Thursday, July 13, 2006

Result Codes & Redirects

Thru the haze of 301s, 304s, 200s, and 404s; I can now discern some meaning.

It turns out there are two sets of issues: results & redirects. And the reason to confuse them is that they are the same but different. From my point of view, there are three topics which rely on these codes:
- trying to understand result from when we look for pages
- trying to redirect pages and domains in ways that are useful to users and search engines
- trying to configure the site so that apparently great solutions do not come back and get me in trouble (ie - right now I handle all "page not found" situations by giving them a default page with a "good-to-go" message. But, the search engines will not like the serving up of the identical page as correct from many different URLs.

Result Codes - The client asked the server and the server gave an answer:
result code 200 - the request for content is valid and I'm sending along the page
result code 304 - Not Modified (since last request from the same something?)
result code 404 - Not Found (but in addition to the result code, a page of some sort can be given?)

Redirects - Are page and domain redirects the same thing?
I have domains with great names that I want to redirect. Best way....
My hoster allows me to do something (redirect?) which I've done for:

[open bracket
meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="5; url=">
quoted from:

Vanessa sent me to: To err or not to err 200s vs 404s
I found Status Code Definitions

Initially, other than sheer disorientation and the coincidence of them being 3 digit numbers in the web world, there may been no reason to have confused redirects and error codes. But then, once i understand the difference, I have learned that they actually converge.

PS. 529s are neither redirects or result codes, they are state sponsored investment programs for higher education that are given special tax status. Somehow that made it onto my notes from talking with Vanessa Fox. Did she give me tax advice, is my hearing a problem, or am I that confused? Or, all of the above.

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