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Redirects take visitors from one page to another automatically. If you visit a URL with a redirect, you won’t even notice unless you watch the URL change in your browser’s address bar.
You may be wondering why you would want to use a redirect at all. Here’s an example of a redirect I’ve used on this site, and why you should use them on your site too.
Why Use a Redirect?
Tracks Pro was published on a new URL, but the old upgrades still had pages on the site. Anyone who visited those pages would see the old upgrades even though they were no longer for sale. The obvious solution was to delete those pages, right? Not so fast.
The problem was that other pages on the web were linking to them and some visitors may have bookmarked their URLs. If the pages were deleted, anyone who visited them would see a 404 “page not found” error.
The solution was to redirect all the upgrade pages to Tracks Pro. For instance, this URL used to list the upgrades:
Now if you visit, it automatically takes you to this URL:
Redirects are a great way to keep visitors from seeing 404s on your site. They’re particularly helpful when moving or completely removing pages from your site.
So how do you implement them on your site?
How do I create redirects?
Redirects can be added to your site easily with the use of a plugin like Quick Page/Post Redirects. You can use it to add 301 redirects which will take visitors from one page to another just like the example above.
For further instruction on creating redirects, check out our recently published post on creating redirects with WordPress.
Redirecting with WordPress
A brand new site probably won’t have much use for redirects. However, you’ll find them more useful as your site evolves.
Websites change and pages get moved/removed. As long as you know how to implement redirects on your site, your visitors will never even notice.
If you have any questions about redirects, post a comment below.