WordPress site Redirection explained

Redirection is the process of sending a user from one URL to another.

As a web admin, you may need to create new URLs or remove the old ones. In this case, if you prefer removing the old URLs, you need to configure Redirection on your website.

Redirection affects your site’s SEO. If a user requests for a Not-Found page on your site, the user is presented with a 404 page. Conversely, your site shows a working page with the Redirection. Also, Redirection helps you present the updated versions of the old pages.

You can easily configure Redirection on a WordPress site. Including frequently used plugin for the WordPress Redirection, called Redirection, you can go for the manual methods as well.

Let’s proceed and learn about WordPress Redirection in details, including how to redirect URLs on your site and professional tips on using Redirection for improved performance.

What is Redirection?

As explained before, Redirection is the process of sending a user or browser from one location to another. It is also called the URL Forwarding.

Redirection is a normal routine in Website Management. However, to make Redirection work on your site, you can go for installing a WordPress plugin or deal with the Server configuration.

Before diving deep into Redirection and how to configure it on your website, the following lines contain its SEO benefits.

WWW vs Non-www URLs

WordPress provides the option to choose from two versions of your site URL, www and non-www. By configuring Redirection correctly, Search engines honor your site URLs in both cases.

Temporary or Permanent Redirection

You can redirect a page, temporary or permanently. Although you can temporarily redirect a page, you should go for the permanent redirection. In this case, Permanent Redirection helps search engines ignore your redirected page and index the content of the target page.

Merging two websites or domains into one

For example, you create two domains for your site. You take one, build your site and create content. In this scenario, you can redirect the second domain to the one you created a website on.

Eliminate duplicate content with permanent Redirects

As time passes, your site populates with the duplicate content. With proper Redirection, you can permanently redirect URLs from duplicate content to original pages.

WordPress site Redirection – using Plugins

The WordPress plugins provide easy ways to redirect URLs. You need to install the WordPress Plugin called Redirection. Here are the steps to install and configure Redirection on your website.

STEP 1

In the WordPress Dashboard, click on the Add New Plugin at the left panel.

wordpress plugins
Adding new plugins in a WordPress website

On the next page, you can search for the Redirection. Proceed and install the first plugin that appears.

wordpress redirection
Install the WordPress Redirection plugin (WordPress Plugins Directory)

STEP 2

After installation, choose Redirection from the Tools menu.

wordpress redirection plugin
Tools menu in the WordPress Dashboard

STEP 3

The next page shows the plugin’s welcome screen. Click on the Add New button to add a new redirect to your site.

add new redirect in wordpress
Redirection plugin’s Home screen

STEP 4

Fill in the blanks and click on the Add Redirect button at the end. Here is the short description of the fields.

Source URL: It refers to the URL you want to redirect. For example, consider two URLs, A and B. You want to load URL-B when users request for the URL-A. In this case, URL-A refers to the source URL.

Target URL: Consider the above example. The URL-B refers to the target URL, the one you want to load in the browser.

Group: Group defines the category of the new Redirection entry. In most cases, you don’t need to change the group field.

To explore more about adding new Redirect options, click on the circle button.

wordpress redirection plugin explained
Adding new Redirection entries (WordPress Redirection plugin)

Finally, you filled into three fields. For instance, don’t change the remaining fields and proceed to click on the Add Redirect button at the end.

STEP 5

Now, you need to test your new Redirection entry. The same page shows your new entry in the Redirects list.

While pointing at the new entry, click on the Check Redirect to test your new redirect. If everything went normal, you would see the following screen.

wordpress successful redirection
The new redirection entry has been confirmed successfully.

Similarly, you can repeat the procedure and add new Redirection entries to your site.

How to redirect a URL manually (without Plugins)?

If you don’t prefer using WordPress plugins for the Redirection, you can also redirect URLs manually.

STEP 1

Before you proceed, make sure your site runs on an Apache Web Server. You can check your server information in the Hosting cPanel.

wordpress server information
Web Server information in the Hosting cPanel

STEP 2

Log into your Hosting File Manager, and look for the .htaccess file in the Root folder. First, download the said file for backup purposes. After downloading, delete the file from the File Manager.

STEP 3

Create a new file using Notepad, or the text editor of your choice, and paste in the following code. redirect 301 /mypage http://yoursite.com

While /mypage refers to the page at yoursite.com/mypage

In the code, when a user loads yoursite.com/mypage, the browser will show the page at http://yoursite.com

In this example code, you configured Redirection for the yoursite.com/mypage – The page at /mypage will be redirected to the home page at http://yoursite.com

Finally, make sure you choose All Files and save the file as .htaccess

save file wordpress visual composer blog
Saving a file as htaccess

STEP 4

Upload the newly created .htaccess to your Hosting’s Root folder.

STEP 5

Test the newly created Redirect by browsing to /mypage on your site. If the process went normal, you would see the Home Page of your website.

In this example of the .htaccess, we assumed having a page named /mypage on a website. If for example, you don’t create one for the process, you can still experience and learn the Redirection with the .htaccess method. By adding new entries to .htaccess, you can redirect more URLs on your website.

Professional Tips

  • You can use Redirection for removing duplicate content from your site. To get started, collect all the pages that pose duplication and redirect them to one – original page or post of your choice.
  • Use the Google Search Console to find Not-Found pages on your site. Once you have a list of 404 pages, you can configure redirection for improving your site’s SEO.
  • You can use the Redirection plugin for advanced configuration – like Regular expressions. To learn more about Redirection with Regular Expressions, head over to this excellent tutorial.
  • Think about redesigning your site’s 404 page, and offer a lead magnet or resource to capture leads on your site.
  • If you don’t prefer using the Redirection plugin, you can safely use the .htaccess It helps you cut down the number of plugins installed on your website.
  • Always configure redirection for the newly renamed pages, posts, and resources on your website.

Conclusion

In the article, we learned about WordPress site redirection and the ways to redirect URLs on your site. As a beginner, you can use the Redirection plugin, or prefer to use the .htaccess method as an advanced user.

Importantly, configuring Redirection improves your site’s SEO. You can go through a Link Audit and configure Redirects accordingly.

Also, take care of the tips defined in this write-up. In case of the problems while setting up the Redirection, let us know in the comments. You can also read more articles about WordPress and SEO.

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