August 12, 2010

Webpage Redirects: How to redirect the webpages

Silver balls
Meta refresh elements can be used to instruct a Web browser to automatically refresh a Web page after a given time interval. It is also possible to specify an alternative URL and use this technique in order to redirect the user to a different location. Using a meta refresh in this way and solely by itself rarely achieves the desired result. For Internet Explorer's security settings, under the miscellaneous category, meta refresh can be turned off by the user, thereby disabling its redirect ability entirely.

Many Web design tutorials also point out that client side redirecting tends to interfere with the normal functioning of a Web browser's "back" button. After being redirected, clicking the back button will cause the user to go back to the redirect page, which redirects them again. Some modern browsers seem to overcome this problem however, including Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Auto-redirects via markup (versus server side redirects) are not in compliance with the W3C's - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 (guideline 7.5).

Alternatives to meta refresh include JavaScript, or HTTP redirection headers such as HTTP 301.

Place inside to refresh page after 5 seconds:
Redirect to after 5 seconds:
Redirect to immediately:

Meta refresh tags have some drawbacks:

  • If a page redirects too quickly (less than 2-3 seconds), using the "Back" button on the next page may cause some browsers to move back to the redirecting page, whereon the redirect will occur again. This is bad for usability, as this may cause a reader to be "stuck" on the last website.

  • A reader may or may not want to be redirected to a different page, which can lead to user dissatisfaction or raise concerns about security.

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