How to Easily Create 301 Redirects in WordPress (with Video)

When you post updated content on your website, you want your visitors to reach it despite clicking on an old link that leads to the outdated content. You might also be overhauling your website’s permalink structure and wish to redirect old URLs to their new structure. In situations like these, you’ll need to create redirects on your website.

In this article, you’ll learn what redirects are and how you can easily create 301 redirects on your WordPress website.

What are Redirects?

When you create a redirect in your WordPress website pointing from one URL to another, the visitor’s browser understands that the page they want to visit has been moved and automatically points them to the new page.

There are different types of redirects such as 301, 302, 303, 307, and 308. However, we’ll focus only on 301 redirects as they’re the most common and useful.

301 redirects tell search engines that the page where you want visitors to land has changed or moved and also pass between 90-99% of the link juice to the new URL, thus preserving your page authority. This way, redirecting from old or broken links can improve your SEO. 

However, redirects can decrease your page’s loading speed by a measurable and significant margin. Therefore, you should minimize the usage of redirects by avoiding any unnecessary redirects. You should also make sure that your Top-Level Domain resolves with no more than one redirection.

Now that you understand more about 301 redirects, let’s set them up on your WordPress website.

Creating 301 Redirects Using the Redirection Plugin

The easiest way to create 301 redirects in WordPress is with the Redirection plugin. After installing the plugin, head to Tools > Redirection. Just complete the basic setup process and you’re good to go.

add new 301 redirects wordpress
Adding a new redirection.

On the next page, you can create new redirects under the “Add new redirection” section. All you need to do is provide the Source URL and the Target URL along with a query parameter. When you’re done, click “Add Redirect”. You can then manage and track existing redirects on the same page at the top.

Head to the “404s” page if you want to redirect visitors from your website’s 404 errors. The plugin will automatically detect and list all existing 404 links on your page. Hover over one and click “Add redirect”. Then, provide the target URL that’s appropriate for this 404 link. This way, you can easily resolve 404 errors for your visitors.

fix 404 errors in wordpress
The Redirection plugin helps you detect and fix 404 errors on your website.

In the Import/Export page, you can export all your redirections from an old site and import them easily to a new one.

Creating 301 Redirects Using .htaccess

You can also create 301 redirects by adding code to your .htaccess file. Before you use this method, make sure to create a backup of your site. 

Access the .htaccess file using an FTP client and add this code at the end of the file if you want to redirect a single page to another. Make sure you replace the example URLs and save the file.

Redirect 301 /old-page.html http://www.example.com/new-page.html

If you want to redirect an entire domain to another domain name, use the following code. This code snippet will send visitors to the same URL slug at the new domain name. This means users who visit oldsite.com/test-post will be redirected to newsite.com/test-post. Just make sure to replace the example URLs with your actual ones. 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(?:www\.)oldsite\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^ http://newsite.com%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

After saving the file, the redirects should start working immediately. In the end, make sure to thoroughly check your website for any broken links created after the process. And reach out to us in the comments below if you need assistance with your WordPress website.

If you prefer a video version, please check out the video below:

Further reading

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