One of the things that you may not be aware of as a blogger is the fact that you actually need to create 301 redirects to your posts and pages should you ever change their URLs. The same also applies if you have moved your website from one domain to the other. In WordPress, setting up 301 redirects is simple enough and can be accomplished by following the steps that are outlined in this article. But first, a brief word about redirects in WordPress.
What is a redirect?
A redirect is a way through which a website informs a visitor’s browser that the web page that is being looked for is no longer at the typed URL but has been moved elsewhere. The browser then automatically searches for the web page at the new location.
Why would you need a 301 redirect?
This is something to which we have already alluded above. 301 redirects can be used in the following instances;
- When you have created new content on your site and have deleted the old content
- When you have made changes to the permalinks on your website.
What happens if I do not create a redirect?
Should you neglect to create a redirect, your visitors will get 404 errors whenever they try to access pages on your site that have either been deleted or whose URLs have been modified.
As an internet user, you may have come across a number of 404 errors and you have to agree that they can be rather annoying.
But beyond that, 404 errors also tend to be rather detrimental to your SEO efforts. Too many of them, and Search Engines will begin to penalize your site by giving it lower rankings.
Redirects are, therefore, crucial in that they inform Search Engines about changes to the structure of your site. You also get to transfer SEO juice from the old page onto the new one.
How to add redirects to WordPress Website
There are a couple of ways that you can use to add 301 redirects to your WordPress posts and pages;
- Use the Redirection plugin
The first, and perhaps simplest way through which you can add 301 redirects to your WordPress posts and pages is to use a plugin that has been designed for the purpose. The Redirection plugin is a good example of one such a tool.
To start adding redirects to your posts and pages, all that you need to do is install and activate the Redirection plugin. You can then add redirection by visiting “Tools,” Redirection. The great thing about this tool is that it also allows you to identify 404 errors that may be on your site.
The really great thing about redirection is that once installed, it automatically creates 301 redirects on your site. This is a rather useful feature. You won’t even know that the plugin is working in the background. And once you have it, you won’t have to worry about 404 errors.
- The Page Links to plugin
This is another plugin that you can use to add 301 redirects to your site. Unlike Redirection, the Page Links to plugin is actually useful in instances where you want to keep a post, while still having people redirected to a new article. Using this tool is a simple matter of adding the URL to which you wish to have people directed.
There are many other plugins in WordPress that have been designed to create 301 redirects. Feel free to check them out by making the relevant search in the Plugins section of your website.