If you own a website and receive a 301 Moved Permanently error in your web browser, the website’s server directs you to a new URL, which doesn’t immediately seems to need a fix. That is most likely due to the website’s change of address or domain name. The error is an HTTP status code that tells hat the website you’re trying to access has been permanently moved to a new URL. If you see this error frequently, it’s time to make some moves and learn to fix it.
What Does HTTP Status 301 Moved Permanently Mean?
The 301 Moved Permanently error is an HTTP status code that tells you that the website you’re trying to access has been permanently moved to a new URL. The most common cause of the error is the website changing the address or domain name. When a website changes its address, all its pages should be redirected to the new URL. However, sometimes these redirects don’t work correctly, and you see a 301 error code.
Other Names for the 301 Moved Permanenty Error
The Error 301 Moved error is related to a website or webpage that has been moved to a different URL. The HTTP response status code also indicates that the requested resource has been permanently moved to another location. Therefore, the 301 error is often known as “HTTP 301” or “301 permanent redirect error”.
When you encounter this error, it is typically accompanied by a message like “The page has been moved permanently.” This error usually occurs when someone tries to access a page that has been removed or relocated. There are a few things that you can do if you encounter this error. You can try basic methods to see if it’s fixed such as refreshing the page. You can attempt to access the page from a different browser if that doesn’t work. If you cannot get it done, go over the other procedures one by one. With that said, there are a dozen ways to fix the 301 Moved Permanently error:
Backup your Website (Precaution)
It’s always better to go safe at the start rather than regret it later on. As a result, you must do a complete backup of your web application, database, and other resources before attempting any repairs or modifications to the system. It’s also preferable if you can make a complete duplicate of the application onto a second staging server that isn’t “live,” i.e., isn’t currently active and accessible to the public. This will offer you a clean testing environment to test all potential fixes for the problem without jeopardizing your live application’s security or privacy.
1. Check for .htaccess File Redirects
If you’re using a .htaccess file to redirect visitors from your old website’s pages to your new ones, check the file for any errors. If there are any typos or incorrect entries in the file, it could be causing the 301 Moved Permanently error. You can use a free online .htaccess checker tool to check your file for potential errors.
More About the .htaccess File
A server configuration file known as .htacess stands for “hypertext access”. Each file contains configuration instructions for a server in a directory. In other words, each htaccess file provides instructions to a server, such as passcode requirements for specific parts of a website and configuration settings for automatic redirects on particular website sections. If you want to modify it, remember that it must be called .htaccess only. To find the .htaccess file in Apache, log into your account on the server hosting and select your username. Locate and modify the lines that mention rewrite directives in the file to ensure that any redirects within your website have corresponding URL links.
Rewrite engine directives can be changed in two ways: one way is to use RewriteCond, whereas the other option is to use RewriteRule. If running on Nginx, your rewrite instructions are identified as a return or rewrite directive rather than RewriteCond and RewriteRule. You’ll want to double-check both in your .htaccess file to ensure that there aren’t any that no longer exist. If you find them, remove them temporarily and restart your website server to see if the problem goes away.
2. Check Your Server Logs
The next step is to check your web server’s error logs. This will give you more information about why the 301 Moved Permanently error is generated. There are plenty of WordPress-related logs to check, and if you lack access or knowledge, you can ask your hosting provider for help.
3. Use a Third-party Tool for Checking 301 Redirects
If you want to check whether your website’s 301 redirects are working correctly, then you can use a free online tool like the SEOmoz Redirect Checker. This tool will show you the HTTP status code for each page on your website and any redirects in place.
4. Check for Syntax Errors
If you’re still seeing the “HTTP Error 301 Moved Permanently” error, some syntax errors in your .htaccess file may exist. Again, you may employ a free syntax checker tool online for these. This tool will scan your .htaccess file and highlight any potential errors. Once you’ve found and fixed the errors, restart your web server and try accessing your website again. You can contact your hosting provider for help if you’re still having trouble. They’ll be able to check your server logs and .htaccess file for any potential problems.
5. Examine Your Sitemap
If you have a sitemap, check to see if it contains any broken links. A broken link is a link that points to a page that no longer exists. You’ll need to update your site map if you find any broken links. You can use a free online tool like the Xenu Link Sleuth to check for broken links on your website.
6. Check for Plugin Conflicts
If you’re using WordPress, a plugin conflict might be causing the 301 Moved Permanently error. To check for this, deactivate all your plugins and try accessing your website again. If the difficulty goes away, a plugin likely caused it. You can then start reactivating your plugins one at a time until you find the one that’s causing the concern. Once you find the problematic plugin, you can try contacting the plugin developer for help or seek an alternative
7. Clear Your Browser’s Cache
If you’re still getting the error, there might be an issue with your browser’s cache. To clear your cache, go to your browser’s settings and look for the option to clear your history or cookies. Use our guide on clearing Chrome cache on Windows as a reference.
8. Look for Custom Code Files
If you have added custom code on your website with issues, it may cause redirect problems. To check this, remove the custom code line or lines, especially if you added them recently. Refresh the page to see if the error message disappears to determine if this was the source of the issue.
9. Remove Redirect Loops (If Any)
A redirect loop is when a page keeps redirecting you to itself or another that redirects back to the original page. This can happen if there’s a mistake in your .htaccess file or if you’ve accidentally created a redirect loop. To fix this, you’ll need to find and remove the redirect loop. You utilize the aforementioned SEOmoz Redirect Checker tool to check for redirect loops on your website.
10. Reset Your Permalink Structure
If the error still troubles you, there might be an issue with your WordPress permalinks. Go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings → Permalinks. Choose any other structure, click Save Changes, then switch back to the original before clicking Save Changes again.
11. Contact Your Hosting Provider
If you’ve tried all of the above and still see the 301 Moved Permanently error, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider for assistance. We already mentioned they can check logs, but these experts can also troubleshoot and solve issues.