I've found that the following two URLs will show the same content:


In the case of the first URL, it appears to pick up the index.html from the blog pseudo-folder. I guess this is because I have index.html configured as my index document.

However, the browser is not redirected. This means I end up with two different URLs being hit for the same content. From the point of view of analytics and other things this is a pain.

Can I make S3 redirect with a 301 to index.html? Or the other way around?

  • What about... Don't create links to /blog/index.html. link to /blog/. (with the trailing slash, otherwise S3 will send a 301 to append it.) Showing the index document implicitly and explicitly is essentially standard web server behavior. Sep 19, 2015 at 4:08
  • "Showing the index document implicitly and explicitly is essentially standard web server behavior." -> can you provide a reference for that? I'm interested... Sep 21, 2015 at 8:41
  • Navigating to /blog redirects to /blog/ so that relative paths of documents under "/blog/" work correctly as links. The subsequent request for /blog/ then displays the content of /blog/index.html (implicit) without it being reflected in the address bar. Navigating to /blog/index.html shows the same content (explicit). I can't provide a reference, just anecdotal observations of 18 years of working with web servers... Apache, Nginx, IIS, S3 with static hosting, and any number of relatively minor players... when an index/default document is defined, that's what they do. Sep 21, 2015 at 12:48
  • Hmmm... not so sure. That's an implementation detail of the server, and the server could easily be made to work in a different way (mod script for Apache, or whatever). What I meant by a reference was a citation from one of the the HTTP RFCs or similar. Sep 25, 2015 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


Firstly, make sure you are only linking to one version of the URL, whether it is /blog/ or /blog/index.html (I'd prefer the former since it's shorter and simpler).

The best solution with regards to SEO would be to use a canonical tag. Put this inside the <head> tag:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://yoursite.com/blog/">

That means that when search engines see both URLs they are treated the same, and ensures visitors coming from a search engine will hit /blog/ and not /blog/index.html.

If you have links from other sites you may not be able to control where the visitors land, so for analytics purposes it's probably still worth redirecting the user.

I don't know if you have any kind of server-side rules in your situation given that it's a static site, but if you can use .htaccess you should do something like this:

Redirect 301 /blog/index.html /blog/

Finally, if all else fails then redirecting the user with JavaScript is fine:

if (window.location.href.indexOf('index.html') != -1)
    window.location.href = '/blog/';
  • Thanks, I followed most of this. Unfortunately the .htaccess redirection is not possible. I have changed all links to /, and added both a redirection and a link rel=canonical to the index.html pages. I also had to migrate all my Disqus comments. I won't mark as answered, because the question isn't really answered, but thanks. Sep 25, 2015 at 13:47

place in your /blog/index.html on the top, before opening < head>

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");

so you get the only one url: with index.html on the end - all tries to come into /blog/ will be redirected to /blog/index.html

On hosting, which doesn't support PHP, use a Javascript:

<script type="text/javascript">
window.location = "http://www.example.com/blog/index.html";
  • I'm not using PHP, this is a static site hosted on S3. Sep 21, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    i edited the post
    – Evgeniy
    Sep 21, 2015 at 9:11

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