While exploring my Google Analytics, I noticed a URL users were landing on that doesn’t exist. The URL is a typo, and the page shows a 404 error. Interestingly though, the offending URL includes spaces in the slug. Space is shown as %20 in a URL address.
To ensure users get to where they intend to go, I set up a 301 Redirect for the incorrect URL.
The incorrect URL is:
Note the inclusion of %20 (space) in the URL.
The correct URL is:
Note that the correct URL does not have Google Docs or a space in the address.
Here’s the syntax for adding a 301 redirect to the .htaccess file to fix and redirect this incorrect URL.
The typical syntax for a URL redirect in a .htaccess file is relatively simple.
A .htaccess 301 redirect has three parts. Start with typing “Redirect 301.” Then, type a space and forward slash, and then the address of the old page. Do not include the domain name. You’re typing just the relative link here. Next, type a space and type the entire URL (including the domain name) for the new page.
Redirect 301 /old.html https://example.com/new.html
The URL I need to 301 redirect includes %20 or space, so I must adapt the typical syntax that I use within the .htaccess file for this 301 redirect use case.
Example of Redirect 301 for URL with Spaces
Redirect 301 "/google-chrome-start-page-now-shows-abandoned-carts/Google Docs" https://designertofullstack.com/google-chrome-start-page-now-shows-abandoned-carts/ #For the page with spaces in the URL, I first changed all %20 to spaces (literally click the space bar) and then wrapped the URL containing spaces with quotes.
And the 301 redirects works. What’s important to do is:
- Change %20 to literal spaces in your URL slug intended for redirect (the first link in your Redirect 301)
- Enclose your complete URL slug (the first link in your Redirect 301) with quotes
I hope this solves your redirect woes for 301 redirecting a single page that contains spaces in the URL.
Are you interested in learning more about the basics of domain names and especially why it’s important to have redirects for www/non-www and http/https configured correctly with your DNS and server-side scripts? Check out our detailed post about Domain Name Basics and Redirects.