Is your website due for an overhaul? Are you looking to reorganise its content? Maybe something on your site has expired and you need a quick replacement? Well then, using redirects is a great way to go.
Apart from pointing people who visit your site in the right direction, properly utilized redirects can also do wonders for your SEO. How? Well, allow us to explain!
What is a redirect?
It’s actually very simple – a redirect is kind of a detour for internet traffic which is, well, redirected to a new URL. So if, for example, you’re tidying up your website and maybe getting rid of some old and/or expired pages, you will want the people who come to your website to come right away to the most relevant page. In other words, even if a person clicks on a link of an outdated link, they will still arrive at the page you want them to arrive to – the updated page.
Consider this: your website has a review of a product from 2017. In the years after that, the product has been upgraded and has received additional features, so you write another review in 2019 or 2020. Now, you will obviously want your readers to read the latest information you have and so you may decide to redirect them directly to the 2019/2020 review when they click on the link leading to the older text.
Now, obviously, this may affect your SEO status if you don’t do this correctly, which is where the so-called 301 redirects come into play. These redirects will tell search engines that the content has changed address and that it can now be found on a new destination URL. That way your SEO status will remain intact and your website traffic won’t suffer because of the changes. As a matter of fact, this can even boost your organic traffic. Therefore, you WILL want a good tool for this job.
Redirecting with 301 redirects – easy redirects manager
Creating redirects is very simple because almost all you have to do is get yourself a WordPress plugin called 301 Redirects – Easy Redirects Manager. It is a piece of open-source software you can download completely free and then use it as you see fit. To get things rolling, simply upload the folder of the plugin to WordPress’s Plugins directory and that’s basically it. Obviously, you have to activate the in the Plugins tab of your WordPress menu first, but in just a few clicks you should be all set and then you can start working on your URLs – you will need at least WordPress 4.0 to run this.
Once everything is activated, simply find your newly installed plugin and click on it. You will see that it’s really incredibly easy to work with. Three tabs will appear on your screen, but the one called “Redirect Rules” is the most important. Here you simply enter requested URLs, or the URLs you want to redirect FROM, in the left column and do the same with destination URLs – the URLs you want to redirect TO on the right. And that’s it – all done. Naturally, you are in complete control all the time, so you can edit these redirects or even delete them whenever you want, and all it will take is a couple of clicks.
The other two tabs are “404 Error Log”, which is pretty self-explanatory, and “Import/Export Redirect Rules.” The latter allows you to be more time-efficient with your redirects by using CSV files to import and export large quantities of URLs you want to use in the redirection process.
Other features of 301 Redirects
Apart from these main characteristics which allow you to effortlessly manage your website, 301 Redirects has a bunch of other interesting and potentially very useful features. You can check stats, for example, to see how much of what you did had an effect and how much it’s being used. Additionally, your query strings will translate to your new URL every time, which will keep your various codes and data. People working in the affiliate industry will know how to appreciate this. Of course, it goes without saying that redirects will be exceptionally quick every single time.
Because of all these features, the 301 Redirects plugin has received great reviews from its users (and there are quite a lot of those, too), so you can be sure the software has been thoroughly tested and that it has passed with flying colours.
One thing to you should keep in mind, however, is that permalink structures will not work with this plugin. Also, wildcards and folder redirects are not available.
301 Redirects plugin is exceptionally easy to use, so even if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to WordPress you will immediately get the hang of things. This open-source piece of software is also free and very easy to install, and if you need to redesign your website look no further.
The plugin delivers exactly what it promises in a stellar fashion and throws in a bunch of neat features just for good measure. Add to that the fact that we are talking about 301 redirects here, and you will see how this can be beneficial for your ranking on various search engines.
There is a huge number of satisfied users already out there, and if you decide to download and install this plugin you will quickly become one of them, too.
Now that you’ve got your redirects sorted, you should also consider whether you have one of the best security plugins for your WordPress site.