WordPress redirects help your website and are essential because it’s always involving, with fresh, improved material being added to replace older, less useful information. When deleting outdated material, it might be difficult to eliminate the potential for getting 404 errors and maintain your page rankings.
This is why it’s crucial to put redirects in place—to avoid getting those undesirable 404 errors. Instead, users will just be directed to your updated current content when they attempt to view posts you’ve moved or removed. In addition, this helps your old page rank to be passed on to your updated content.
The way to redirect WordPress pages will be covered in this post. Our next topic will be some best practices and suggestions to help you manage your website better, so let’s dive in.
Getting to Grips with Redirects
Your website can benefit greatly from WordPress redirection if it’s handled appropriately. Because the internet is continuously evolving, the content and structure of your site need to change as well. In contrast, visitors who try to access a page at its previous address will receive a 404 message.
However, even a seemingly innocuous issue like this can make your site appear less businesslike and cause visitors to become confused. Links that have ceased to function make it more difficult for viewers to navigate your site, so a method of forwarding them to the right place is essential.
If you’ve ever changed your postal address at the post office, it’s the same sort of thing with WordPress redirection. Visitors are redirected to a different URL when they type in a link to the old one. With any luck, they won’t even notice the difference.
The accrued Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits of your previous page can be transferred to the new content via WordPress redirection as well. Keeping hold of the authority that backlinks give your site is essential.
There are three types of redirects. The 301 is the most prevalent and it signals that the page has been relocated to a new location on the Internet. A 302 informs browsers that the page was discovered at another location and not the one that was typed in. This kind is typically employed for redirects on a short-lived basis.
307s can also be used for provisional moves if there is an intention to return to the previous address at a later date.
While it is possible to redirect WordPress manually using the .htaccess file, it might be easier to utilize a WordPress plugin instead. Redirection is one convenient potential option that lets you type in the URL of both the old and new pages.
Core WordPress Redirection Tips and Best Practices
When you first start using WordPress redirection, it may appear simple, but there are a lot of things that may go wrong. Setting things up appropriately is easier if you are aware of basic recommended practices. As a starting point, here are six suggestions to get you started.
Use 301 Redirects
Several sorts of redirects can be used on your website, as we’ve explained. If you choose the wrong one, your website’s SEO will suffer, but it’s fairly easy to use the right one because that’s typically going to be a 301.
301 redirects indicate that the page will remain at the same location for the foreseeable future. Whenever a search engine sees a redirect, it knows to pass on its SEO value. Your position in the search engine results will improve as a result of this.
Search engines will continue to do the opposite for the old URL after some time has passed. Visitors will see and click on the listing for your updated page instead of needing to be routed there from the previous one, which will save you time and money.
302 and 307 redirects will still deliver your visitor to the correct website, However, search engines will perceive the move as temporary, although the shift will be seen as transitory in the eyes of search engines. As a result, you’ll have to start from zero again when it comes to optimizing your newly updated material.
The old page will also be indexed. Due to the fact that duplicate material is indexed by search engines, you may have to battle for a higher ranking against your own material on the results pages.
Redirect WordPress to Relevant Pages
In order to avoid 404 problems when you delete or relocate content, redirects are used. This is vital, but it’s counterproductive if you send people to an inappropriate site. A higher bounce rate and a negative impact on your SEO might result from this.
Think of a cat accessories e-commerce website, for example. If you cease selling a certain catnip product and have no intention of selling it again in the future then you should delete it from your site. But if you redirect buyers to a page for clockwork mice then they won’t be happy, because they specifically wanted catnip of some sort, so you’ll be much more likely to retain them if you point them towards a product that at least has catnip in it.
This principle of similarity is relevant for all sorts of content.
Check That Your Redirects Work
Once you’ve initiated a redirect you want to establish that it functions as it should because even the smallest typographical error could result in a 404, which is exactly what you want to avoid. All you need to do is type in the old URL and see where it sends you. If you get “page not found”, go back to your plug-in or htaccess file and double-check everything.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you are a ManageWP user, there’s a Link Monitor included that can help. It scans your site links every 24 hours and alerts you to any that no longer work because the redirects were ineffective etc.
Avoiding Redirect Chains
A burgeoning website is bound to pick up more and more redirects over time. That’s just the way it is, and one unwelcome consequence of this expansion is the potential for redirect chains. These happen when your visitors get shunted from URL one to two, but then number two sends them to number three. Chaos!
This might not seem so bad on the face of it, the extra burden this places on your server may slow down your page loading, and that could have a detrimental influence on your search engine rankings. And let’s not forget that visitors hate this sort of thing and will quickly go elsewhere if you keep them waiting.
If you’re using the WordPress Redirection plugin, you can look for redirect chains just by casting your eye over its list of redirects.
Look for your target URL, and if it points to a different webpage, just make your target the final destination instead.
Keep All Your Redirects Shipshape
Redirect chains are not the only problem you have to contend with when you’re running a sizable website. More redirects mean more difficulty in navigating them, more difficulty in tracking them, and in managing them.
A redirection plugin is a good investment. It can help you to keep on top of everything, organizing your redirects into groups for example. This kind of thing is really great because it’s so easy for one redirect to get lost in the crowd. You always want to have the flexibility to edit them at your fingertips, because it just makes site management so much less of a headache.
Getting Rid of Old 301 Redirects
You shouldn’t keep 301 redirects forever. Once references like search engine results and pointers to the original URL have been brought up to date so they point to the right address, then you should be able to get rid of them.
Google’s John Mu says it’s best to wait for a minimum of 12 months Before you examine your old 301 redirects, at which time you can see whether the previous URL is still getting hits.
It is possible to delete the 301 redirects if the previous URL no longer receives any traffic. As long as there is traffic, you must leave it in place or you might suffer SEO issues.
The Redirection plugin makes it easy to delete an outdated 301 redirect. Find it in the list and click Delete.
If you manually inserted redirects to your .htaccess file, you’ll need to delete the applicable code, but be careful not to remove the wrong one!
Redirects are extremely useful for ensuring that your website audience doesn’t get sent to places that they don’t want to go. Using them the right way means that you get to present the most up-to-date material to your visitors and avoid showering them with 404 errors. You’ll keep them happy and also retain your page rank.