Trailing Slash Redirects


Examining the subject in terminological terms, the directory signifies a directory, while represents a file. When requests are made to both paths to fetch the same resource, it is preferable to ensure that one redirects to the other.

The implementation of this structure on our site will not only optimize our website performance but also streamline the operations of search engine crawlers. To illustrate, if distinct content is provided for each of the URLs mentioned above to the search engine, it will result in duplicate pages, presenting our site map in search results as though a single resource exists at two different paths. Consequently, to present these two paths to crawler bots as equivalent pages, the common practice is to redirect one path to the other.

Since our sites typically adhere to a directory pattern, redirecting the path without a trailing slash to the one with a slash is a more logical choice. Take, for instance, the default behaviour of the WordPress system, which appends a slash to the end of each page:

Upon visiting, you’ll observe the automatic addition of a slash to the URL before opening the page. Upon requesting the site, it will redirect to the URL with a trailing slash using a 301 status code and then proceed with the request. Subsequently, the response will entail the delivery of page content accompanied by a status code of 200.

from flask import Flask, request, redirect, url_for

app = Flask(__name__)

def path_with_slash():
    return 'Path with slash'

def path_without_slash():
    # Redirect to the URL with a trailing slash
    return redirect(url_for('path_with_slash'), code=301)

Google crawler bots allocate a specific resource for each website. While a few hundred pages may not pose challenges, if this number extends to the tens of thousands, crawlers might cease exploration of your website after a certain point. Redirecting these duplicate paths to each other, instead of serving the same page separately on two different paths, becomes crucial. This strategic redirection ensures maximum indexing by crawlers, translating to almost all our pages being indexed when users initiate searches on Google. For a more in-depth understanding of this situation, you can take a look at the “crawl budget” concept.

How Trailing Slashes Affect Your Website’s SEO
To slash or not to slash