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How to Fix the HTTP 302 Error Without Impacting Your SEO

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Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is responsible for all the interactions happening in the background when you browse from one website to another on your web browser.

Whenever you access a website, your browser sends a request to the host server to let you view the web content.

But, when the web page appears blank on your site, it shows some HTTP error, stopping you from viewing the content.

There are several HTTP errors that you might encounter while browsing online due to different reasons.

One of the most common HTTP errors from development is the 302 redirect code.

It is a harmless error that website owners impose to redirect traffic when a website is under maintenance.

It ensures traffic or search engine crawlers never bounce away from your site when you are working on it.

But, sometimes, a 302 error appears to users despite website owners’ knowledge due to HTTP status code complexity.

And that’s a big harm to your SEO score.

If your website is also showing the unexpected 302 error, don’t panic.

This tutorial has every piece of information to fix 302 status codes. So, let’s begin.

What is a 302 Error Code?

The 302 error is a redirection message that appears when a user tries to load a page moved to a new location.

It happens due to web server troubles, so it does not directly impact the user experience, as redirecting is an automatic process.

Let’s take an example to understand this HTTP error better.

Suppose www.bloggingtips.com is under maintenance, and all its content is temporarily moved to www.bloggingtips101.com.

In that case, 302 redirects visitors and search engine crawlers to the new location to maintain SEO value.

Is 302 an Error?

It is a debatable question.

However, the HTTP 302 status code helps website owners retain traffic and SEO values when making major site changes.

From this perspective, it is not an error but a way to redirect your traffic temporarily.

But, when unexpected HTTP status code issues show 302 errors, that is a problem.

So, it depends on the situation—whether 302 is an error.

If you are redesigning, A/B testing, or running a promotional campaign on your site, 302 is not an error.

But, when browsers and servers miscommunicate, it is an error.

What Are the Causes Behind the HTTP 302 Status Code?

Many reasons can contribute to the HTTP 302 error, such as:

  • Your website settings are misconfigured.
  • Some third-party plugins are leading to page redirects.
  • A redirect is taking your visitors to the wrong location.
  • Incorrect URL settings.
  • Some issues on your web host provider’s end.

How Do I Stop a 302 Error on My Site? (7 Easy Methods)

Before panicking and outsourcing development fixes, take a calming breath and try these 7 methods to fix the HTTP 302 redirect errors:

Method 1. Ensure the Redirects Are Valid

As I mentioned, 302 responses are sometimes correct. For instance, an eCommerce store setting 302 redirects on out-of-stock product pages is not an error.

It is only an issue when a website responds with an unexpected error or causes a redirect loop.

Thus, ensure URLs generating 302 codes are valid.

For that, visit all the suspicious pages on your site with the 302 redirects to see if they behave as you want.

If an URL takes you to the wrong location or your browser responds with an ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS error page, it means your concerns are genuine.  

To fix the error, follow the solutions mentioned ahead.

Method 2. Restore Your Website from a Backup

Creating a full website backup is always the smart move before making any changes to your site.

If you have made some changes to the site’s server settings lately or malware has attacked it, leading to the redirect loop, your backup can be a savior.

You can restore your website to a stable and healthy state before the all-HTTP error fiasco.

To do so, you can use WordPress backup plugins for hassle-free site restoration.

Otherwise, you can use the FTP client or your hPanel dashboard. Then, navigate to Files > Backups.

restore website files

The screen will now show all backups you have created on the server.

If you use WordPress CMS, you must restore your site files and the MySQL database.

To restore your website files, go to the Files backups and look for the files you wish to restore.

For example, if you want to restore your entire site, select the public_html folder and restore it.

After that, look for the Database backups and select/restore the database.

restore database

Remember, the restoration process can vary from server host to host.

So, check with your web host service provider before restoring your site from the server.

Method 3. Configure Server Settings

On many occasions, misconfigured server settings can lead to 302 redirect errors.

Thus, examine your server configuration next.

Before moving further, check which webserver your host uses—Apache or Nginx because the processes to configure both servers are different.

Let’s first see how Apache webserver users can configure settings:

Step 1. Log in to your host account and look for the cPanel. You can use an FTP client to access your server.

Step 2. After that, go to your site’s root directory. You can find it in the same location as the wp-content and wp-admin folders. Here look for the .htaccess file.

