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What Is a 308 Permanent Redirect?

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To maintain a seamless and effective online presence, comprehending the complexities of HTTP status code is crucial for digital marketers, website owners, and developers. The “308 permanent redirect” is one such code that needs to be clarified. The HTTP 308 permanent redirect response code is gradually becoming well-known. Most people who own or develop websites now prefer a 308 redirect instead of the traditional 301. But do they even make any difference in SEO? Let’s read this blog further 

Understanding 308 Permanent Redirects: A Full Guide (2024) 

Understanding the ins and outs of web traffic redirects is essential for anyone who manages a website. It’s crucial to know about predefined HTTP response status codes like 308 and 301. Although serving the same purpose, these codes can be highly different. They have various functions and significance both to the user and search engines. A 301 permanent redirect, commonly called a permanent redirect changing the URL, is well explained on the Mozilla Developer Network.  

In contrast, a new method, 308 permanent redirect code (the new method ensures that no change occurs due to redirection), is documented in HTTP/1. This guide explains the differences between 301 and 308 redirects and when to use them. 

What Is a 308 Permanent Redirect? 

A 308 “Permanent Redirect” (3xx redirects) is a HTTP response status code (a three-digit number sent by a web server in response to the client’s request). This indicates the browser and search engines that the resource has permanently moved into a new URL. Besides, the 404 error, an HTTP response indicating the server can’t find the page the client requested, is one of the other status codes you might be familiar with. As a user, you see a 404 HTTP status response code. A 404 error page will pop up. 

However, 308 HTTP status code response isn’t highlighted often. This is because the 308 Redirect Permanent line instructs the browser to redirect you to the correct URL automatically. Additionally, the new page will have a portion of the link equity—the value that links bestow—and the authority of the page linking to it. 

Key Differences Between 301 & 308 Status Code Redirects 

The HTTP status codes of 3XX are all related to redirection. On the other hand, each code mapped to this class is dedicated to a particular context. It enhances distinct attributes of the redirect process. This table compares the vital properties of the four HTTP redirect status codes 301 Moved Permanently and 308 Permanent Redirect. 

It’s pretty similar to 301 “Moved Permanently,” but there is a key difference in which HTTP methods get used: 

  • 301 Moved Permanently: When a GET or HEAD request causes a redirection, the user agent (for) can change the HTTP method of the following request from POST to GET. It has its downside, as redirecting the POST request is meant to make changes in a process. The user agent then switches to a GET request. This can lead to the loss of the data sent in the POST. 
  • 308 Permanent Redirect: The user agent, however, should not alter the HTTP method used. If the initial request used the method POST, then the technique of the redirected request should also be POST. 

This ensures 308 is a safer selection for those scenarios where the HTTP method and body must be passed in the requested redirect header. 

When To Use 308 Permanent Redirect? 

The 308 permanent redirect status code is the key to remembering the new target resource location. This is done by search engines and clients who will use the same HTTP method in their redirected requests as in the original request. These aspects make the 308 status code useful in specific scenarios and conditions. 

Migrating To New Domain 

When you are beginning to move your site to a new domain, and you choose to redirect traffic from the old domain, you’ll need to make sure that POST requests, like those made by AJAX calls or web services endpoints, are not changed into GET requests. A 308 redirect retains the method across domains. 

Preserving Request Integrity 

You may apply a 308 permanent redirect if you change the structure of your website. Let’s say we move a resource from one path to a new permanent URI. For example, from /old-directory/ to /new-directory/. The 308 redirects can automatically re-link all the references to the moved resources. This will make users and search engines remain directed to the new URL forever. 

Enforcing Consistent Endpoints 

Many services need your web page to have constant endpoints. for instance, a RESTful service where the endpoint’s method represents a specific action. Using a 308 HTTP response code, you can redirect the effective request URI to the actual resource without the risk of using a different method for the request. 

Form Submission 

In such a case, you have a form where clients submit data, which is moved to a new URL. The POST motion is retained by a 308 redirect. Which means that even after the user is redirected to the new location, they continue to use the POST method. This is very important! Since, without it, the proper operation and safety of the form submissions might be compromised during and after the transition. 

Final Words 

Regarding website redirects, 308 permanent redirects are the most traditional way of changing the URL and sending visitors to the URL of the new website page. They preserve the intact HTTP code. It facilitates the presence of original data like login details or shopping cart information for web owners when they send the users to the other URL address. 301 redirect is probably preferable (in terms of its being both less work and relatively safe) than a situation where you are not expected to retain any information (say, simply updating a blog post’s URL). 

Data protection is coming first, so this should strictly be redirected to 308, which guarantees the visitors have a good experience and a smooth transition from the initial URL to the new one.