Unraveling the Mysteries of Page Redirects in WordPress
Do you want your website to stay on top of search engine rankings? Then you should know how to redirect pages in WordPress! This is a crucial aspect of website design, and it involves making sure that the content on your website is easily accessible to visitors, even when certain pages have been moved or their URLs have been changed.
Permanent vs. Temporary Redirects
There are two types of redirects that you should be familiar with: permanent and temporary. Permanent redirects, which have a 301 status code, tell search engines that your page has been moved to a new URL permanently. Temporary redirects, which have a 302 status code, inform search engines that your page has been moved to a different URL temporarily.
The .htaccess File: Your Ticket to Effective Redirects
Many website owners rely on plugins for page redirects, but you don’t have to! One of the more reliable and flexible ways to redirect pages is by editing the .htaccess file. This is a configuration file used by Apache web servers that controls various aspects of how the server functions, including URL redirects.
Step 1: Find the .htaccess File
The .htaccess file is typically found in the root directory of your WordPress installation. It is usually hidden on most servers, so you need to enable the show hidden files feature in your FTP client to locate it.
Step 2: Make Edits to the .htaccess File
To redirect a page, you need to add a code snippet to the .htaccess file. WordPress provides a snippet that you can easily use.
RewriteRule ^old-page.html$ /new-page.html \[R=301,L\]
This code redirects the old-page.html to the new-page.html. Replace each with the URLs for the pages you want to redirect. Note that the \[R=301,L\] tells the browser that the redirect is permanent (301) and that it should stop processing any other code and redirect to the new page (L).
Step 3: Save Changes
After you have added the code snippet to the file, make sure you save the file and upload it back to the server. Afterward, visit the old page URL to check if you can automatically redirect to the new page URL. Also, ensure that the new page URL returns a 200 status code to verify that the redirect is working properly.
Be sure to make a backup copy of the .htaccess file before making any changes to it. This is important just in case the file is deleted or corrupted, you can recover your website to its previous state.
If maintaining and improving your website’s SEO is a priority, redirecting pages is a no-brainer! While plugins can make page redirects simpler, editing the .htaccess file offers more flexibility and reliability in redirecting pages. If you follow these steps, you should have no issues redirecting pages without using a plugin in WordPress.