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There are plenty of useful features within WordPress that allow you to create and manage a website without any programming knowledge. All this is possible thanks to the seemingly endless number of plugins the built-in plugin repository offers. Today we will talk about the redirection plugin for WordPress, show you how to install it, and how to use it.
If you want to find some other useful WordPress plugins for your site, check out our “Best WordPress Plugins to Make Your Site Attractive for Visitors” and "The Best 6 WordPress Automation Plugins [Updated for 2023]” lists.
Before we delve into the installation, however, let us first establish what are page redirects, how they help your site, and why you should redirect old pages to newer, more relevant ones instead of completely deleting them.
What are Webpage Redirects?
Have you ever clicked on a page and while waiting for it to load, its URL suddenly changes to a completely different one? This is especially noticeable with a slower internet connection. Well, if this has happened to you, then you have already experienced a webpage redirect.
It is the process of making a certain page load when the URL of a different page is entered.
For example, you have a page on your site called www.yourdomain.com/blog/biggest-sites-of-2020 but 2021 came, and you wish to update it, so you create a page named www.yourdomain.com/blog/biggest-sites-of-2021. Now you do not need the old page anymore, but it has a good SERP (i.e., Search Engine Result Page) ranking. Thus, you set up a redirect that automatically takes users to www.yourdomain.com/blog/biggest-sites-of-2021 when they enter www.yourdomain.com/blog/biggest-sites-of-2020 into the URL bar.
Why Use Redirects?
The root of this question lies within the complex practice of SEO (i.e., Search Engine Optimization), however, we will try to briefly explain it. When a search engine’s robot crawls your site, it gives a rank to each page on how good the content is for displaying on SERPs. Based on the rankings that all the pages in the site accumulate (and a few other factors), the site earns authority with that specific search engine.
When a certain page is no longer wanted by the site owner, if he/she were to delete it, the rankings for that page would be lost and the overall authority of the site could potentially decrease, possibly making the other pages on it also show up lower on the SERPs.
Instead of deleting the page, the owner sets up a redirect to a newer, more relevant page so that the rankings for the original page are not lost, but transferred to the new page, thus, not affecting the site’s authority. All this is done to create more natural traffic from search engines.
How to Set Up Redirects in WordPress
Traditionally, redirects were created by writing code, however, with the convenience of WordPress plugins, there is no longer a need for that. The Redirection plugin is one of the most famous WordPress plugins. It manages 301 redirections and supports PHP versions 5.4 and higher.
Installing Redirection Plugin
Step 1: First of all, log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: On the left-most menu, hover over Plugins and click on Add New.
Step 3: On the newly opened page, type Redirection into the search bar and look for the plugin, click Install Now once found.
Step 4: After installing the plugin, activate it by clicking Activate.
Now, we will have to perform the first-time setup. Head over to the tools menu and you will be greeted with the Welcome to Redirection page. It provides some basic information about the plugin.
Step 5: At the bottom of the welcome page, press on Start Setup.
Step 6: On the next page, you can select the following 2 options: monitor permalink changes and keep logs of all redirects and 404 errors. Select them based on your needs and click on Continue Setup.
Step 7: The redirection plugin uses REST API, thus on the following page, every option should be automatically checked. If not, make sure that they all are and click on Finish Setup.
Step 8: Wait for the setup to complete and click on Finished.
Congratulations, the first-time setup is done, and the Redirection plugin is ready to use.
How to use the Redirection plugin?
Now that you have successfully installed the plugin, let’s learn how to use it.
Step 1: Hover your cursor over the Tools menu and select Redirection.
The home page of the Redirection plugin is split into two sections:
- Previous redirections
- Adding new redirections
Step 2: Go to the Add new redirection section.
Step 3: Enter the source address in the Source URL field.
Step 4: Type in the destination address into the Target URL field.
Step 5: Click on Add Redirect.
For example: Redirecting http://monovm.com/gallery to http://monovm.com/photo.
Learning how to use redirects for web pages that are no longer wanted is an essential skill in website administration. It is not only a good SEO practice but also a great improvement for user experience; instead of seeing 404 page not found, they are automatically redirected to a related page. We hope this blog has taught you a little about redirects and their importance.
If you run into an issue while trying to install or set up the Redirection WordPress plugin or have more questions about how to use it, please leave a comment down below.