Django Redirects App

Django comes with a few optional apps that can easily be installed. One of those apps is the Redirects App, which is particularly useful in the cases where you want to update some existing URLs without compromising your Website SEO or in any case avoid 404 errors.

It lets you store redirects in a database and handles the redirecting for you. It uses the HTTP response status code 301 Moved Permanently by default.

It basically works by creating a table in the database with two columns, old_path and new_path. Every time when website raises a 404 error, the Redirects App will intercept the response and check this particular table for a match. If the requested URL is found in the column old_path with respected site_id, instead of raising the 404 error, it will redirect the user to the new_path returning a 301 code (Moved Permanently).


  • The Django Redirects App requires the sites framework to be installed.
  • Add django.contrib.sites to the INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  • Add django.contrib.redirects to the INSTALLED_APPS setting.

    # Sites and Redirect app

Set a SITE_ID in the file so the sites framework works properly.

  • Add django.contrib.redirects.middleware.RedirectFallbackMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE configuration inside the

    # Redirect Middleware

Make sure you run the migrate command to create the required tables:

$ python migrate  

Operations to perform:
  Apply all migrations: admin, auth, contenttypes, redirects, sessions, sites
Running migrations:
  Applying redirects.0001_initial... OK
  Applying redirects.0002_alter_redirect_new_path_help_text... OK


  • The easiest way to use is through Django Admin.
  • If you are not currently using the Django Admin app, and it’s a one time thing (for example you are migrating a site from other platform), you can use just the Python API via command line or creating a fixture.
  • If you are not using Django Admin and still wants to add it as a functionality for the site administrator, then you will have to create your own views for it.

Using the Redirects App with Django Admin

It will be automatically added to the Django Admin interface.


You will see, it’s very straightforward. Just add the paths and it will do all the hard work for you.


Now, we can test it by typing the old path in the browser and see if redirects correctly or not. Another way is examining the response body in the terminal. You can easily do it by using curl:

curl --head

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2022 10:41:34 GMT
Server: WSGIServer/0.2 CPython/3.8.12
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Location: /about/
X-Frame-Options: DENY
Content-Length: 0
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
Referrer-Policy: same-origin
Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy: same-origin

Using the Redirects App with the Python API

You can manually create the redirect records interacting directly with the Redirect model. It lives in django/contrib/redirects/

Open the python shell:

python shell

Here is how you can create a few redirect entries:

>>> from django.contrib.redirects.models import Redirect
>>> from django.contrib.sites.models import Site
>>> from django.conf import settings

>>> site = Site.objects.get(pk=settings.SITE_ID)

>>> # Add a new redirect.
>>> Redirect.objects.create(site=site, old_path='/contact-us/', new_path='/about/')

>>> # Delete a redirect.
>>> Redirect.objects.filter(site_id=1, old_path='/contact-us/').delete()

Using the Redirects App with Fixtures

Just create a JSON file following the template of the example below:


Then load it directly to the database by running the command below:

python loaddata redirects-fixtures.json
Installed 1 object(s) from 1 fixture(s)

If you want to find out more about the Redirects app, refer to the Django’s Official documentation about it.

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