How to automatically redirect a browser
to another web page from one of your own
This is the preferred method of redirecting to other web pages, and additional information can
be found at
As the P-A Department's main web server uses the Apache HTTP server program, here is how to do it on that
system (for other systems' servers, see the references in the
www.w3.org web page noted above).
Create a file in the directory in question called "
.htaccess" and put into it the line
Redirect /path-of-file-to-be-redirected URL-of-page-to-go-to
For example, if you are a professor teaching the (fictitious - for the sake of the example only) PHY386
course during Spring Semester 2007, but you want to keep your web pages in a subdirectory of your own user area
instead of in the courses area provided, you can go to the appropriate courses area on the server,
/web/documents/courses/2007spring/PHY386 and put
Redirect /courses/2007spring/PHY386/index.html http://www.pa.msu.edu/people/username/subdir/index.htm
(all on one line, in case the above example is wrapped by your browser) into a file called
which has world-read permissions (that's the default).
The "path" argument is relative to the "web root", so in the
above example, "/web/documents" is left off. The "page to go to" URL is a full URL, even if the web page is on the
same server. More than one
Redirect command can be put into the
.htaccess file, and you
can redirect all files in a directory to their equivalents in a "to go to" directory by leaving the filenames off.
A case where more than one
Redirect command may be necessary is when a web page may be accessed
via more than one URL. In the above "PHY 386" example, in fact, the instructor will have to add a second line,
the same as the first, except for lower-case "phy386" instead of "PHY386" in the "path" argument, because the
web page may be accessed with the "phy386" URL, too. During Spring Semester 2007, the page could also be
accessed with URLs with "current" in place of "2007spring" and with "2007spring" left out entirely, bringing
the number of
Redirect commands up to six for that one page. Fortunately, a URL which leaves off
the "index.html" filename defaults to assuming it, or else three more
Redirect commands would be
needed to handle those cases. (The folks at
still consider this as preferable to a single "refresh"
meta command in the file itself, which
would be read and acted upon regardless of how the file was accessed, as described below.)
If there is already a
.htaccess file in the subdirectory in question, see the Apache HTTP server
documentation to see where in it the
Redirect command should be placed. If you are the person running
the Apache web server program on a system, you can also put instances of the
Redirect command into the
server configuration file instead of, or in addition to,
.htaccess files in specific subdirectories
(again, see the Apache HTTP server documentation for the details).
"refresh" meta command
Note that this method is deprecated by the official HTML standards organization in favor of the server-based redirect
method described above.
You can set up a web page to inform any browser which happens to load it that
there is another web page it should go to instead, after an optional delay.
This is accomplished using a "refresh" meta command in the header section