Permanent 301 Redirect with QueryString in IIS

If anyone's ever tried to move domain, you'll know its a pain. One way to make things a little easier is to provide an automatic 301 redirect from your old domain to your new one - this marks the new destination as a permanent change, and will generally be picked up by search engines.

IIS provides an easy way to do this - but it's not immediately obvious how to get it to forward querystrings too - for instance, if you wanted to forward to Here's now! (This works in both IIS 5 and IIS 6)

  1. Go into the IIS site properties for the domain you're moving from. In the "Home Directory" tab, click the option "A redirection to a URL".
  2. In the Redirect to box, enter the domain you wish to move to (no trailing slash), plus $S$Q - for example,$S$Q
  3. Next, check the options that state the client will be sent to "The exact URL entered above", and "A permanent redirection for this resource"

And that's it! Now, what does this $S$Q do? These are basically tags that IIS will automatically replace - $S will be replaced with the subdirectory location (such as /images/show.aspx) and $Q will be replaced with the querystring (such as ?id=30).

You might be wondering why we can't just use $Q, and then turn off "The exact URL entered above" - but in this situation, you get your domain name, then the query string, and *then* the subdirectory location - which probably isn't what you wanted! For more information, check out this.

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James Crowley James first started this website when learning Visual Basic back in 1999 whilst studying his GCSEs. The site grew steadily over the years while being run as a hobby - to a regular monthly audience ...


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