You might have to use page redirects while changing page URLs, for removing pages, or while migrating to a fresh domain address. If this step is overlooked, the links can take users to a dead zone while using your website. Repetitive occurrences of dead and broken links can make you lose the valuable link equity and rankings.
To avoid such Page not found errors, you set detour signs saying, ‘The post no longer resides here, visit this new address’. Make sure that you implement right redirect types, in order to avoid roadblocks and lose potential sales and search rankings. Let’s first check the redirect types, before discussing on how to redirect WordPress websites.
Different redirect types
- 301 redirects are codes executed when a request from the browser hits the server. The requested URL is automatically directed to a destination page. 301 codes are for permanent relocation of domain or URL.
- 302 redirects are temporary relocation and employed during site redesigning or maintenance.
- 300 redirects are rarely used but are important to apply in different file extensions and multilingual sites.
- 101 is a protocol change, a common example is changing from HTTP to HTTPs.
On server side – It’s a common redirection method, where redirect request gets dealt on the server level. The original URL request is not loaded as the server reads instruction and automatically shows a new destination instead of the requested one.
On browser-side – When redirect for a specific URL is sent from your browser, resource starts to load but soon gets rerouted.
Wildcards – It allows multiple pages to redirect to a single resource. You have “com/class/*” and subpages “/class/”. If your platform is compatible with wildcarding then all the subpages will get redirected to a specified single resource.
How to redirect the WP site with a plugin?
- Install the plugin and activate it.
- Visit the WP admin menu and on ‘Settings’ click ‘Website Redirect’.
- Type the old and new URL, set redirection type and status to ‘Enabled’.
- Save the changes.
Redirection 301 WP tool is great as non-technicians can use it. However, you also need to learn the codes that are not redirects.
Things, not redirects
When a URL is transferred, the server has no hint of the new route user requested, so they deliver a 404 -page not found error message. If users come across a 404 page they instantly bounce, which increases your website’s bounce rate and is bad for search ranking.
It is advised to set a 404 page, which helps visitors to search selected resources, instead of feeling frustrated and bounce off. If there are too many 404 pages, then you could also reset WordPress and start over again.
These tell search engines that there are two pages with the nearly same content. The search engine gets a hint that both pages are not identical but have the same information. E-commerce shops can benefit from canonical tags because they often have two pages with the same product details.
The 301 redirects get quickly executed and 90% to 99% link value gets passed from old URL to redirected domain.