A 404 page is a page that appears when a user tries to access a non-existent page on your website. It can be frustrating for users and can negatively affect your website’s user experience. However, redirecting 404 pages can help users find what they’re looking for and improve your website’s SEO. In this article, we’ll explain how to redirect 404 pages in WordPress without using a plugin.
Here are the steps on how to Redirect 404 Pages in WordPress Without Plugin:
Identify the 404 page
Before you can start redirecting 404 pages, you must first identify which pages are generating 404 errors. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and broken link checkers to identify these pages.
Create a new page
Once you’ve identified the 404 pages, you’ll need to create a new page that will serve as the redirect page. You can create a new page by going to Pages > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
Edit the 404 template
After creating the new page, you need to edit the 404 template to add the redirect code. You can do this by going to Appearance > Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard and selecting the 404 template from the list of templates.
Add the redirect code
In the 404 template, you need to add the following code:
<?php header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently"); header("Location: ".get_bloginfo('url')); exit(); ?>
This code will redirect all 404 pages to your website’s homepage. You can modify the URL in the Location parameter to redirect the 404 pages to a specific page on your website.
After adding the redirect code, save the changes to the 404 template and refresh your website to test the redirect.
Redirecting 404 pages in WordPress can help improve user experience and SEO. By identifying 404 pages, creating a new page, editing the 404 template, and adding the redirect code, you can easily redirect 404 pages without using a plugin. Remember to test the redirect to ensure it’s working correctly.
Things To Consider When Redirecting 404 Page In WordPress
- Redirecting 404 pages to your website’s homepage may not always be the best solution. If the user was looking for a specific page, redirecting them to the homepage may not provide the information they were looking for. In such cases, it’s better to redirect the user to a relevant page or a custom 404 page with helpful information.
- Before redirecting 404 pages, try to fix broken links and resolve the issues causing 404 errors. This can help improve the user experience and prevent future errors.
- Use 301 redirects instead of 302 redirects. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that tells search engines that the page has moved permanently. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect that tells search engines that the page has moved temporarily. Using 301 redirects can help preserve your website’s SEO and prevent duplicate content issues.
- Avoid using too many redirects as they can affect your website’s performance. Redirect only the necessary pages and keep the number of redirects to a minimum.
- Always test the redirect to ensure it’s working correctly. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor the redirects and track any issues.
By considering these factors, you can effectively redirect 404 pages and improve your website’s user experience and SEO.