It’s really frustrating when you can’t find the content you are looking for especially when you have a deadline to beat. You’ve probably accumulated several 404 errors on your own website. That’s natural; the occasional 404 error isn’t going to ruin your site. It’s another case for your visitors, as they can’t afford to waste time looking for a content they can’t find. To keep their frustration at bay, and ensure the 404 errors aren’t messing with you search engine rankings, you need WordPress Redirect plugin. Read this post to find out what the plugin can do. You don’t need to worry about .htaccess breaking your website, if you have WordPress redirect plugin. With automatic redirects, you can fix those 404 errors and help your users by sending them to the content they’re looking for and keeping the link flowing. Redirection In WordPress should not only be reactive responses to broken links. They really help to improve your users experience and making it easy to get the right content. You can set up redirects when you:
- Want to rename a post or page to improve SEO redirect or better reflect the content
- Update your categories or tags for better site structure
- Find that another website is linking to you with an incorrect URL
- Update your permalink structure
- Migrate content to or from another website
- Change the directory of your WordPress installation
Which Redirect Code Should You Use?
Several different HTTP status codes are used for web redirect pages, each having a different meaning. A wrong code can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. You should, therefore, use the appropriate one for each redirect.
Usually redirect codes have 3 digits, all starting with a 3. Two of the commonly used codes are:
- 301 redirect WordPress: Moved Permanently – This code passes most of the link to the new URL. All future requests for this URL will be sent to the new URL, and links will be updated to reflect the new location.
- 302: Temporary Redirect – This redirects the new URL for now, but in the future will go back to the permanent URL. Links will not be updated. This error code won’t pass any SEO link juice.
The temporary redirect should be rarely used, except for “coming soon” pages or “maintenance mode” pages
Why Should You Use a Redirect Plugin?
A simple redirect is trickier than you might think that is why you need a few different ways to apply the redirects. The best way to do it is with your .htaccess file, which is configuration file read by your server. The tricky part is modifying your .htaccess file since if you get one thing wrong – like a misplaced comma, misspelled word, or space where it shouldn’t be – it can break your whole site, leading to the infamous WordPress white screen of death. The safest way to go about redirects is using a WPredirect plugin. It will also save you time since you can add redirects right from your WordPress dashboard instead of messing with files via FTP.
How to Set Up the Redirection Plugin
Once you’ve installed and activated the Redirection WP plugin, navigate to Tools » Redirection to add your first redirect. You can enter the information to redirect a URL, under Add New Redirection. Just fill out the old URL under Source URL, and the new URL you’d like to redirect it to under Target URL. Click on the Groups link at the top of the page to create your groups, if you want to organize your redirects in groups. You can decide how long to keep your redirect and 404 logs, import settings from a .htaccess or CSV file, or delete all your redirections, by clicking on the Options link at the top of the page. You can also view a record of all recent 404 errors, on the 404s page. You can redirect them to existing pages by using this log to discover common errors.
Creating Redirects with Regular Expressions
It will save you a lot of time to use regular expressions instead of manually entering each URL if you need to redirect a number of URLs that use the same pattern. This is important if you’ve relocated your whole blog and need to redirect each post, or if you’ve renamed a category or tag. WordPress Support Forum is where you can get your issues resolved even if support from the developer is lacking. But the community is fairly active in helping to resolve issues on the WordPress support forums. Though the plugin is highly rated, many requests for support go unanswered.
As a blogger, you will eventually need to set up redirects on your blog. That is why you need a WordPress redirect plugin to manage these redirects right from your WordPress dashboard. Redirection plugin is a free plugin and one of the most popular in the WordPress.org directory, which is highly rated by users. You can easily monitor the 404 errors using its powerful features, and add redirects even with RegEx. On setback to watch out for is that by continuously scanning your site for 404 errors, it slows down your website for visitors. You can turn off the 404 logging if you prefer.
Here are few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
How to Install WordPress Locally on Mac using MAMP
Top URL Shortener Sites You Can Use To Shrink Long URLs
Importance of Using Google Webmaster Tools
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