If you ever decide to change a page’s/post’s permalink, or if you want to delete a post or a page, then you’ll end up with a 404 error (page not found), and I assume you don’t want that. If you’ll use a permalink redirection, then you’ll avoid getting such errors.
In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to do that by using one simple and awesome plugin called Redirection.
What is a redirect?
A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different link. There are several types of redirects, but in this post, I’ll only talk about the most common one, which is the 301 redirect.
Basically, the 301 HTTP status code is a permanent redirect, which informs search engines that your link has permanently moved.
Why should you redirect your links
Most of you want to use redirects to knowingly send users to a different place after they performed a certain action. But there are people who change their permalink structure, or remove a page or post, without using a redirect, which will have a negative impact on your website in regard to User Experience and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Let’s see a couple of scenarios:
- Changing a post’s permalink without using a redirect. Some other blogger(s) might have linked to that post of yours, but once you change its permalink, the users from that blog who will click on the link will get a 404 Error – Page Not Found, instead of your article. Also, the old link will still remain indexed by search engines, so you’ll end up with some duplicate content issues as well.
- Deleting a post or page. Just like in the first scenario, that post or page might be linked to from another place, and the users coming from there will now hit a 404 Error – Page Not Found. Having 404 errors on your site won’t affect your SEO, as long as you don’t have too many of them and they don’t affect the user experience, creating high bounce rates.
That’s why it’s important to redirect your permalinks, especially when you just change them.
Oh, and I almost forgot! When you perform a 301 redirect from one page to another, the Page Rank/Page Authority will be passed along too, which is extremely important for SEO! If you don’t use a redirect, the new page/post will start with 0 Page Rank/Page Authority, whatever you wish to call it.
How to redirect links in WordPress using the Redirection plugin
It has several other features too, like 404 page monitoring, but I’ll just stick to the redirection part now.
Basically, you just need to install it. It doesn’t require any particular set up, except for some basic options, like how much time you want it to keep your logs.
1. Now, once you’ve changed a permalink, head to Tools -> Redirection:
2. After that, make sure you’re in the Redirections tab, then insert the old URL in the Source URL field and the new URL in the Target URL field:
3. Press Add Redirection and you’re all done!
Alternatives to the Redirection plugin
In case you want to use other plugin for whatever reason, here are some good alternatives:
That’s a wrap
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