This article covers different ways to create 301 (permanent) redirects in Shopify. Redirects help ensure a smooth customer experience as your store grows and evolves.
A common reason for creating redirects is to ensure a good customer. If you are renaming pages, collections or products, that may result in a change to your site's URL structure. If you have links on the internet, like in search, social media or news article, they may point to pages that no longer exist in your store. The user would then get the dreaded 404 page.
The Dreaded 404 Error Page
By creating a redirect, the user does not see the 404 page, but is instead sent to a relevent page and has no disruption in their shopping experience.
So here are the different ways to create 301 redirects with Shopify:
- Automated - there's nothing for you to do here as Shopify takes care of it on its own.
- Manual - using the Shopify admin you add redirects one by one.
- Bulk upload - when entering lots of redirects, use a bulk upload tool.
More information on each of these methods follows.
This is the easiest process as its automatically done by Shopify. Whenever you change the handle of elements in Shopify, Shopify will automatically create a redirect from the old URL to the new URL. You can see this happening in the Search engine listing preview section. There is a check-box to not have Shopify create the redirect. It's on by default and you should leave it as is to have the redirect created.
Automated creation of a redirect
Shopify does this automated redirect creation for the following page types:
- Blog Posts
Shopify also provides a manual process for creating redirects. Its an easy-to-use feature. The hardest part is finding it. It's unintuitive location can be found by going to Online Store, then Navigation. In the upper right corner of Navigation, there is a button to access URL Redirects.
Online Store / Navigation Page
In the URL Redirects section, its easy to add, edit or remove redirects.
When creating redirects that stay on your store's URL, you should relative paths, like '/collections/blue-products' or '/products/blue-thing'. You can also put in a full URL path to redirect to a page off of your Shopify store if needed.
There are times when you want to enter many redirects at one time when the one-by-one process in the manual process above is to laborious. Shopify doesn't provide their own bulk redirect upload tool, but there others available. There are some paid apps in the Shopify App Store for this. But I've found a free tool that works quite well. This tool is not in the Shopify app store, but is a Chrome plug-in. So to use it, you need to use Chrome as your browser. The plug-in is called Shopify Bulk 301 and can be found here.
The first step is to add the Chrome extension. Once it is installed, you'll see the icon for it in the upper right section of Chrome.
Shopify Bulk 301 Icon
Then to use it, you first need to login to your Shopify store. Once you are at any page in your store's admin (https://my-store.myshopify.com/admin), click on the 301 icon. You'll see a modal pop-up.
Shopify Bulk 301 Modal
There's a large text box where you put the new redirects. Each redirect goes on a separate line. The line starts with the old url and then the new url. The old and new urls should be seperated by a space or tab. Cutting and pasting out of a spreadsheet and into this text box works quite well.