How to set up 301 redirects in WordPress

During the lifecycle of your website, you might move or delete certain pages. It could lead to your users being presented with a 404 error that prevents them from accessing your content and eventually taking an exit. It might increase your exit/bounce rates and negatively impact your user experience and organic ranking. Thus, website owners and developers must set up 301 redirects in WordPress.

A 301 redirect is crucial for maintaining SEO when moving a website or changing a URL. It is a permanent redirect pointing visitors and Google bots to the new page.

Quick and Easy Steps to Set Up 301 Redirect on WordPress

How do you set up 301 redirects in WordPress? Let’s find the answer below:

Install and Activate the Redirection Plugin

One of the easiest ways to set up 301 redirects in WordPress is using a plugin. In the WordPress plugin repository, you will come across numerous options. However, Redirection plugins are the most favored choice. It is free, easy to use, and incorporates multiple features. 

To install the Redirection plugins:

  • Log in to your WordPress dashboard
  • Navigate to Plugins and select “Add New.”
  • In the search box, type Redirection and select it from the drop-down menu
  • Click on “Install Now”
  • After the plugin is installed, hit the “Activate” button.

Add a Redirect 

After the plugin is activated, start creating redirects by following the steps shared below:

  • Navigate to tools
  • Click on “Redirection” in your WordPress dashboard. A page with numerous tabs, including Redirects, Groups, and Logs, will reflect on your screen.
  • Click “Redirect” and follow it with “Add New.” You will be directed to a page where you can add the old and new URLs. The old URL is the one you want to redirect, and the new URL is the destination URL. 

Note: Add only the path of the URL and not the domain name.

  • Under the “Match” section, from the drop-down menu and select “URL” only. This step ensures that only the URL path is matched and not the query parameters and domain name. 
  • From the “Action” drop-down menu, select “301 Moved Permanently.” It gives a message to search engines that the redirect is permanent and that they should update their index accordingly. 
  • Click the “Add Redirect” button.

Test the Redirect 

After you have added the redirect, you must ensure that it is working correctly by following the steps shared below:

  • In your web browser, open a new tab. In the address bar, enter the old URL
  • If the 301 redirects are correctly set up, you will be redirected to the new URL.
  • If the URL is not working correctly, double-check if you have entered the correct URL. Ensure the “Match” and “Action” settings are set correctly.
  • You might need to contact a web admin or developer if you are still struggling with the issue. 

Manage Redirects

The Redirection plugin also offers a lot of features to manage redirects. For instance, you can create groups to import, export, and organize redirects and track 404 errors.

To create a Redirect group, follow the steps shared below:

  • Navigate to “Tools” and follow it by “Redirections.”
  • Click the “Groups” tabs.
  • Select “Add Group” and enter a name.
  • Click on the “Add Redirect” button to add redirects to the group. You can add as many redirects to the group. 
  • Click on “Import/Export” to import and export redirects. You can export your redirects to a CSV file and import redirects from a CSV file. 

The Redirection plugin also offers a log of all redirects and 404 errors. The log provides valuable information, such as the source and target URL, the date and time of the redirect, and the user agent. You can use this information to troubleshoot any issues with redirects and identify any 404 errors on your site. To access the log

  • Navigate to “Tools” and follow it by “Redirections.”
  • Click in the “Logs” tab, and a list of all the redirects and 404 errors will reflect on your screen.

Bottom Line

Using the Redirection plugin and following the abovementioned steps, you can set up 301 redirects in WordPress quickly and easily. It is crucial to maintain the search engine ranking of your site and ensure a smooth user experience. Your site will run smoothly for your users and search engines. 


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