So what, exactly, is a 301 redirect?
The 301 redirect is often times referred to as a permanent redirect. When web hosting servers and web browsers encounter a 301 redirect, that means the old URL it was trying to visit has moved, permanently.
Think of it like telling your local post office you’ve changed your address, and all mail should be redirected to you at your new address. As friends, families, and bills mail you, they begin to update their own databases to your new address, knowing your old one is no good anymore.
This is exactly what the 301 redirect does for your podcast so that listeners and subscribers continue to get your current and future content.
Let’s use the following example RSS feed:
Suppose that RSS feed is going move to a new Podpal RSS feed URL:
In that case, a 301 redirect would be used to point that old feed to the new feed. Once in place, when someone tries to access the old RSS feed URL, they will be automatically redirected to the new RSS feed URL. From the user's point of view, they don't even notice it, it just happens.
Why is a 301 redirect important for my podcast?
If you're switching hosts and moving to Podpal, then a 301 redirect is important for a several reasons:
A 301 redirectOfficially moves your podcast to Podpal.
A 301 redirect prevents duplicates of your show on podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others.
A 301 redirect helps you retain your existing subscribers.
A 301 redirect makes sure your feed is updated with any content you publish from Podpal.
When a 301 redirect is used, it tells podcast directories that your RSS feed URL has changed and they should update their database. Not only will they update, but those subscribers using that app/directory will automatically update as well. Your listeners come along with you as you change feed URLs.
Why would I change my feed URL?
Most podcast hosts utilize an RSS feed URL for your show. If you change hosts, you need to update the RSS feed URL used in podcast directories and for your subscribers. This is usually the final step of the migration process when moving from one host to another.