Step 3. Now, you can use any text editor to open the file, like Notepad.

pasted image 0 40

Step 4. In the file, look for RewriteXXX directives.

There you might see RewriteCond and RewriteRule directives.

The RewriteCond directive defines the URL you want visitors to redirect away.

In contrast, the RewriteRule directive defines the URL you want to drive visitors to. Here’s how a perfect 302 server code looks:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^website.com$

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.temporary-website.com/$1 [R=302]

The line [R=302] at the end indicates to the browser that 302 redirects are temporary.

If you find anything wrong with RewriteXXX directives, take your .htaccess file backup before making changes to the file.

If your server is Nginx based, you need to look for the nginx.conf file. You can find this file in the following locations—

/usr/local/nginx/conf, /etc/nginx

Or

/usr/local/etc/nginx

Once you open the nginx.conf file in the text editor and use redirect flags to find rewrite directives.

These directives are the same as the RewriteCond and RewriteRule directives of Apache, but they are more complex.

The same way as before, find abnormalities in your nginx.conf file and fix them.

Method 4. Deactivate Outdated Software

Request for Comment (RFC) is the internet standard rule book, defining how everything is supposed to work on the internet.

It specifies for HTTP 1.0 that the 302 response code is a command for web browsers to perform temporary redirects.

It also states that when HTTP 302 code is delivered as the post request, the web browser should not provide access to content without the user’s confirmation.

Generally, most modern browsers can process this HTTP error code as a GET request.

However, this can confuse the web server.

Thus, to fix this, the HTTP 1.1 RFC document includes the 303 See Other and 307 Temporary Redirect codes.

It can handle both POST-to-GET and temporary direct responses.

So, you should deactivate every software that is incompatible with HTTP 1.1 to avoid 302 errors.

Method 5. Clear Your Browser Logs

Most modern web browsers maintain server logs.

hey record every action performed on the servers, including the history of requested pages, user-specific information, etc.

All these logs can store recent website changes and updates, leading to the 302 error.

You need to clear server logs to fix the error. To do so, log in to your host account through cPanel or hPanel.

You can also clear server logs from your WordPress site using the WP_DEBUG PHP constant. It is one of the perfect ways to fix WordPress bugs related to the debugging process over the entire website.

Copy/paste the following code line in your wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );

define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true );

define( ‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false );

After that, all your errors will appear in the wp-content/debug.log file. It can now make it easier to detect elements causing the 302 redirects.

Besides this, you can check the server log error using your virtual server software as follows:

Nginx server—

/var/log/nginx/error.log/

Apache server—

/var/log/apache2/error.log/

Method 6. Uninstall WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins are often installed to manage a website’s redirects, and SEO can conflict with and confuse browsers.

For example, if you are using 301 Redirects and Yoast SEO plugins together on your site, it enables you to set the correct redirect rules.

You can ensure all your plugins responsible for redirects are well-configured.

In addition, you can uninstall a plugin to check if it fixes the problem.

To do so, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins > Deactivate the suspicious plugin. Don’t forget to take a backup before uninstalling a plugin.

deactivate plugins

Method 7. Check Your WordPress URL Settings

Finally, check your WordPress URL settings to ensure they are not the problem.

To do so, log in to your WP dashboard > Settings > General.

On the next screen, you can find the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) fields.

WordPress url settings

Mostly, both fields have the same URLs.

Ensure your URL is spelled correctly and your domain name is correct.

Other Helpful Tutorials

Are you stuck with another HTTP status code or some other technical error? Then, you can refer to our following tutorials for help:

  • How to Fix Error 552: It is a server-side error sent in response to any command required to store information locally. This guide can help you fix 552 response errors.
  • How to Fix Error 500: You can fix this generic error using our complete tutorial so your server can fulfill all requests.
  • How to Fix 429 Errors: It is easy to fix too many request response errors with our complete guide.

Parting Note

The 302 redirects are not your enemies.

They, in fact, protect your SEO score and traffic when your website is under maintenance.

But, when your server, website settings, or browser configuration causes 302 errors on the URLs you don’t want, it is a problem.

In that case, you can follow the methods shared in the post.

However, if nothing works, go talk to your web host service provider because the solutions afterward are way too technical.

Now, that’s it! If the HTTP status code troubles you ever, visit Bloggingtips for help.

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