Avoid 404 error, set up Page Redirects on WordPress Website

Page redirect is a method to prevent your visitors from landing onto a 404 page (not found), by forwarding an old page link or permalink to a new link. This is very important especially if the original page no longer exists.

These days, a lot of businesses are using WordPress for their website or blog. As they keep on updating their website, certain permalinks may have to be modified arise as new categories or landing pages come up. It helps if you know how to set up page redirects in WordPress, as it can save a lot of rework in future.

If you have a website or a blog, you might want to check if there are 404 errors which you may not be aware. Checking for 404 errors is easy. Simply log in to Google Webmaster Tools, go to the “Crawl” section and click on “Crawl Errors” from the sub-menu. Every page link that has a 404 error can be easily spotted in the Google Webmaster tool. Therefore, you can easily address the problem on a page-by-page basis.

How to Set Up Page Redirects:

1. 301 Redirect or Permanent Redirect

301 or permanent redirect is the most common type of redirect. From the name itself, this type of redirect signals a search engine that this particular page has been transferred to a new location permanently.

The good thing about this type of redirect is that you can retain the search engine rankings and the page rank of this particular page after redirecting this to a new URL.

2. .htaccess Redirect

The .htaccess file is a very critical file for WordPress to function properly. Therefore, if you are editing this file, you must pay careful attention to it. One minor mistake or even a typo error can cause your website to crash.

To avoid running into this problem, make sure to first take a back-up of this file on your local hard disk drive before doing any modification. Edit the file one step at a time and check if the site is still working properly. If it does not, then you’ll have to copy the backup file on the server and start again.

With Apache server, a 301 redirect can be created using the .htaccess file. You will have to indicate the old location and the new URL location. The code would look like this: Redirect 301 “http://www.yourwebsite.com/oldlink.html” to “http://www.yourwebsite.com/newlink.html”

3. Redirect WordPress Plugin

If you are not comfortable with .htaccess, then you can use the WordPress Redirect Plugin which is much easier. One reason why many businesses or bloggers prefer to use WordPress is that of its wide selection of plugins.

There are many redirect plugins which you can use. For one, there is the Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin. This plugin can handle most of the commonly used redirects such as 301, 302 and 307. Another useful plugin is the SEO Redirection Plugin. This plugin supports wild cards and can easily build redirection for your site as well as monitor 404 errors.

By using the above methods, you can easily set up a redirect page without affecting traffic or search engine rankings.