If you want to learn everything about URL redirection- what it is, why it is used, how to use it, then your search ends here.
The sole aim of URL redirection is to not show an error page or wrong page to the visitors, and redirect them to a desired page. Because if a visitor lands on a page that just shows errors, it can be frustrating. He will leave the site and not convert into a customer.
To stop such instances, URL redirection can be used.
What is URL redirection?
URL redirection is a way to send the visitors of a URL to a different URL. For example, if you have a webpage on yourdomain.com/webpage and want to send the visitors of this page to a new webpage like yourdomain.com/blog, then you can do so using the redirects method.
This technique is also used to redirect the search engines like Google and Bing so that the required website can be indexed. Hence, it plays a key role in search engine optimization (SEO).
Types of URL redirection:
There are generally three types of URL redirections:
- 301 redirect
- 302 redirect
- Meta refresh
Here, we will discuss only 301 and 302 as these are the most required and useful URL redirection techniques.
What is a 301 redirect?
If you want to move one URL to another permanently, then the 301 URL redirection is used.
Once you have applied a permanent redirection, the 301 redirect will inform the user’s browser that the requested URL has been moved to a new location with no intention of changing it. Then the browser sends the user to the new location. Google will crawl the new URL instead of the old one.
What is 302 redirect?
If you want to change the location of a webpage to a new URL temporarily, then the 302-redirection method is used.
In this case, you are allowed to roll back the changes and shift the location of new webpage to old webpage. Google will then continue to crawl the old URL.
Why to use URL redirection?
URL redirection can be helpful for your site for following purposes:
- Content moved to another URL
If the content on a URL has been moved to another URL, the visitors on that page will see error or something that is not requested. This can result in poor user experience.
What you can do is apply redirection and send the visitors of that page to the new page on which requested content is available.
- Tell search engines about the changes
If there is a change in URL or the content is moved to another URL, then redirection is a good method to let the search engines know that your content is still available, but on a new page. This way, your SEO will not be impacted.
If you are deleting a webpage or blog post for certain reason, then the visitors of that webpage will see a 404 error. It is better to enable redirects for such webpages or blog posts to a relevant URL or homepage, so that users don’t end up seeing errors.
Sometimes you want to shift the entire website to a new domain name, maybe because the new domain is more relevant or of your choice. In this case, you can easily set up redirections so that every user who is visiting your old domain will eventually land up on your new domain.
- One website for multiple domains
Sometimes, businesses choose to purchase multiple domain names that are related to the main domain name, so that they can avoid confusion among users. For example, the main URL of Facebook is facebook.com, but if you visit fb.com or facebook.in, you will still land on Facebook.com. What Facebook has done is redirected the multiple domains to the main URL.
WordPress plugin for URL redirection
If you are having a WordPress site, then the URL redirection becomes very easier for you.
You can use 301 Redirects – Easy Redirect Manager plugin by WebFactory Ltd to set up both 301 and 302 redirects for your website.
It is a reliable plugin being actively used by more than 70,000 websites, having 4+ star ratings. Using it, you can easily create and manage URL redirections and enhance user experience and SEO. The UI of this plugin is user-friendly, so that things can be done without any hassle.
- Redirect webpages, posts, archives by simply selecting from a dropdown
- Set custom destination URL
- Fast redirection
- Retain query strings
- Manage bulk redirects with import/export option
If you want more features, use it on multiple sites, along with priority support, then premium version is also available.
How to create and manage redirects in WordPress?
First step is to download and install the plugin.
- Open your dashboard, navigate to Plugins section. Click on Add New.
- In the search bar, type 301 redirects. The 301 Redirects – Easy Redirect Manager plugin by WebFactory Ltd will appear. Click on Install Now.
- Once installed, click on Activate.
This process will add the plugin to your site and activate it.
Now, you have to configure and use it for your purpose. Follow the steps below:
- In the dashboard, navigate to Plugins section and click on Installed Plugins.
- From the Installed Plugins, find the 301 Redirects plugin and click on Configure Redirects.
- Here, you will find Redirect Rules, 404 Error Log, Import/Export Redirect Rules, and Support options.
- In the Redirect Rules section, choose 301 or 302 from the ID. In the Redirect from, enter the URL of your webpage or post that you want to redirect.
- Now, select whether you are redirecting a Post, Page, Media, Template, etc. from the dropdown. Enter the destination URL in the next column.
- Click on Save.
Your visitors will now be redirected to the new URL.
URL redirection is a must-apply process for every website because URLs are changed every now and then. Hope this article helps you understand the concept of 301 and 301 redirects and the process to do it.
If you have any questions, let us know via the comments below.
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