How to do WordPress 301 Redirects carries on from the previous article on building 301 Redirection charts via URLLIST.TXT, Excel and .htaccess. This brief outline offers an insight into achieving the same outcome from within WordPress, using the Quick Redirect plugin, combined with the Wordfence security plugin’s “Live View” of 404 Errors.
This is especially useful where you are providing WordPress website redesign services, which I tend to do in a sub-directory of the main site, or in temporary hosting on my own web server. Either way, if you change parent or sub-page page file names or Category slugs etc, you can very easily cause a lot of 404 Errors, potentially having a negative impact on ranking. Invariably, on uploading the rebuilt site to its final location, there can be a number of inadvertent 404 errors generated. Keeping on top of those can save a lot of anguish!
This plugin now has an automated process which is very useful. In the Settings, you can opt to monitor Page and Post slugs, any change automatically generates a 301 Redirect!
The older “Quick 301 Redirect” option remains;
- In one column, it provides for input of the file name of the page generating 404 errors. Example:
- In the second column you add the full page URL that you’d like the broken link redirected to.
This saves the hassle of preparing redirects with the correct syntax for insertion into the .htaccess file.
Wordfence Security Plugin
If you are using this, it has a Live View of traffic as it occurs, outlining the city and country of origin, IP Address, landing page etc. A “Pages Not Found” tab on the Live View page shows 404 Errors as they occur identify the details above, plus the broken link URL.
Armed with that information, you can select the page URL, and copy that into the Quick 301 Redirect’s left column, and add the correct page URL in the adjacent column. This is much neater than trawling through server log files…
Deactivate the Live View when you are done because it consumes significant server resources!
Link Checker Plugin
This will run on demand or at scheduled intervals, and can be set to email alerts in the event of broken link discovery. Used in conjunction with Live View of 404 errors, it can help you find, edit and thus eliminate broken links and any consequent 404 errors.
Deactivate the Broken Link checker when you are done because it consumes significant server resources!
WordPress 301 Redirects Summary
Keeping on top of 404 errors, correctly 301 redirecting changed page name changes and eliminating broken links will keep your web site fully functional and appearing professional to both visitors and search engines alike!
All NZ website redesign services should include the Redirection plugin installed by default -and activate the automatic WordPress 301 Redirects in settings to prevent inadvertent generation of 404 Page Not Found Errors when someone carelessly edits a page or post slug.