A well-designed user experience is critical to the success of any website. It’s also essential that your website is easy to use, especially for mobile devices. That’s where redirects come in: they make sure that users are directed to the right page on your site based on their device, browser, OS, and more. However, some common mistakes can undermine your efforts at creating an adequate user flow through redirects—and they’re easy enough to avoid!
Don’t redirect based on a user’s IP address alone
The Internet Protocol address (IP) is a unique identifier for devices on networks such as the internet. It’s usually assigned to every device—including computers, phones, and tablets—when they’re connected to a web.
However, its owner can spoof or change an IP address frequently. An IP address alone isn’t reliable enough to determine the location or other identity metrics. There are plenty of services that provide information on users ip addresses, like iplookupapi.com or even free ones: freeiplookupapi.com.
Redirect to the correct language and currency
As you can see, it’s easy to redirect users to the correct language and currency. However, it’s important to note that this is only possible if you set up your site correctly in the first place. If you’re unsure how to do that, check out our language and currency support guide.
Always use HTTPS when redirecting
When you’re redirecting users, you must use the HTTPS version of HTTP. The HTTPS protocol is a secure version of HTTP that protects the privacy and integrity of data in transit by creating an encrypted connection between the user’s browser and the website itself. It also prevents eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery by implementing SSL/TLS encryption on top of TCP/IP connections.
Don’t forget to optimize for mobile device users
If you’ve redirected a user to a new page and they’ve made it there successfully, great! But what if the user is still having trouble? The problem could be that the page isn’t optimized for their device.
The number one mistake most people make when redirecting users from one page to another is not optimizing the content of each page for its intended device. This can lead to:
- Poor readability or usability on narrow screens like phones or tablets.
- Unreadable text or images that are too small (especially on mobile devices).
- Navigation issues, such as links that are too close together, make it difficult for users to click them accurately with their fingers.
Test on multiple devices, browsers, and carriers
While you may test your site on various devices, browsers, and carriers in your browser, it’s important to also check that it works on other people’s. This will help you avoid mistakes like 404 errors, broken links and redirect loops.
Now is a great time to start if you’re not already using Lighthouse to test your website for accessibility! Lighthouse provides an automated way of testing many aspects of your site, including accessibility issues. It even has an option for reporting bugs automatically through its GitHub page so you don’t have to do any extra work once everything is set up!
Don’t forget to analyze your data after the fact
You can use data from your website and other channels to determine whether or not the redirect was effective. You can also look at the data from before and after the redirect to see if there’s been any improvement in user experience, customer experience, conversion rate and overall user experience.
It’s important to get user redirection right because when you don’t, you may lose customers and sales
Redirecting users to the right page is an important part of any business. It’s a mistake, however, to think that just because you have a great website and are redirecting correctly, then everything else will fall into place. In fact, several common mistakes can be avoided when it comes to user redirection:
- Using HTTP instead of HTTPS
- Redirecting users to incorrect language or currency
- Testing on only one device/browser/carrier
It’s also important for businesses because they want happy customers and user experience (UX) is becoming increasingly important in online shopping! According to surveys conducted by Google and Adobe Digital Insights in 2017, consumers are more likely than ever before online merchants who offer good UXs over those with mediocre or poor ones.
When you’re redirecting users, it’s important to make sure that the process is seamless, transparent and secure. By following the guidelines in this article and testing your redirection URL before deploying it, you can avoid common mistakes while also making sure your site functions as efficiently as possible.