Skip to content

Do we need to remove old redirects?

Many sites will have been rebuilt in the past, and if done correctly, the designers will have redirected all the pages being retired to their new equivalents. This usually involves setting up a list behind the scenes of old and new URLs (in a file called ‘.htaccess’) which a visitor’s browser will query. If they’re trying to visit a retired page, they’ll be redirected to the new one without noticing anything.

Some of these lists are very long, and there’s always a possibility that they’ll slow down a site. According to Do Redirects Impact Your Website’s Speed? by Matthew Edgar, this is only an issue for very large sites with very long lists of redirected pages. However, especially if the site was reorganised many years ago, it might well be neat to trim down the list to just the most important pages. The search engines will have caught up long ago, and taken account of any external links.