If you’ve managed your website for very long, you’ve probably wanted to change some permalinks, get rid of some outdated pages, or make a long ugly affiliate referral link into something pretty and easy to remember.
Editing your .htaccess file to add redirects can feel scary (and annoying, as it involves FTP, text editors, and techie knowhow.)
Some WordPress themes, like Genesis, include redirect fields, but they require that each redirect have a page – which can clutter up your dashboard with pages that aren’t really pages.
However, there are plugins that make this super easy – the most common is the Redirection plugin, which has been downloaded over 1.2 million times. I use it myself and it generally just works.
Update: We are now using Simple 301 Redirects. It’s…simple.
Here’s how the Redirection plugin works:
After you install it, go to your Installed Plugins list. Find the Redirection plugin, and click Settings.
You’ll see this:
The Source URL is the one you want people to be redirected from. This might be an old link you’ve changed, a link to a page you’ve deleted, or a new link you’re creating to mask a long, ugly affiliate link. For example, if you’re a WPEngine affiliate and you want your affiliate link to be mydomain.com/wpengine, then you put /wpengine in the Source URL field and paste the “real” affiliate link into the Target URL field. The Target URL field is also where you put in the new link – it could just be / if you want it to return the user back to your home page.
If it’s an external link, don’t forget to put in the whole thing, starting with http.
After filling that in, just click “Add Redirection” and, as always, TEST.