Handling Redirects After a Contentful Migration

By: David Boland

Black and white photo of someone at laptop looking at code.


Contentful is a highly recommended content management system that helps businesses to build, manage and publish digital content. It is user-friendly and provides a wide range of features that can be customized to suit any business requirements. The migration process from another CMS to Contentful can be smooth, but it can also have some challenges. One of these could be handling redirects. In this post, we will discuss the importance of redirects and options for handling them after a Contentful migration.

Importance of Redirects

Redirects are essential to maintain search engine rankings and prevent broken links. When a website changes its domain or URL structure, it is important to redirect the old URLs to the new ones. If redirects are not implemented, search engines will see the old URLs as broken links, and that can effect your website’s ranking. Redirects also improve user experience by ensuring that users are sent to the correct page even if they have an old link.

How to Handle Redirects after a Contentful Migration

There are two main ways to handle redirects after a Contentful Migration. The first is to store redirects in Contentful as content. The second is to setup redirects at the site configuration level. One thing I won’t be covering in this post is how to manage the redirects in code. Because Contentful is a headless CMS, you could have anything from NextJS to C# to Gatsby running your site. Reach out if you need help implementing this on your site.

Redirects at the Configuration Level

Setting up redirects at the configuration level could be a good option. For example, if you are using a CDN like Cloudflare, you can add Page Rules for redirecting incoming requests. These can even include regex & wildcard functionality. So if you are removing a whole part of your site, you can redirect all requests under that path, /deprecated/* to /. If you have a site built on NextJS, you can add a collection of redirects to your next.config.js file. Another benefit is that you aren't filling up your Contentful space with potentially unnecessary content types and entries.

While this approach has the advantage of potentially handling multiple requests at once, the big disadvantage is that this is harder for editors to manage. For adding the example of adding to site configuration, it may require a technical resource to add and deploy any changes.

Contentful Redirects

Using Contentful to manage redirects involves creating a new content type (or modifying existing ones) for redirects. Generally, there are two approaches to setting up Content Types for redirects. First is to have a specific content type dedicated to redirects. The model for this type could look like the following

Redirect Content Model diagram
The source URL would represent your old URL. This can also be configured to accept regex, to be able to handle multiple types of requests. The target URL would be the page you are redirecting to. Redirect Type, could be a short string multi-select. This can be configured in Contentful to only accept specific types (301, 302, etc). In most cases, you will only need 301 or 302, but its good to have the flexibility.

The advantage of this approach is it is easier to organize and manage redirects when they are their own separate type. The disadvantage is that you need a dedicated content type for the redirect. Also, you need to have an entry for each redirect. The next option resolves both those issues.

The second way of setting up your Content Types to manage redirects is to have them directly on the page. Your model might end up looking something like this

Page Redirect Content Model diagram
You would have your standard page fields, and then the additional fields required for the redirect, with the exception of the “Target URL”. The reason we can exclude the target URL is because the redirect would be pointing to the page itself. As mentioned previously, the advantage of this is that you don’t need additional content types or entries. It is also much easier to find redirects to specific pages because the redirects are on the page itself.

A disadvantage to this approach is that if you want to have multiple redirects to a specific page, you need to make sure that the redirect URL field on the page is able to handle multiple redirect options (via regex), or you allow for adding multiple entries (Short text, list).

Aside from redirects being editable, another advantage to this approach is that redirects can be added via the Content Management API. If you are migrating from one system to another, you and your previous CMS has a way of exporting the existing redirects, you can migrate them into Contentful.


Redirects are an essential part of any website migration, including a Contentful migration. They ensure that search engine rankings are maintained, and users are sent to the correct page. There are two main ways to handle redirects after a Contentful migration: using the Contentful API or a third-party service. Whichever option is chosen, it is essential to ensure that all redirects are in place before the old URLs are removed to prevent any negative impact on website traffic or search engine rankings.

Thanks to #WOCinTech for the hero/meta photo in this post