One way to re-route traffic from defunct or unpublished WordPress pages and posts is by creating 301 redirects. While it is possible to set up these redirects via the .htaccess file, you can use one of a variety of plugins to easily and quickly create redirects within the WordPress dashboard itself. A popular redirection plugin is Redirection, which provides features to assist in the creation and management of URL redirects.
By installing Redirection, you will have access to the Redirect Manager, a menu that allows you to easily manage all of your 301 redirects. Instead of needing to know complicated Apache or NGINX configurations, the redirect manager gives users an easy way to create redirects from within the WordPress dashboard. As long as your website supports permalink functionality, you can redirect any URL of your choice.
It is also possible to configure the redirect manager to automatically update page or post URLs in the event of a change to the permalink structure. For example, if one of your pages has the URL example.com/about-me and you change it to example.com/bio, the Redirection plugin will automatically redirect traffic to the new URL. This will ensure that your pages and posts remain accessible to website visitors even if the URL changes.
While standard redirects work by default when you visit a redirected URL, it is also possible to create conditional redirects using the Redirection plugin. These conditional redirects operate based on pre-set conditions in order to redirect one URL to another. Here are a few examples of situations where conditional redirects apply:
- If users are logged in or not.
- If certain web browsers are used.
- If a matching IP address is being used to access the URL.
- If a user accesses the URL from another website.
- If a given URL leads to a 404 error.
Conditional redirects are useful for complex website designs that seek to tailor user experience based on variable conditions. For example, a website designer may want visitors using Chrome to see a Chrome-specific page. With the Redirection plugin, a conditional redirect can be set up to redirect Chrome users to a specific page optimized for Chrome browsers.
404 Error Tracking
Another helpful feature of the Redirection plugin is the ability to track and manage existing 404 errors on your WordPress site. A 404 error is an error code denoting a missing page, and having too many of these errors can adversely impact search engine rankings and overall website functionality.
Instead of testing all of your website’s pages individually to look for 404 errors, you can use the Redirection plugin to easily identify and correct all URLs that lead to 404s.