One thing you don’t want on your Shopify store is broken links as this is going to result in your sites visitors seeing your 404 Not Found page, which has a negative impact on:
- User experience (they usually click off and go elsewhere)
- Sales and conversion rates
So what you need to do is set up 301 redirects for your Shopify store but this isn’t something that Shopify is very good at as standard and in this short tutorial, we will show you how you can quickly and easily set up 301 redirects.
When talking about pages in this post, we are referring to all of the pages you can create in Shopify including Product, Collection, Information and Blog.
Shopify’s Built-in 301 Redirects
Shopify does have very limited built-in functionality for 301 redirects but this is only available if you are changing the URL of the page, which can be done by going to the SEO section at the bottom of any Shopify edit page.
And when you start changing the URL handle and option will appear to create a URL redirect from the old URL to the new one.
But if you choose to set a page to draft or delete it altogether, you won’t have this option as standard and the only way to do it is by installing an app and we have found an amazing app that works perfectly and is completely free!
Creating a 301 Redirect in Shopify
The first step in creating a 301 redirect in Shopify is to install the Redirect Pro app, once this has been installed, you will need to verify your email address and once this is done, you can start to use the app.
You will then go through to the app’s dashboard and it will run a quick scan of your site to see if there are any broken links currently active on your site.
To add a new redirect, you want to either click on the URL redirects heading in the sidebar or the View redirects button as they both take you to the same page, which shows all of your current active redirects, including the ones that Shopify do when you change a URL.
From this page, you can create, edit or delete redirects for your store (to edit or delete, click the checkbox next to the redirect and a box will appear with the options to edit or delete).
To create a new redirect, simply click the Create redirect button on the top right and you will be taken to another page which has the following box:
This has boxes for the old URL you want to redirect from and the new URL you want to redirect to but you don’t want to enter the full URL of your Shopify store, you only want to enter the bit following your domain name, which we have highlighted in bold below:
The page you are redirecting from also needs to be inactive or deleted for the 301 redirect to be active on your store, so we recommend:
- Having 4 tabs open in your browser:
- The edit page for the page you are removing
- The app
- The page you are redirecting from
- The page you are redirecting to
- Enter the two URLs into the App
- Either set the page you are redirecting from to draft or delete it
- Click the Save redirect button in the app page
Then after a few seconds, if you refresh the tab with the page you are redirecting from, it should go to the page that you have set the redirect up for and it should be added to the URL redirects page in the app.
There is one pretty awesome feature in the app in the you can set up automatic redirects, which means that as soon as a broken link is found a redirect will automatically be set up.
This is done by going to the Broken links section of the app and clicking the button to set up automatic redirects and the following options will appear:
And you will see that there are options for all types of pages on your site and you can enter a specific URL where you want that type of page go and the default URLs are set to the base page for each of the page types, so the products would go to the all product page and the blog posts would go to the blog home.
But you are free to enter your own URLs and you just need to click on the Activate button to enable auto redirects for that page type.
You can still enter manual redirects when auto ones are activated and manually created redirects will take priority over the auto-generated ones.
From both a technical SEO and user experience perspective, having 301 redirects can make a huge difference as it stops people from seeing your 404 not found page and as this app is free and works well, it can stop this from happening and the auto-redirect is a nice feature.
Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!