Changing the page URL or permalink structure is easy in WordPress. However, if you have a web page that gets a lot of traffic, you don’t want to move it. The situation can confuse you even more, in case you want to move your WordPress site to a new domain name. This is where you should use a 301 redirect in WordPress.
This complete guide to 301 redirects in WordPress explains everything about WordPress redirects, useful redirect plugins, how to use these plugins to manage redirects, what redirect related errors can hinder your site’s user experience, and how to fix these errors. can avoid.
What is a 301 redirect in WordPress?
Redirects are used in WordPress when you want to send your visitors and/or search engine crawlers to another page for a URL. 301, 303, 304, 307, 308, and 404 are the most commonly used WordPress redirects.
Of these, 301 is the permanent redirect. It is a way for you to let search engines know that you have moved a certain page to a different location. This way you can maintain traffic from your website or web pages.
There are 2 popular ways to add a 301 redirect in WordPress: .htcaccess file and WordPress plugins. We’ll explain both methods in the article, but first see when (and if) you should use them.
When are 301 redirects used in WordPress?
WordPress or WooCommerce site owners typically use 301 redirects to:
- Redirect visitors to another page from a URL that no longer exists;
- Redirect visitors to relevant URLs when the site structure or permalinks have been updated;
- Tell search engines that this page has been moved to the WordPress redirect URL.
Why is it essential to use the 301 redirect for your WordPress site?
When a web page is moved or deleted, people who access that URL through search engines or other media will see a 404 error page (page does not exist) parked in its place. Such pages are neither good for the site experience nor your ranking in search engines.
WordPress redirect feature comes in handy here.
When you use the WordPress 301 redirect, Google understands that the page is being moved to a different location. It starts treating the new URL as an old URL while listing it in search results.
In general, WordPress redirect URLs or 301 redirects can help you:
- Redirect users to the right page that works well;
- Maintain the quality of links;
- Maintain your SEO ranking;
- Pass Link Equity when you move a page;
- Restructure your website URLs for SEO without worrying about ranked pages.
WordPress generally allows users to manage the task of adding additional functionality to their WordPress websites through 2 methods:
The first method is to make changes to site files and use custom code to extend site functionality. This method is mostly used by people who can manage site files and have some knowledge of WordPress and PHP. If you’re not very tech savvy, this probably isn’t the right WordPress redirect URL method for you.
Plugins are the second way to add 301 redirects to WordPress. All it takes is the right plugin and a few clicks to activate the redirect.
In this guide, we tell you about both methods. However, since using plugins is easier and faster, let’s start with redirect plugins. If you just want to learn how to add a 301 redirect to WordPress via the .htaccess file, scroll down a bit and jump straight to this section.
The best redirect plugins
The best WordPress 301 redirect plugins are listed below:
1. 301 Redirects – Simple redirect manager
It is a good plugin to enhance your site experience.
301 redirects Not only does it allow you to create a 301 redirect URL, but it can also handle 302 and 307 redirects. As the name suggests, the plugin is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
When using the 301 Redirects plugin, you can choose the existing WordPress URLs of your website (pages, posts, categories, etc.) or manually enter an external URL for the redirect.
You can even handle request-based redirection, in case you need to do a bulk redirect. For people who have moved their website to a different URL or those who have changed permalinks, this is the best redirect plugin to use.
Depending on your needs, you need to add the redirect URL/URL string Redirection Rules.
The plugin also allows users to download the 404 error log. So you can see all deleted/moved pages in one place and perform the redirect faster.
If you have changed your site structure or multiple pages, you can download the mapping from your old sitemap to the new one directly as a CSV file. 301 Redirects Plugin can easily support both import and export.
With over 2 million users, redirect plugin is a promising choice to make. It can track which pages return 404 errors and add…