How to Make a Redirect in PHP

When building a website, there may be situations where you need to redirect a user from one page to another. PHP provides a simple and efficient way to achieve this redirect without the need for a meta refresh. In this article, we will explore different methods to make a redirect in PHP and discuss their use cases.

Method 1: Header Redirect

The most commonly used method to make a redirect in PHP is through the use of the header() function. This function sends a raw HTTP header to the browser, which triggers the redirect. Here's an example:


In the example above, we use the header() function with the "Location" header to specify the destination URL. The exit() function is called immediately after to terminate the script execution and ensure a clean redirect.

Important Points:

  • Make sure that the header() function is called before any content is sent to the browser. Otherwise, you will encounter an error.
  • The URL in the "Location" header must be an absolute URL, including the protocol (e.g., http://).
  • The header redirect uses the HTTP status code 302 Found by default, which indicates a temporary redirect. If you want to perform a permanent redirect, you can use the status code 301 Moved Permanently.

Method 2: JavaScript Redirect

If for some reason you cannot use the header redirect, you can also make a redirect using JavaScript. However, keep in mind that this method requires JavaScript to be enabled on the user's browser. Here's an example:

                <script type="text/javascript">
                window.location.href = "";

In the example above, we use the window.location.href property to specify the destination URL. The browser will automatically redirect to the specified URL when this script is executed.

Important Points:

  • Make sure that JavaScript is enabled on the user's browser for the redirect to work.
  • The JavaScript redirect can be useful when you need to perform some additional logic or checks before redirecting the user.
  • Similar to the header redirect, you can specify a different status code (e.g., 301) to indicate a permanent redirect.

Method 3: Meta Refresh Redirect

Although you mentioned that you don't want to use a meta refresh, it's worth mentioning as an alternative method. The meta refresh is an HTML tag that redirects the browser after a certain amount of time. Here's an example:

                <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=''">

In the example above, the meta refresh tag is used with a content attribute that specifies the time delay (in seconds) before the redirect occurs, followed by the destination URL.

Important Points:

  • Using the meta refresh tag can be considered a less efficient method compared to the header redirect or JavaScript redirect. It can also have implications for SEO, as search engines might interpret it differently.
  • The time delay (specified in the content attribute) controls how long the user stays on the current page before being redirected. A value of 0 indicates an immediate redirect.
  • It's considered best practice to use the header redirect or JavaScript redirect instead of the meta refresh.


In conclusion, there are multiple ways to make a redirect in PHP, depending on your specific requirements and constraints. The header redirect is the recommended method as it is efficient, reliable, and widely supported. However, if you cannot use the header redirect, you can resort to the JavaScript redirect or the meta refresh redirect. Remember to consider the implications of each method, such as browser compatibility and SEO considerations, when choosing the most suitable approach for your particular situation.