Every website owner has to deal with page redirecting. Redirecting is a technique employed to send the users or guests from the requested URL, to the target URL. Redirecting must be done for many reasons like restricting your site, deleting a page, switching domains, merging sites, and more.
Redirecting visitors is a necessary process for every site. It does not mean there is a fault in your site, but it is changing and growing over time. It is necessary to set proper redirects, or it can cause more damage than good. If redirects are not properly configured, seekers will see the horrible 404 pages.
You can use the WP 301 Redirects plugin to automate the task. As soon as the plugin identifies a change in URL, it automatically creates 301 WordPress redirects. Thus you get protection from broken links. It also sends the bad bots to the 404 error page. If you are tech-savvy, then you can do it the .htaccess method, but you will need to keep monitoring it.
Commonly used redirects
- 301 redirects [server side] – It is used to change the old URL permanently, when a post or page gets deleted, moved, or is inaccessible. New URLs or relevant existing pages can be made to replace the obsolete or invalid ones. The 301 redirects allow transferring the existing SEO juice to the new URL as well. Search engine get a signal to re-crawl and index the new URL.
- 302 redirects [server side] – It gets used for temporary situations like site maintenance or seasonal posts/contents. If the 302s are left for more than six months, they get regarded as 301s automatically.
- 303 [server side] – It is temporary and useful for online payments. It prevents unnecessary data resubmissions, and makes repeated page refresh.
How to set WordPress Redirects?
The .htaccess method
Locate the .htaccess file using an FTP program. It is the root directory of your WP site. Have a copy of the file made, before you make any changes. The file is crucial, so a tiny error can compromise it. In the text editor open the file and insert redirect codes. The codes will differ depending on whether you redirect a post, page, or the whole site. Now, save the file and you are all set.
The plugin method
If you are afraid to mess with .htaccess file or are not good at coding, then use WP redirects plugin. On the WordPress admin dashboard, there is a dedicated section for plugins. Choose WP 301 Redirects plugin and install it.
Open the plugin and select the ‘Redirect to’ option. Type the old and new URL in the box. Save your option, and the redirect is all set. You can even redirect in bulk by uploading the CSV file of desired redirects. With the inbuilt chart feature, you get an insight into your site performance without any need to use Google Analytics.
If you are a WordPress blogger, then use the Simple Author Box. An author’s box will enhance the reading experience of the blog readers. It even helps to increase the blog writer’s credibility. You can customize the authors box for WordPress suitable design, interesting bio, and gravatar. The plugin handles your author box creation automatically, and positions it on the pages as configured.