Since I started to blog, I always keep my blog posts updated and improved.
Reason for that, sometimes I find myself to need to change the slug/URL of a post. But what does it happen to the old URL?
In this post, I will guide how to redirect pages and posts on WordPress to avoid the 404 error and leave your readers lost.
How to redirect pages and posts on WordPress to avoid the 404 page not found error
In your blogging journey, you’ll probably want to update certain blog posts. Is actually a great thing to do to improve SEO and also make your content more targeted.
So, you edit blog title and URL/slug… but the problem is, if you go and visit the old URL, you’ll see a page error saying “404 Not Found”.
That’s because your blog post cannot be found at that address anymore, as you moved it.
In other words, it’s just like if you move house. If someone tries to reach you at the old address, they won’t find anybody. That’ why you’ll give them the new address.
So, we have to do something similar with blog posts too. Tell the internet that your blog post is now at the new URL. This is called setting a redirection.
The advantages of redirections
Since I’ve installed it on my clients’ website and on my blog, here are some of the advantages I’ve noticed:
- Reduce bounce rate – people are automatically redirected to the new post/page so they cannot leave because not bothered to navigate your website;
- Improve SEO – if you use Google Search Console, at a certain point it will probably notify you of 404 not found pages that hurt your SEO.
- Increase user experience – think of this like driving. Do you prefer a nice and smooth road or a road with a lot of “stop” signs?
- Your old Pins will still bring you views – even if on Pinterest you’ve got the old URL, a redirection will automatically bring readers to the new one.
- Make your website prettier – have you ever stumbled in a 404 error? It’s a bit ugly :/
Let’s see how we can redirect any post or even pages.
Write down the old URL
So, before changing for a new URL, make sure to take note of the old.
Open the post (or the page) in a new tab, copy and paste the URL somewhere handy to you.
In this way you can easily find it once you will change it and we’ll need it for later.
Install the plugin
To make it easier and beginner-friendly, to set up redirections we will use a plugin.
This plugin is called Redirection and you can find it here. Download, install and activate the plugin.
Alternatively, you can find it in plugins>add new section of the WP dashboard.
Start to redirect!
Open the settings plugin to get started. You’ll a button “add new” next to the title. Click on it and you’ll see something like that.
- Source URL – this will be the old URL, the one we want to redirect;
- Query Parameters – this is, for example, if you want to redirect posts with a similar URL. Leave it on “exact match”;
- Target URL – This will be the new URL, the one that your readers will visit;
- Group – you can set up two groups in the plugin, redirections or modified posts. Choose which one is the best option;
Once you have filled all the fields, click on “add redirection“.
All done! Now your old URL will automatically redirect to the new posts/page, without leaving your readers wondering around the blog.
In addition, if you want to check an existing redirection or change it, you can click on the tab “redirects” to get the results.
404 error redirections are a great way to improve SEO and improve your readers’ experience. Are you already using redirections on your blog or is it something new?
Let me know in the comments below!