Point DNS Vs. 301 Redirect

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Domain name servers point an IP address to a friendly domain name. When you type a domain name into the browser, the domain name server directs the browser to the right IP address. This is different than 301 redirecting, which is controlled using an .htaccess file or through programming in your pages.

DNS Service

  • You can point your Web server to a website domain name using domain settings created at your registrar. This directly points the browser to the IP address and there are no redirects associated with the DNS settings. Typically, you have about four DNS servers for one domain name, so if one DNS server fails the browser can look up the name on a second, third or fourth server.

301 Redirect

  • A 301 redirect sends the browser from one location to another. The official server response for a 301 redirect is a "Permanent Redirect." This means that the domain has permanently moved to a new domain, which helps tell search engines that you want to change domains for a specific business. The search engines drop the old domain and index the new domain so that searchers can find your new domain name.

Comparison

  • A 301 redirect is a search-engine friendly way to move a domain. The 301-redirected domain does not cause duplicate content in the search engines so that you do not harm your search engine rank. Using a new DNS setting is required to have a new domain name, but it does not redirect browsers or search engines. Both of these methods are used to move to a new domain.

Considerations

  • An Apache server can use a .htaccess file to 301-redirect browsers to a new domain. However, you need to remain the active owner to the old domain. Microsoft .NET domains can use the .NET code that sends a redirect to the browser or the search engines. Either of these methods work efficiently to redirect a reader's browser.

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