The redirects app

Django comes with an optional redirects application. It lets you store simple redirects in a database and handles the redirecting for you.


To install the redirects app, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the django.contrib.sites framework is installed.
  2. Add 'django.contrib.redirects' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  3. Add 'django.contrib.redirects.middleware.RedirectFallbackMiddleware' to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting.
  4. Run the command syncdb.

How it works syncdb creates a django_redirect table in your database. This is a simple lookup table with site_id, old_path and new_path fields.

The RedirectFallbackMiddleware does all of the work. Each time any Django application raises a 404 error, this middleware checks the redirects database for the requested URL as a last resort. Specifically, it checks for a redirect with the given old_path with a site ID that corresponds to the SITE_ID setting.

  • If it finds a match, and new_path is not empty, it redirects to new_path.
  • If it finds a match, and new_path is empty, it sends a 410 (“Gone”) HTTP header and empty (content-less) response.
  • If it doesn’t find a match, the request continues to be processed as usual.

The middleware only gets activated for 404s – not for 500s or responses of any other status code.

Note that the order of MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES matters. Generally, you can put RedirectFallbackMiddleware at the end of the list, because it’s a last resort.

For more on middleware, read the middleware docs.

How to add, change and delete redirects

Via the admin interface

If you’ve activated the automatic Django admin interface, you should see a “Redirects” section on the admin index page. Edit redirects as you edit any other object in the system.

Via the Python API

class models.Redirect

Redirects are represented by a standard Django model, which lives in django/contrib/redirects/ You can access redirect objects via the Django database API.