U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Redirects and Bookmarks

If you retire or move an established website, you may need to use redirects or bookmarks to help your users understand and navigate the changes to your site. Below are the requirements.

Bookmarks and Seamless Redirects

There are two kinds of redirects: bookmarks and seamless redirects.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks redirect users from the "old" URL to a new HTML page. This page explains that the content has moved, that readers need to update their bookmarks and links, and shows them where the new content can be found.

Bookmarks are useful when you need to explain changes to your readers. There is no standard model for redirects, and they can be as short or long as needed to explain what changes have been made.

Bookmarks are temporary, and should be set up for either 6 months or 12 months, after which they are taken down.

Seamless Redirects

Seamless redirects automatically redirect users from the old URL to the new URL.

Seamless redirects are useful for quickly forwarding users from one URL to another. However, because seamless redirects are automatic, they don't let users know that the URL has changed or that they need to update their bookmarks or links.

Seamless redirects are usually set up for 6 or 12 months. Permanent seamless redirects can also be set up in special situations. See setting up redirects for more information.

Setting up Redirects

A redirect or bookmark can cover an entire directory or can be set up for individual pages. To set up a bookmark or a seamless redirect, contact your ActioNET technical contact.

Always request as few redirects as possible. If you are retiring or moving a large number of pages, you should always set up one redirect to serve an entire directory or website.

Most redirects are temporary. A seamless redirect or bookmark can be set up for 6 months or 12 months. After that time, they will be taken down. Follow these guidelines when deciding what redirects to request:

  • Short-term redirects are:
    • In place for 6 months
    • Used for single pages and low-traffic sites that have changed URLs
  • Long-term redirects are:
    • In place for 1 year
    • Used for office-level, deployment, and other large or high-traffic sites that have changed URLs
  • Permanent seamless redirects are:
    • In place permanently or indefinitely
    • Used to correct common user URL errors or in special-case situations
    • Approved by the Web Governance Team. Contact the Web Governance Team Facilitator for information on how to start this process.