Nginx Redirect Non-Www to Www
Overview of WWWs and Non-WWWs
In the world of domains, there are two ways to access a website: with the WWW prefix and without it, often referred to as a “non-WWW” domain. WWW stands for “World Wide Web” and is the default way of accessing websites, while non-WWW domains refer to the domain name on its own, without the WWW prefix.
In the past, having two separate domains (with and without WWW) for a website were common as different versions of web browsers would sometimes default to one or the other. Ultimately, this led to duplicate content issues with the same web page being accessible from both versions of the URL.
What is an Nginx Redirect?
An Nginx redirect, also known as an “Nginx rewrite”, is when a web server rewrites the requested URL before it is processed. This is typically done to point a requested URL or resource to a different location or address. An Nginx redirect is most commonly used to point a visitor from the non-www version of a website to the www version or vice versa.
The Nginx webserver is renowned for its speed, flexibility, and scalability. As well as being extremely resource efficient, being able to rewrite incoming requests to different pages can be used for a variety of purposes. One such use is to have Nginx redirect non-WWW URL requests to their WWW counterpart in order to avoid any potential duplicate content issues. This is becoming more and more recognized as an industry best-practice.
How to Set Up Nginx Redirection Rules
The Nginx webserver takes advantage of the rewrite module, which is included in all versions of Nginx. This module provides a directive, called “rewrite” that allows a certain location block to be given a certain set of rewrite rules. We’ll now explain how we can set up Nginx redirect rules.
First of all, we need to add the directive to an Nginx configuration file. Typically, Nginx configuration files contain default and local settings. To enable the rewrite module, we need to add the “rewrite” directive to the local settings with the following line:
rewrite ^ http://www.example.com$request_uri permanent;
This directive will redirect all requests that are sent to the non-WWW version of the domain to the WWW version. In the above example, replace “example.com” with your own domain name. The “permanent” flag at the end indicates that this is a permanent redirect.
Once the rewrite directive has been added, you should be able to access the website with the WWW prefix, instead of the non-WWW prefix. The Nginx webserver will then redirect any requests for the non-WWW version of the domain to the WWW version.
Nginx Redirecting To HTTPS
SSL certificates are becoming increasingly important in the world of websites, and many websites are choosing to use HTTPS (HTTP over SSL/TLS) for their connections. In this case, the Nginx webserver will need to be configured to connect to the HTTPS version of the website. To do this, we can add another directive to the local Nginx configuration file:
rewrite ^ https://www.example.com$request_uri permanent;
As you can see, this directive is similar to the above one, except that it uses the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP. We can also add the “H” flag to the end of the directive, which will make the redirection more secure.
Once the directive has been added to the configuration file, the Nginx webserver will now redirect all requests to the HTTPS version of the website. This is beneficial as it eliminates any potential warnings visitors may receive when accessing a website without an SSL certificate.
What to Consider When Setting up an Nginx Redirect
When setting up an Nginx redirect, it’s important to consider the impact it’ll have on your website’s SEO. Having multiple versions of a website can cause duplicate content issues, and even if they are redirected, it’s important to make sure that any link juice gained from external links is not lost.
Therefore, if your website receives any external links to its non-WWW version, it’s important that any redirect is set up with the “301” flag, so that the link juice can be passed on to the WWW version of the website. This will ensure that your website is not penalized by search engines for duplicate content.
Nginx Redirect Summary
In summary, an Nginx redirect is a great way of redirecting a non-WWW URL to its WWW counterpart, or even redirecting from a non-secure HTTP connection to a secure HTTPS connection. This ensures that all users are connecting to the correct version of the website, and any duplicate content penalty is avoided. However, when setting up an Nginx redirect, it’s important to consider the impact it may have on your website’s SEO.
Q: What is an Nginx Redirect?
A: An Nginx redirect is when a web server rewrites the requested URL before it is processed, typically to point a requested URL or resource to a different location or address.
Q: How do I set up an Nginx Redirect?
A: First of all, you’ll need to enable the rewrite module in Nginx. Then, you’ll need to add a rewrite directive in the local Nginx configuration file with the proper syntax – either to rewrite non-WWW URL requests to their WWW counterpart, or to rewrite to an HTTPS connection.
Q: What should I consider when setting up an Nginx Redirect?
A: When setting up an Nginx redirect, it’s important to consider the impact it may have on your website’s SEO. This is because duplicate content can result in a penalty from search engines. You should make sure to use the “301” flag when setting up the redirect, so that any link juice is passed on from external links.
In conclusion, Nginx redirects are a great way to ensure that all users are accessing the correct version of your website. However, they should be used carefully so that any potential duplicate content issues are avoided. If you’re considering setting up an Nginx redirect, make sure you understand the impact it may have on your website’s SEO.
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