andrew boddy design
Squarespace Web and branding designer

tips and insights

Squarespace Tips : URL Mapping when creating a new Squarespace site to replace your old website

Squarespace URL Mapping

If your URL (web address) is brand new or you’ve never had any other website connected to it, then you don’t need to read any further.

For anyone who has a current website connected to a URL and you are building a new one on Squarespace read on…

URL Mapping, ok so this sounds like one of those tedious tech issues.. I know “yawn”.
But it could affect your ranking on Google if you don’t get it sorted, and you care about ranking right?

What is URL Mapping?

If you have a current website then Google has already indexed all of your pages and it serves then up in searches. If you create the same page on your new Squarespace website and you change the URL slug ( The slug is the bit after the first forward slash).

For example: if you have an ‘about’ page on your website and the URL is

mydomain.com/about

and you change this to

mydomain.com/aboutme

Then you need to tell Google that you have done this (map the new URL) or Google will initially take searchers to the to old page that doesn’t exist any more and it will display a 404 error.

This is a red flag for Google that your website is not a good user experience. It is old or abandoned and it can plummet your new site down the search rankings.

What do I need to do?

SOLUTION 1 - KEEP IT THE SAME

Firstly, the simplest solution is don’t change the URL slug of your pages in your new website.

if your current ‘about’ page slug is;

mydomain.com/about then keep it mydomain.com/about in your new website and no action is required.

What i recommend is copying and pasting all your site URLS into a document before you start, so you can easily reference and copy them when creating your new Squarespace website pages.

SOLUTION 2 - URL MAPPING

There are valid reasons for changing the URL slug if you are reorganising the structure or creating a more complex website.
It may be that the way Squarespace structures the URL is different to your current structure and it can’t be made the same.

Whatever..

You need to to do some URL Mapping.

How to do URL Mapping in Squarespace

What’s great about Squarespace is that it has thought about all these idiosyncratic tech issues and provides solutions for them.

STeP 1 - GO TO URL MAPPINGS SECTION

URL Mappings lives under Advanced in the Settings Menu.

Squarespace URL Mappings menu
 

STEP 2 - CREATE A REDIRECT FOR EACH PAGE

301 vs 302 redirects

There are two type of Redirects 301 and 302 redirects.
A 301 redirect indicates that the change is permanent and a 302 redirect indicates a temporary change.

Mostly 301 redirects are the ones you need.

How to structure the code

There are 4 parts to the line of code for each individual page:

  1. The old URL slug for the page that no longer exists

  2. A dash plus greater than sign ->

  3. The new URL slug for the new page that you want to point to

  4. The type of redirect either 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary)

Copy and paste the code below as a basis to start with;

/old-url-slug -> /new-url-slug 301

Create a line of code for each page redirect. I find having a return after each line, just makes it easy to see also.

Squarespace URL Mappings example
 

Note:
• You don’t need your full domain name included each time, only the slug after the domain name ends, including the forward slash.
• You should keep the URL text all lowercase and without spaces.
• Special characters like ?&, or # should be avoided as these can disrupt the function of the redirect.
• You can’t use Reserved slugs that Squarespace uses for your new site like /account or /config

Redirect even deleted pages

Try to make sure you create redirects for all the pages in your old website, even if you are not having the page in the new site.
Just redirect this deleted page to the home page or whatever works best for you.

Code for old url to home page below

/old-url-slug -> / 301

Yes URL Mapping is another boring site admin job, but one that will be rewarded by Google, by at least maintaining your current page ranking.