Do you need a quick way to set up a 301 redirect in WordPress? Redirects are a way to send users from one URL to another. There are a lot of reasons why you may have to set redirects. The most common occurs when you are switching web hosts.
When a web host switch happens, links can be broken during the process. Redirects are the solution. Redirects can be permanent or temporary, it is up to you. Today, I will demonstrate how to use the Redirection plugin to easily set up 301 redirects in WordPress.
When Should You Use a Redirect in WordPress
There are plenty of uses for redirects besides switching web hosts. Including redirects to updated or revised content, new products or services, limited-time deals, holiday specials, 404 error pages, etc. Any time you want a visitor who is accessing one page to go to another page, a redirect can be used.
Let’s say your website sells products that change every month. Each month has an exclusive rotating deals page. You can set up a redirect to bring visitors to the correct page for the month. Redirects can be useful in so many different situations.
Instead of accessing your cPanel and trying to configure everything manually, we are going to look at a smooth plugin that allows you to add 301 redirects in WordPress much faster and easier. Let’s take a look at the plugin together and then go through the process of getting it installed and working.
Redirection is a very popular WordPress plugin that allows you to easily manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors. It also works as a good plugin to help clean up any loose ends you may have stemmed from the issues above. If done properly, the plugin will also help reduce site errors and help your overall SEO ranking.
One of the best things about this plugin is that you can use it with small sites or large sites. Need to manage a few 301 redirects in WordPress? No problem. Have to manage thousands of redirects? This plugin has you covered.
The plugin is lightweight, yet very powerful. It is packed full of functionality and features. Some of these include:
- Full Redirect Manager
- Conditional Redirects
- Full Logging
- Add HTTP Headers
- Track 404 Errors
- Query Parameter Handling
- Apache and NGINX Support
- Fine Grained Permissions
- Import and Export Options
- Search Regex Compatible
- Totally Free to Use
Basically, the plugin gives you everything you need and so much more to setup a 301 redirect in WordPress. You can do as many as you need as well.
Let’s take a look at now to get the plugin installed and setup for use.
Install and Activate Plugin
In order to start setting up 301 redirects in WordPress, you first need to install and activate the plugin. You can do this by heading to the plugins page within your WordPress admin dashboard. Simply go search the plugin name and install it from there.
Once the plugin has been installed and activated you will need to access the setup page. To do this click on Tools > Redirection. You will find this option in the left menu area of your dashboard.
Let’s take a look at the plugin setup together. This should get you up and running and ready to create a 301 redirect in WordPress.
Note: There are many types of redirects. This plugin uses 301 redirects, which are meant for permanent use. That doesn’t mean the redirects cannot be undone, but changing redirects can affect the overall SEO ranking of a page.
At this point you will see the “Welcome to Redirection” page. The plugin is actually very straightforward and simple to use. The welcome page describes what is about to happen. You basically add two URLs, the source and the target.
Before you start entering your source URLs and target URLs, let’s go through the quick setup process. Click on the “Start Setup” button on the welcome page and you will be taken to a basic setup page. Click on the options you want and then click on the “Continue Setup” button.
You will be bounced to the REST API page. The plugin will automatically test it and you should get a green box saying it is all good.
Click on the “Finish Setup” button to complete the setup.
Setting Up a 301 Redirect in WordPress
Two URLs are entered to create a redirect. They are the “Source URL” and the “Target URL.” The Source URL is the URL that visitors access. The Target URL is the URL that you want to send them too.
So if you wanted to redirect your visitors from Page 1 to Page 2, the Source URL would be Page 1, and the Target URL would be Page 2. When a visitor clicks on a link to Page 1, they will end up on Page 2.
Complete the Source URL and the Target URL fields. Click on the “Add Redirect” button to create the redirection. Repeat as many times as needed.
There are no limits on how many redirects you can have on your website with this plugin, but that doesn’t mean you should use more than you need.
Your website’s SEO is essential, and errant or incorrect redirects can damage it. It can take a bit of time before your redirects are indexed and the new URL updated. The timing is different for every website since it depends on how often search engine bots visit your site.
If at any time you want to disable or delete a redirect, click the “Delete” or “Disable” option under the redirect.
Now you know how to create 301 redirects with the Redirection WordPress 301 plugin. You can repeat these instructions to add as many permanent redirects as you need.
Another Good Option
The Redirection plugin does a great job or allowing you to set 301 redirects for your WordPress website. However, if you are looking for an alternative plugin that can do much of the same, then here is another option for you to take a look at.
The 301 Redirects – Easy Redirect Manager plugin works the same magic as the Redirection plugin. That is to say, you can also redirect pages, posts, custom post types, or custom destination URLs.
You can also save query strings across redirects, import/export, simple stats – but some may find the interface a bit easier to navigate.
Whichever plugin you choose, both are solid options when it comes to giving you the ability to set up a 301 redirect in WordPress.
It can be annoying for visitors, especially new ones, to end up on the wrong page, or find a broken link or 404 error page. Fixing URL mistakes is quick with the Redirection plugin, the problem is finding out about them.
One of the best methods for finding errors is to pay attention to visitor feedback. If you don’t already have on, set up a “contact us” page so your visitors can let you know if they run into a problem.
No website is perfect. Mistakes happen. What’s important is how you correct them. A speedy recovery will look great for any site and will build visitor confidence. Confidence leads to loyalty, and loyal visitors are what every website wants. This is where setting up WordPress to use 301 redirects is beneficial.
Have you ever used redirects in the past? If so, how many redirects have you created, and how often do you check them for continuing accuracy or relevance?
Author: Ron Helms
I currently work for GreenGeeks as a Support Technician. My primary roles are supporting our VPS and Dedicated server clients, as well as performing site migrations. With experience in the web hosting industry since 2009, there is rarely a question I can’t help answer. In my spare time, I enjoy gaming and working on cars as an automotive enthusiast.