Creating Redirects in WordPress Explained
More often than not, you’ll feel the need to create a redirect on your WordPress website. And that’s what the internet is all about – linking one information to another. Depending on how familiar you are with WordPress and its technicalities beneath the surface, creating redirects can be challenging.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating redirects on your WordPress website.
What Is A Redirect And Why Should I Create One?
Redirect allows you to send users from one URL to another without having to type the address manually. Therefore, it is commonly also known as “URL Redirect.” The process of redirection is performed by the web server and executed on the client-side.
The importance of redirects can be realized with the following scenario. Let’s say you had published a blog page on “Mega Moolah offers” back in 2019. But now you’ve written the updated piece for 2020. Very few people would bother to read about the outdated offer unless they deliberately want to read it.
The article from 2019 still shows up on the search engine results page as it has been indexed and worked quite well. But now it’ll be considered irrelevant by most users visiting the page. This will result in people leaving your website within a few seconds of landing, which is called “bounce traffic” in technical terms. This is extremely bad for your website.
In this case, you can use a redirect to guide web visitors to the fresh article. In other words, you’re redirecting traffic from old pages to newer pages. Casino websites often have to update their website and keep it relevant to current offers and news. This is just an example of how WordPress redirects are beneficial for website owners.
Benefits Of Using Redirects
- You can pass SEO link juice to the newer article. Not only visitors but also beneficial SEO juice — you gain twice using redirects. This approach will help you rank web pages easier and faster.
- You can redirect in WordPress from multiple domains. If you’ve purchased different domain or domain extensions and want them to point to a single source, then you should use redirects.
- If you’ve sent an email campaign but then realized that you’ve sent a link that has a typo error, you can redirect the broken link to the correct URL, thus saving your campaign from going jeopardy.
Types of Redirects
As mentioned above, redirects are of multiple types, and you need to choose the right one for your cause. Three of the common ones are:
301 Server Redirects
301 redirect WordPress is the most used of all the redirects available. It essentially refers browser to a new URL – and this is permanent. You’d use this if you have permanently moved your website or a web page. The Mega Moolah example above is the perfect scenario.
302 Server Redirects
As opposed to a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect is temporary. Therefore, if you’ve moved your website or a webpage for a small period and intend to restore the original version, then you should employ 302 redirects instead of 301. In this redirect, you’ll not receive the SEO link juice you’d otherwise receive on 301.
Meta Refresh Browser Redirects
With this type of WordPress page redirect, the user is notified that they are going to be redirected in “X” seconds. Therefore, they are offered a chance of canceling the redirect. Depending on where you use it, this type of redirect can be good or bad.
There are other types of redirects as well, like 300, 303, 304, and 307, but you’re not going to use them under normal circumstances. They serve different purposes.
Creating Redirects with WordPress: How To Redirect a URL
You can create redirects with WP in two ways. Both are equally helpful and do the exact same thing, but in different ways. One requires you to edit the file, while the other utilizes plugins (which is one reason why WordPress as a platform is so popular). You should use the one according to your expertise and preference.
Editing the .htaccess file
WordPress is made up of individual files. .htaccess, which stands for hypertext access, is one of them. Among many other functionalities, it offers you the ability to approve or deny someone to your website or redirect to another website/web page.
This is one of the fastest working types, and you don’t need to install or configure anything else. All that is required is a few lines of code. But it can also be complicated because of its technical nature. Messing with your .htaccess file incorrectly will bring down your entire WordPress website. Therefore, proceed with caution by rigorously following the steps below:
- Using FTP of your choice, navigate into the root directory of your WP website.
- You should see the .htaccess file just under the core folders.
- Open the file and add the following code at the very bottom:
- Redirect 301 / http://yourdomainname.com/ or Redirect 302 / http://yourdomainname.com/
- If you want to redirect a specific page, then put in the page URL along with the destination URL. An example would be: Redirect 301 /blog_11 https://www.yourdomainname.com/category/blog_11
- If you need more complex redirected pages, then you can use regex. But before that, we suggest you take a backup of the website.
Installing a Plugin
Third-party plugins can help you generate redirects. This is the preferred solution for those who are uncomfortable with editing files. To access the plugins, you need to visit the WordPress plugin directory. Then, search for “Redirects” which will show you all the plugins that are capable of redirecting web pages back and forth.
There are many plugins in this category like:
- 301 Redirect
- WC Thank Redirect
- Quick Page/Post Redirect
Using them is simple. Just install the plugin on your website, activate it, and start redirecting. Almost all the plugins will provide a field for page URL and redirect link. You just need to provide the correct URL, and the plugin will do all the coding work necessary under the hood. Plus, you do not have to worry about your website being affected due to error code.
As you can see, redirecting pages is both important and easy in WordPress. You just need to have clarity on your requirements. So, choose your theme, launch your website, and employ the best redirects to serve your purpose.
If you face any error, you should get in touch with your WP hosting provider for assistance.