A webmaster has a lot on their plates. They will have to make sure their website works well, is optimized in terms of performance, and fulfills the actual business need. So, let us help you by explaining the importance of redirects in WordPress, why you need them, and how you can create them for your WordPress sites.
Why Do You Need WordPress Redirects
Every website update, blog posts, and new pages should be optimized and error-free. They should be designed to contribute to the growing brand image you want to cultivate through your website. And when you keep updating your site, chances are some old pages will be replaced or may be unavailable due to maintenance.
But these old links will still be indexed by the search engines and referenced by your existing backlinks. When a user tries to access your site through such outdated links, they will end up seeing a 404 error page, which can be quite harmful to your SEO and conversion rates.
Redirects help you retain visitors by redirecting them to an available page instead of the link they click on. For instance, a casino site will often make use of redirects for their backlinks. Casino sites are known for their arbitrary promotional campaigns, which can change often. These pages mentioned in review sites and news articles might expire and must be redirected to the home page or the current campaign landing page. The same goes for casino games. Online casino games like poker, slot games, and live casino pages are often updated to include new features, enhanced graphics, and changes to remain compliant with the gaming regulations.
The previous links to these games, which, when under maintenance or after the update, may have to be redirected to the proper landing pages to not lose out on a potential player.
In short, the reasons you need redirects are summarised below:
- To provide an uninterrupted user experience without any error page encounters
- To save link juice in relevance to SEO
- To make sure your SEO ranking does not get affected by the addition and removal of old pages.
- To add to the credibility of your website as backlinks leading to error pages will indicate a poorly maintained website.
What Is A Redirect
A redirect is a server response for a request which instructs the client browser to look for a new URL instead of the original URL request. This instruction is communicated with the help of the respective HTTP status codes (3xx). When a browser receives a redirect response, it will try to access the new URL and redirect it to the new website redirect page.
Types Of Redirects
There are several types of redirects based on the purpose and intent behind a redirect. But the most popular and relevant types that are usually used for WordPress sites are:
- Permanent redirect -301
A permanent redirect indicates that the old URL will no longer be available, and all the SEO power and ranking associated with the old URL are transferred to the new URL. The status code 301 is used to create permanent redirects. Use this redirect when you have completely removed the old URL, like migrating your host and removing an old page permanently.
- Temporary Redirect – 302
A temporary website redirect indicates a temporary situation, after which the original URL will be back in use. A 302 status code is used for this type of redirect. No SEO power and indexing will be transferred in this case. Use this type of redirect when your web page is under maintenance due to a bug or undergoing a design revamp.
The type of redirect you use should match with the Intention. Otherwise, you stand to risk losing SEO ranking as search engines adjust their indexing based on the status codes they get.
How To Redirect A URL
Creating redirects with WordPress can be accomplished by two easy methods.
Modifying the .htaccess file
.htaccess is an important core file for every WordPress site. You can access this file using any FTP file server application, edit it and then upload it back for the redirect to work. Make sure to take a proper backup before making the edits.
The edits you have to make to create a redirect link should have the following syntax for 301 redirect WordPress are:
Redirect 301 original_URL redirect_URL
Redirect 302 original_URL redirect_URL
Example: Redirect 301 / https://domain.com/newLink
You can also make use of regular expressions to redirect web pages on conditional logic.
Using a WordPress redirection plugin
Though the previous method is not very complex, it can be a hassle to directly access and edit the .htccess file. For an easier and user-friendly option, you can use WordPress plugins specifically used to create redirects.
Some popular redirection plugins you can check out include Redirection, Safe Redirect Manager, WordPress Ultimate Redirect Plugin, Yoast SEO, Seo Redirection, and Simple Website redirection.
The Wrap Up
As you can see, while optimizing your images is important to take care of your website’s performance, it is equally important to ensure you use the right redirects to not to lose any SEO benefits.
What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.