What is a 302 redirect and when should I use it?

302 Redirect | 

The 301 redirect makes a permanent change in the access to a page, automatically directing your visitors to another URL. Many times it is not necessary for this redirection to be made permanently, and it is sufficient to redirect temporarily so that the process can be reversed when necessary. This type of temporary URL change is known as a 302 redirect.

This process is really useful to avoid annoying and ruining the user experience of web visitors when making changes, updates and other tasks that leave a page temporarily inaccessible.

Table of content

What is a 302 redirect

A 302 redirect consists of indicating to the user’s web browser and Google’s crawlers that the page being accessed is temporarily redirected to another URL.

As this is a time-limited redirect, when the 302 redirect is removed, the original website will not have lost its ranking in Google’s search results pages.

What is the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect?

The 302 redirect and the 301 redirect have the same objective, to redirect a page to another URL automatically when it is accessed. The difference between the two is that while the 302 redirect is momentary or temporary, the 301 redirect is done permanently.

  • 301 redirect. The redirect to a new URL has a permanent character.
  • Redirect 302. The redirection to the new page can be renewed, i.e. it is temporary.

This difference between the two types of redirection is relevant for web developers and SEO experts, but has no significant difference for the user.

At the SEO level, while a 301 redirect transfers all authority to the new page, in the 302 redirect there is no transfer of the strength of the page, to keep it on the original as it is a temporary change.

  • 301 redirectAll page authority is transferred from the original URL to the new page.
  • 302 redirect. The destination page does not inherit authority from the original URL.

When should a 302 redirect be used?

A 302 redirect is a great tool to provide users with a page to access when troubleshooting an issue or problem with a web URL.

The most common reasons for implementing a 302 redirect are:

  • To redirect users to another page while serious content errors are being corrected. This prevents users from accessing a buggy page while the necessary changes are applied to correct them. Once the errors are corrected, the 302 redirect is removed and users will once again access the modified page.
  • To take advantage of market opportunities and trends by guiding users to conversion pages. This is a technique widely used by online stores to take advantage of holidays such as Christmas, or sales peaks such as those that occur on Mother’s Day or Black Friday.
  • To minimize the impact on users of possible technical problems related to accessing any URL on the web.
  • To redirect users to the URL of their language in multi-language websites, blogs or eCommerce.

It is important to note that in redirects where it is necessary to transfer domain authority it is not recommended to use this type of redirects. In such cases, it is better to do a 301 redirect that also transfers the authority (for example, when a domain change occurs).

How to make a temporary 302 redirect

To perform a temporary 302 redirect between two pages it is necessary to modify the Apache .htaccess configuration file, something that can be done manually, or automated if you use the WordPress CMS.

How to do a 302 redirect from .htaccess

It is necessary to edit the .htaccess file to perform a 302 redirect (the same as for a 301 redirect). It is also necessary to make sure that the Apache server has the Mod_rewrite parameter enabled (if it is not enabled, you will have to ask the contracted hosting to enable it).

The steps to follow are as follows:

  1. Access the root directory of the hosting. To do this you can use the file management tool provided by the web hosting provider in your administration panel, or choose to access via an FTP connection with a program such as FileZilla.
  2. Open the .htaccess file. The .htaccess file is located in the root of the hosting, and may be hidden, so it will be necessary to activate the “show hidden files” option in some cases. Once located it is necessary to edit it using a text editor, such as Notepad on Windows, gedit on Linux or TextEdit on Mac.
  3. Add the 302 redirect code. In the .htaccess file you add the 302 redirect code where you indicate the change to be made between URLs.

The code to be included should indicate first the type of redirect, followed by the source URL and the destination URL, such as:

				
					Redirect 302 /blog/2021-mobiles/ https://domain.com/blog/url-temporaly.
				
			

How to do a 302 redirect in WordPress

One of the reasons why WordPress is so popular is because of its ease of use thanks to plugins and add-ons. To perform 301 and 302 redirects you can use different plugins that make the whole process much easier.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting plugins to perform permanent and temporary redirects.

Redirection

This is one of the most popular plugins for 302 and 301 redirects, which also allows you to monitor all the redirects that have been made, in order to maintain precise control over them.

In addition to redirects on Apache servers, Redirection also supports 302 and 301 redirects on Nginx web or proxy servers.

A quick and easy way to correct all the pages of a website that are displaying a message access error 404 to users, is to redirect them to the home page of the website.

This plugin is responsible for performing this redirection automatically, all websites with 404 error to the home page of the site. In this way, it avoids having to be making the change one by one each of the URLs with error.

This plugin is specially designed to avoid concerns about inbound links and domain authority when a hosting or domain change is made. In addition, it also allows temporary 302 redirects to prevent users from accessing error or outdated pages while they are being updated.

Cell phones have become the main devices used by users to access the Internet. With this plugin specific for mobile devices you can perform automatic redirects when it is detected that the user accesses from one of these devices to redirect it to the appropriate URL.

Other alternatives for a 302 redirect

If a website is not developed in WordPress or is not under an Apache webserver (which is the most common), it is necessary to apply other methods to be able to perform a 301 or 302 redirect. For example, a 302 redirect can be performed using PHP, ASP or JSP.

We have seen how useful it is for SEO and user experience to perform 302 redirects when necessary. Since these are temporary access changes, the original page still maintains its strength and position in Google, so that it is not lost when the redirect is removed.

Implementing a 302 redirect is a very simple process that can be done by editing the .htaccess file, using a WordPress plugin, or resorting to PHP, JSP or ASP programming.