When you’re running a website, it’s essential to ensure that your visitors can access the content they are looking for. However, if you’ve recently changed the URL of a page or post on your WordPress site, then visitors who try to access the old URL will be met with a 404 error page. This is where a 301 redirect comes in. In this article, I’ll explain what a 301 redirect is and how to set it up on your WordPress site.
What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It tells search engines and browsers that the content has moved permanently to a new location. This is important for SEO purposes because it ensures that any links pointing to the old URL will transfer their link equity to the new URL.
There are a few ways to set up a 301 redirect on your WordPress site. Here are two methods:
Using a plugin
One of the easiest ways to set up a 301 redirect on your WordPress site is by using a plugin. There are many plugins available that can help you set up redirects, but one of the most popular is Redirection. Here’s how to use it:
1. Install and activate the Redirection plugin on your WordPress site.
2. Go to Tools > Redirection in your WordPress dashboard.
3. Enter the old URL that you want to redirect in the Source URL field.
4. Enter the new URL that you want to redirect to in the Target URL field.
5. Click Add Redirect.
If you’re comfortable editing your site’s .htaccess file, you can set up a 301 redirect using the following code:
Redirect 301 /old-url/ http://www.example.com/new-url/
In this example, replace /old-url/ with the URL you want to redirect and http://www.example.com/new-url/ with the new URL.
Setting up a 301 redirect on your WordPress site is essential if you’ve recently changed the URL of a page or post. By setting up a redirect, you can ensure that visitors can still access the content they are looking for, and any link equity from the old URL will transfer to the new URL. Whether you choose to use a plugin or edit your .htaccess file, setting up a 301 redirect is a relatively simple process that can have a big impact on your site’s SEO.
Things to consider when setting up a 301 redirect on WordPress
Check for existing redirects: Before setting up a new redirect, make sure there are no existing redirects that could conflict with the new one. This can be done by using a plugin like Redirection or by checking your site’s .htaccess file.
Use the correct redirect type: A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect and is the best option for SEO purposes. However, there are other redirect types like 302 and 307 that should only be used in specific situations.
Redirect to the most relevant page: When setting up a redirect, make sure to redirect to the most relevant page. For example, if you’ve changed the URL of a product page, redirect to the new URL of that product page, not the homepage.
Test the redirect: After setting up a redirect, test it to make sure it’s working correctly. You can do this by entering the old URL into your browser and seeing if it redirects to the new URL.
Update internal links: After setting up a redirect, update any internal links that point to the old URL to point to the new URL. This will help ensure a seamless user experience and prevent any broken links on your site.
By considering these factors when setting up a 301 redirect on your WordPress site, you can ensure that your site’s SEO is not negatively impacted and that your visitors can still access the content they are looking for.