Redirects enable us to direct web site visitors from one document within your web site to another. This is useful for example, if you have moved your web site content and would like to redirect visitors from old links to the new content location.
To set-up redirects, create a .htaccess file following the main instructions and guidance which includes the following text:
| Redirect /old_dir/ http://www.yourdomain.com/new_dir/index.html
The above line tells the Apache Web Server that if a visitor requests a documents located in the directory 'old_dir', then to display the document 'index.html' located in the directory 'new_dir'.
You see in this example, the 'old_dir' is the location of the document to be requested by the visitor, and is a document or directory located under your main domain. In this example, the directory 'old_dir' would be located at 'http://www.yourdomain.com/old_dir/'. However, you will also notice the location of the file that the visitor is to be redirected to is a full web site URL, not what is referred to as a relative URL in the case of 'old_dir'. This means we can redirect visitors to the 'old_dir' folder to any web site document, it doesn't have to be held within your web site content and could be any web site.
It is very important (and the most common cause of error) that you understand the difference between a relative URL and an absolute/full URL. A relative URL is the location of the document within the web site, and does not include the actual domain name of the web site. These are used for documents held within the web site to simplify and shorten the URL. A absolute or full URL is one which includes the full domain name.
For example, for a absolute/full URL, 'http://www.yourdomain.com/directory/file.html'. the relative URL for this document would be, '/directory/file.html'.