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How to create and use redirects on WordPress

In case you’re planning to set up a redirect from your WordPress website, there’s an option to do so. Let’s see how you can set up a redirect on your WordPress site.

How to set up redirect on WordPress site

Go to this page. Then select a site you want to redirect from and enter the new domain or address you want your WordPress traffic to be forwarded to. Enter the URL of the destination site into the blank field, and after that click the blue button saying Go.

After that, you’ll see a message that will ask you to confirm the purchase, and will be taken through the checkout process. After the payment is completed, there will be a confirmation message on the screen. You’ll get a possibility to test or change all the redirect settings from your Domains page.

The difference between 301, 302 and 307 redirect

301 should be applied for permanent URL changes on your WordPress site while the 302 is meant for temporary changes. A 301 redirect link can show up across the web on a more frequent basis than the 302 one. 

Just as a visitor comes across an absent page on your website, the 301 redirect turns to an account to send them towards some other website. This is how you can inform search engines that a page has moved and that they need to transfer the old page’s rank to a fresh one. 

Below you’ll observe some typical arguments for you to use a 301 redirect: 

  • The page’s URL address has been changed. 
  • You’ve deleted a page from your website and need to forward new visitors to your homepage. 
  • You’ve imported some content and the page’s URL’s altered. 
  • You plan to forward to some other domain. 

302 redirect directs website visitors to a different URL the moment they click a link to an outdated page in accordance with the URL to URL mapping. This procedure shows search engines that this particular page was moved temporarily. But in that event the new page won’t be given the same rank just as the previous one because the redirect is for a short time and it will be back live with its old rankings. 

These are common cases for you to apply 302 redirect: 

  • You want to set aside a page for a time to update it and map your website visitors towards it later on, after adding fresh offers, etc. 
  • You need to replace a page for a short time cycling about different offers on your site throughout a year. 

307 redirect stands for HTTP response status code messaging that the URL a website visitor tries to reach has been forwarded to some temporary district and will make back very soon. 307s took place of 302s just after the advent of HTTP 1. 1. These ones are also applied as an internal redirect in case HTTPS is enforced. 

Below you’ll see some common ways for you to configure a 301 redirect on your WordPress website to direct your audience to the URL where you need them to be. 

Altered URLs

Apply a 301 redirect link when permanently changing the URL of your WordPress site’s page. 

Eliminated site pages

As a way to prevent your website visitors from seeing your 404 not found mistake page, configure a 301 redirect link to your website’s homepage or forward to any other website’s URL you need. 

Imported content

In the event that you need to address content from a third-party host, you have to construct a redirect link as well with a proper URL mapping. You’ll have to consult your previous host to make sure you’ve got an accurate URL structure for the front segment of your redirect link. 

What is a redirect loop

Redirect loops commonly happen just when an URL directs to another URL, which therefore redirects back to the URL that was originally requested, and it all becomes possible due to faulty URL to URL mapping. It all results in a never ending cycle of redirects. 

Redirect loops usually signal a poor redirect configuration on a website. They may be caused, for instance, by inaccurate redirect rules in a server’s configuration or CMS’s redirect manager or maybe incoherence between those systems. 

Usually, these warnings are displayed in the browser window. And your WordPress website users won’t see the needed page. It’s all the same with search engines - by reason of a redirect loop they won't be able to end up on a destination page and eventually they’ll stop following it, soon after realizing they have stuck in the loop. 

Remember that a redirect delivers over ranking signals from one URL address to another, for instance, the link authority and relevance. In a loop, this action is impossible, which means that the site drops those signals. And this affects your website’s SEO. 

How you can get rid of the redirect loop

If you see a redirect loop notification for some URL on your WordPress website, then get to know where exactly the URL is sending you to. As soon as you find it out, look out for that URL and see where that one redirects to. That’s how you will see where the redirect loop starts. 

Redirect loop is not the same as the redirect chain because this one does sooner or later lead to the needed URL. From SEO standpoint and user’s position, it’s much better to have redirect chains on your WordPress site than redirect loops. 

Tip: redirect loops can likewise be found by means of Search Console - simply open the Index Coverage report, just below the type “Redirect error”. 

You should also remember that your browser’s cache forwards aggressively, and this can lead to numbers of false positives, because your browser cache abides to outdated redirects. So, when trying to get rid of redirect loops on your WordPress site, regularly erase your browser cache right before the start. 

Thereafter you’ve found where exactly redirect loops happens on your site, proceed to mending them and stopping the loop. And after the loop was removed, clear the browser's cache one more time, because the loop can happen to be cached as well. 

Redirecting from HTTP to HTTPS

It’s an exceptionally substantial step in your WordPress site evolution as HTTPS is considered as a ranking factor by Google. On the condition that you don’t want to give up positions in the SERPs, then it’s of high importance to construct this sort of redirect. 

Setting up a redirect links from HTTP to HTTPS requires considering the following things: 

  • You have to choose an SSL certificate for your site. 
  • You have to inform Google about your new condition. 
  • You are to update all your internal links. 

Selecting a certificate for your website is a substantial step you don’t want to miss. Your SSL certificate includes: 

  1. The certificate authority. 
  2. The server sign. 
  3. The server’s encryption key. 

This certificate is created to encrypt the dialogue between your site and the user. It prevents other users from reading private info like credit card data or passwords. 

Then it’s time to present to Google your website’s new protocol. First, you have to be aware of is that Google considers the HTTP and HTTP versions of your WordPress site as two different sites. So you can go to your Google Search Console to verify the HTTPS version of your website. The relocation will take a few days, so don’t worry if you don’t see any alterations instantly. 

As soon as the redirect will be stored, it’s better to check that your site’s internal links|the internal links on your site have HTTPS URLs and work correctly. To get it done, use any well-known tool providing site audit options. 

Take a look at a highly functional Google Reviews Wordpress plugin from Elfsight

What you need to know about new rules of 301 redirection

According to the latest Google changes, there are few things you may want to think of before using a 301 redirect on your WordPress site. 

You still risk losing some traffic

Although good news here is that Google is not anymore penalizing a 301 redirect with losing PageRank. But this one is only one signal throughout hundreds of others used by Google to rank pages. 

In case you use 301 redirect to forward to some non-relevant URL, then your redirects to have any weight. According to Google, these redirects are even regarded like soft 404 pages. This means, it would be better for you if the only thing changed when you make a 301 redirect link is the URL. 

Using 302 redirect for everything is unsafe

Not very long ago, Google started treating 302 redirect like 301 by reason of a huge amount of sites that were implementing the invalid type of redirect for their URL changes. It all caused havoc in how Google rank pages. 

In addition, there are questions that remain, for example, the online community is still not sure if 301s and 302s are equal in all senses. Nevertheless 302 is a web standard, and there are some other search engines that may treat 302 very differently from Google. 

Your traffic has a shot to be saved after you migrate to HTTPS

Google stimulated all site owners to move to HTTPS and even twisted it into a ranking signal. Still, there are tons of sites that don’t want to switch to HTTPS employing 301 redirect because it may cost them a huge traffic loss. And this is probably the reason why Google made the migration to 301s without losing PageRank. 

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