, enter the actual link you want to redirect to. Double-check URLs — if there are lowercase and uppercase letters in the link, you must enter them exactly as they are.
Both from and to URLs can be either a relative URL (for example, /promo or /search=&123) or a full URL (for example, http://www.example.com/promo).
- (optional) To add another redirect, click Add Redirect.
- Click Create Redirect.
That’s it. Your redirect will appear on the Website → Instant Site Redirects page in your store admin. It may take about 10 minutes for your browser to recognize a new redirect, so give it some time before opening the old link to check the redirect.
It takes from a few days to a few months for search engines to index the redirected page and start sending users to the new link instead of the old one. The duration doesn't depend on Ecwid, it depends on how large the site is and how many pages are crawled daily.
You may experience ranking fluctuations while Google recrawls and reindexes your site. As a general rule, a medium-sized website can take a few weeks for most pages to reindex; larger sites can take longer.
Before you start, make sure you:
- Enable the new catalog import format in your store. If you’ve signed up after 24.05.2023, you already have it. Otherwise, go to Settings → What's New to switch to the new format.
- Create a list of all the pages on your site that you want to add redirects for. You can use a third-party SEO tool that crawls your site automatically, providing you with a list of broken links. If you’re moving from another ecommerce platform to Ecwid, you can export this information before you leave.
To create new redirects for your Instant Site and store:
- Export your Ecwid catalog or specific products, then open the CSV file in your preferred spreadsheet editor. You will see the “url” column at the end of the file for “product” and “category” rows. It contains URLs of products and categories in your storefront.
- Create a new file in your spreadsheet editor. In this file, you will need to fill in four cells with specific names: in A1 enter “type”, in A2 — “site_redirect”, in B1 — “site_redirect_from_url”, in C1 — “site_redirect_to_url”. Here’s how it should look:
You can use the example file attached at the bottom of this article to create your redirects. Simply copy the file content to your spreadsheet and edit.
- In the B2 cell, enter the old URL, and in the C2 cell — enter the new URL that you want to redirect to.
Copy new URLs from the “url” column in the file you’ve exported in Step 1, or open a product page in your storefront and copy the URL from the browser’s address bar.
- To add more redirects, enter “site_redirect” again to the next row in the “A” column (in A3 cell in our example) and create a new redirect by repeating Step 3. Repeat it as many times as you need.
- After you’ve listed all the redirects you want to create, save the file as CSV to your device, and upload it on the Catalog → Data Import & Export page in your store admin.
That’s it! The redirects are now added to your Instant Site. They will appear on the Instant Site Redirects page in your store admin.
Please note that it may take between a few days and a few months for search engines to index the redirected page and start sending users to the new link instead of the old one. The duration doesn't depend on Ecwid, it depends on how large the site is and how many pages are crawled daily. While search engines recrawl and reindex your site, your site may experience ranking fluctuations.
You can delete 301 redirects that you no longer need, but keep in mind that they will keep working for quite some time after. Depending on the site size, that window can be from 3 to 12 months since it takes time for browsers and search engines to delete redirects.
To delete a redirect:
- From your Ecwid admin, go to Website.
- Scroll down to Instant Site Redirects, then click Manage Redirects.
- Select redirects that you want to delete.
- Click Delete Selected, then Delete.
You can also delete all your redirects using the CSV file.
If your goal is to redirect customers to the original URL address of a page, you can create a reverse redirect instead of deleting. For example, if the original redirect was from A → B, you can create a new redirect from B → A.
Adding, updating, and deleting Instant Site redirects with import and export →
Improving SEO for Ecwid site and store →
Optimizing keywords for SEO in your Ecwid store →
Search Engine Optimization For Beginners: SEO Fundamentals (Ecwid blog post) →