Redirecting Web Pages
Redirecting web pages can be quite useful. Especially if you happen to have your site on the CGI server
and still want to use your web server to store files that aren't allowed on the CGI server. There are other
uses as well. Such as if you are shutting own part or all of your site for maintenance or other reasons.
Or perhaps you moved a web page and want others to still be able to find it.
The key to redirecting your web site is what is known as a Meta Tag or Meta Refresh Tag. What
this does is automatically send the visitor's browser to another web page instead. A meta refresh tag will
look something like this:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=http://www.yourdomain.com/">
Let's take a look at this tag. First off, you would put it anywhere between the <HEAD> and </HEAD>
tags. The above tag basically sends anyone visiting the page to the http://www.yourdomain.com web page
immediately. Here is how it works. The HTTP-EQUIV defines what type of META tag it is. There are other
meta tags with other uses. This particular one is a refresh tag. Next, the CONTENT defines what the
meta refresh tag contains: Attributes.
The first attribute is how many seconds to wait before sending the visitor's browser to the URL. You may have
encountered messages mentioning that the web site has moved and that the browser will be sent to the new site
within so many seconds. This is where the number of seconds is placed. In our example, the number of seconds is
zero (0). This sends the browser to the new URL immediately. This is nice for including in your index.html
page on your web server if you want to redirect those visiting your domain to a web site you host on your CGI
server, such as a Joomla or Mambo site, or a forum, photo album or blog. This way you can use the web server to
store files not allowed on your CGI server and link to them from the site on your CGI server.
The URL attribute is quite self-explanatory. This is the web page address which the browser will be redirected
to. There is one other trick you can use here, however. You could also put the same page the visitor is viewing
here, and a certain number of seconds in the first attribute so that the page will automatically refresh every
so often. This is nice for keeping live content (such as maybe a web cam) updated. For example, say you want to
refresh a page called mycam.html to update every 5 minutes (300 seconds). You could use this Meta tag:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="300; URL=http://www.yourdomain.com/mycam.html">
There are many other creative uses for a meta refresh tag, but these are the most common. Use them wisely, however.
And keep in mind that search engines will only follow links found in the Body of the web page and not
before the <BODY> tag. This is why you'll probably want to put a link to the other web page also in the
body of your page. It will not be skipped over by search engines as they do not usually support web page refresh.