WordPress 301 Redirect: How to Set it Up Easily

If  you have been wondering how to set up a WordPress 301 redirect all this while and could not find a suitable guide, you search ends here. Before digging out the details on 301 redirection, let us understand what a 301 redirect actually is.

What is a 301 permanent redirect ?

301 is a HTTP response code which indicates that a client needs to perform additional action to fulfill a request. More specifically a 301 redirect means ‘Moved Permanently’ i.e. a specific URL has been permanently moved to a new URL.

Why would you set up 301 redirection on your WordPress blog ?

Two major reasons why people tend to set up a WordPress 301 redirect are:

  • Change of domain – When you change your domain and you want to redirect your posts and pages to the new one, a 301 redirect comes in very handy for an easy transition.
  • Changing a post URL for SEO benefits – Let’s say you have published a blog post and later found out that you forgot to include the focus keyword in your blog post URL. We all know how important this is from an SEO perspective. In such cases you can change the blog post URL and set up a 301 redirect to send traffic over to the new URL easily.

You should be aware that Google recommends to use a 301 redirect if you want to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results. Also, let’s be clear on the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect. 301 is a permanent redirect. You use this for a permanent redirection. 302 is a temporary redirect. This may be used when you want to temporarily redirect to a new URL, and will revert to the old settings after a while.

This video by Matt Cutts explains a lot on 301 redirection.

How to setup a WordPress 301 redirect ?

Alright, let us get back to setting up 301 redirects with WordPress. There are various ways to set up a 301 permanent redirect. Usually people edit the .htaccess file to set up a 301 redirection. We will not venture out into complex coding techniques as there are a lot of people who are not very comfortable with coding. We will setup WordPress 301 redirect using a free plugin called as Redirection.

Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.

Okay, so now when you have installed and activated the above plugin, what next ?

Nothing else ! You are all set !

Surprised ?

Don’t be. The best feature of this plugin is that when you change a post’s URL, Redirection will automatically add a 301 redirect to the new URL. As simple as that. You also have the option to manually set up WordPress 301 redirect or a 302 redirect.

Wordpress 301 redirect

For manual 301 redirection, Click on Tools from your WordPress menu and select Redirection.

Wordpress 301 redirect

You will find the ‘Add new redirection’ box at the bottom of the page. You can use this to manually set up a WordPress 301 redirect.

Wordpress 301 redirect

Other than 301 redirection, you also select other actions from the ‘Action’ drop down.

Wordpress 301 redirect

You can view all your 301 redirects and logs from the plugin dashboard. It also shows the number of hits and the last access date.

Wordpress 301 redirect

Setting up a WordPress 301 redirect was never so easy, don’t you think ? I will be waiting to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below.

Comments

  1. Abrar Mohi Shafee says

    Hi,

    Thanks for an informative post!

    Yes, I’m exactly using “Redirection” plugin to create redirects. I recommended it to all because of its simplicity and the flexibility.

    The regex in it has made it easy to redirect groups of urls. In fact, it will let us track the clicks and 404s more effectively.

    Regards,
    Abrar

  2. says

    Hi Arpit

    This is a cool post and I am with you man about Redirections. I have used the Redirection plugin and it is an awesome plugin; although a bit techie. This information does a good job of differentiating 301 from 302 as these terms do confuse bloggers. Thanks for sharing the information. Happy Holidays
    ikechi recently posted…Ask Yourself…Am I Where I Want To Be?My Profile

  3. says

    Thanks for your post Arpit. I think it’s some what technical thing when you talk about htacess and all .. hahah .. But I feel like that 😀 , And I’ll be suprised by watching Mat Cutts Video. :) This is very helpful to do redirection to blog.

    By the way you doing great and My best wishes and this upcoming year should fill with more joy and Happiness in your life

    Happy Christmas,
    Siva

  4. Rich says

    Hi Arpit,

    First off, thank you so much for a great article. I was hoping you might be able to help me with a question? I have an established website with many pages, but when I first set it up I didn’t understand about the permalink structure and left mine as default i.e. /?p=123. Would I be able to use this plugin to enable me to switch on permalinks set as ‘postname’ i.e. /sample-post/??

    I was hoping that by installing the plugin and turning on the new permalink structure that all the old pages would be re-directed to the new structure.

    Would this work? Or would I need to manually enter every page as a re-direct to the new structure?

    Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer.

    Rich.

    • says

      Hi Rich,

      You can change the Permalink structure from your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Settings-Permalink and select the desired structure. Make sure you are certain about the permalink that you want to use and only then select a new structure.

      Now, when you change the permalink structure, all the external links to your site will be broken. So, you can use this particular plugin to set up a 301 redirect to the new permalink for individual posts. But this will take a lot of time as you have a lot of posts.

      A better way to do this is by using the ‘Simple 301 Redirects’ plugin. With this plugin, you just need to enter the old permalink structure and the new permalink structure and the redirect will be set up automatically for all your posts with the old structure. This is much easier when compared to setting up redirects individually.

      Hope this helps :)
      Arpit Roy recently posted…How to Play DOS Games on Your Web Browser For FreeMy Profile

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