A redirect is a tool used by websites for “rerouting” or sending a visitor to an alternative webpage. An example of a redirect would be when you type “example.com” in your web-browser, but are taken to a different website, like “new-example.com.”
URL redirects are an extremely common practice employed by webmasters and content managers to ensure visitors to their website are reaching their desired content.
When you request a web-page from your browser, there is a server somewhere on the Internet that is receiving your request and responding with the appropriate content. Fundamentally, a redirect occurs when a web-server's response contains a special piece of data (an HTTP response header) instructing the browser to reroute the visitor to an alternative location.
The technical details aside, a browser works by requesting a URL and rendering the page that is returned by the website. If the website wishes the user to be redirected, the server will respond differently than if it was serving a page; it will send an extra piece of data indicating that the visitor should be redirected to a specified location.
Without going into too much of the technical details – a redirect is a behavior performed by a web-browser whenever it receives a response containing a flag (an HTTP header) to do so.
Commonly referred to as a “permanent” redirect.
Indicates to search-engines and web-browsers that the requested page has permanently relocated to a new location.
Note: permanent redirects are often cached by web-browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Therefore, it may be tricky to retroactively update a 301 redirects target location once it has been established. Any visitors who have already received the 301 redirect response for a URL will likely be served a cached response from their web-browser when visiting the same URL again.
Suggestion Only use a 301 redirect when you know that the target location will not change.
Commonly referred to as a “temporary” redirect.
Useful for general-purpose redirects within your website, where you do not want visitor’s to cache the redirect response permanently.
Suggestion Use 302 redirects for pages that have changed URL, but are subject to be updated in the future
Uncommon due to legacy browser support
Used for technical scenarios when a visitor’s HTTP request method should be persisted when they are redirected. For example, if a user submits a form, the browser normally issues a POST request to the form’s action URL. If the server responds with a 302 redirect response, the client’s web-browser would typically issue a GET request when handling the redirect. However, if the server responds with a 307 redirect response, the client’s web-browser will POST request to the redirect destination. Please note, form-data is typically lost when redirecting via POST request.
The most common use-cases that would require a redirect are:
During the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, one technological tool rose to prominence – the QR Code. These black and white pixelated squares have quietly revolutionized our world, offering innovative solutions to unprecedented problems. As a familiar sight across countless public places and digital platforms, the usage of QR codes during the pandemic is indeed a fascinating tale to explore. We'll try to explore their transformative journey, from mere marketing tools to vital public health strategies.
One of the most significant breakthroughs in the fight against Covid-19 came with the implementation of QR codes in contact tracing. Their usage was instrumental in tracking and managing potential exposure to the virus, constructing a defensive wall against further transmission.
The principle behind it was highly simple:
Such prompt notifications meant potential carriers could take swift action, isolating themselves or getting tested, thereby significantly reducing the virus's spread. It was a simple, yet a very efficient system that became instrumental in public health efforts worldwide.
Another transformative application of QR codes during the Covid-19 crisis was facilitating contactless transactions and providing data. This touch-free revolution dramatically reduced potential virus transmission points, especially in sectors like hospitality and retail.
By simply scanning a QR code, customers could:
This shift had an immense impact on creating safer environments during the pandemic and seems set to stay in the post-pandemic world.
When vaccines started rolling out worldwide, QR codes once again played a critical role. They helped streamline the massive logistical challenge of scheduling and tracking vaccinations on a global scale.
With a simple QR code scan, individuals could:
This QR code-based system not only accelerated the immunization process but also ensured a secure, easily accessible record of one's vaccination status.
Navigating the complexities of safely resuming societal operations amidst the pandemic presented us with a unique challenge. QR codes became a crucial ally in this task by enabling effective health status verification. A distinct, personalized QR code was generated for individuals, mirroring their latest health status - a snapshot that included their vaccination record and recent Covid-19 test results.
The ingenuity of this application was observed in its diverse benefits. It played a critical role in facilitating the safe resumption of activities at public venues, events, and workplaces. In addition, it helped streamline international travel procedures. Many airlines now mandate a digital health certificate, often in the form of a QR code, ensuring passengers' health status is readily available and verifiable.
The QR code, once just a tech novelty, has demonstrated its incredible versatility and adaptability during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has woven itself into the fabric of our daily lives and will likely continue to do so. These QR codes have stood the test of time, supporting public health strategies and contributing to a safer environment, even as we navigate through the uncertainty of the "new normal."
As we look towards the future, the legacy of QR codes is undeniable. They will undoubtedly continue to serve as essential tools, adapting to new challenges and innovations. They are no longer just a symbol of the pandemic response; QR codes have become a symbol of resilience, innovation, and the power of technology in addressing global crises.