How to Migrate the old domain to the new domain with 301 Redirect using .htaccess? > Apache > How to Migrate the old domain to the new domain with 301 Redirect using .htaccess?

There are many HTTP response status codes. It indicates where a specific HTTP request has been successfully completed. Among the HTTP status codes, you may have possibly heard about a few HTTP status codes, such as 301 – Permanent redirect, 404 – Not Found, 403 – Forbidden, and 500 – Server Error.

301 status code instructs a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It means all users that request an old URL ( will be automatically sent to a new URL ( In such as case, a 301 redirect passes all ranking values from the old domain name to a new domain name.

How to handle the 301 Redirect

I was in a situation where a client told me that he wanted to change his domain name. He wants all its traffic to redirect permanently to the new domain name.

So, in the first move, I took a full backup of the files and database of the old website. Then, I opened the cPanel of the new website and restored the files and database from the backup.

I created a .htaccess file in the root directory of the old website. If you find an existing .htaccess file, make a backup of the file and create a new file.

When you create a .htaccess file, make sure that you transfer it in ASCII and not binary. You will probably want to CHMOD the file to 644 to ensure proper security measures. “.htaccess” is an Apache technology (under Linux OS) and not a Windows Server (IIS) technology.


RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

Explanation of the .htaccess 301 redirect

What does this code above do?

Let’s have a look at example 1 – Redirect to The first two lines just say Apache to handle the current directory and start the rewrite module.

The next line RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !$ specifies that the next rule only fires when the HTTP host (that means the domain of the queried URL) is not (- specified with the “!“)

The $ means that the host ends with – and the result is that, all pages from will trigger the following rewrite rule.

Combined with the inversive “!” is the result every host that is not will be redirected to this domain. The [NC] specifies that the HTTP host is case-insensitive.

The escapes the “.“, because this is a special character (normally, the dot (.) means that one character is unspecified).

The next – and final – line describes the action that should be executed:

RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

The ^(.*)$ is a little magic trick. Can you remember the meaning of the dot? If not – this can be any character(but only one). So, “.*" means that you can have a lot of characters, not only one.

This is what we need. Because ^(.*)$ contains the requested URL, without the domain. The next part,$1 describes the target of the rewrite rule, this is our “final”, used domain name, where $1 contains the content of the (.*).

The next part is also important since it does the 301 redirections for us automatically: [L,R=301].

L means this is the last rule in this run – so after this rewrite, the webserver will return a result.

The R=301 means that the web server returns a 301 moved permanently to the requesting browser or search engine.

Advantages of 301 Redirects

  • Users will automatically be redirected to the new domain – you don’t have to inform them.
  • Also, search engines will be redirected to the new domain – and all related information will be moved to the new domain (but this might take some time).
  • Google’s PageRank will be transferred to the new domain, also other internal information that is being used to the position of pages in the search engine result pages (SERPs) – like TrustRank.
Category Apache

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