What is a 301 Redirect? How to Create 301 Redirects in WordPress?

301 redirects play an important role in the health of your website. It's perfect for fixing links after reorganizing your old sites. Especially when your site has expired content and you want to avoid sending visitors to a 404 error page by creating a redirect instead. Let's find out what a 301 redirect is and how to use it through this post!

What is 301 Redirection?

301 redirect

Simply put, a redirect is a way of sending website visitors to another URL when the original one has been replaced. The redirected website URLs often contain similar, related, or more adequate information to the original ones.

Currently, there are two main types of redirects: temporary and permanent. A temporary redirect usually happens for a short period of time, for example, when your website is being updated and repaired. In contrast, a permanent redirect means that users will always be redirected to another URL. It can be used in the cases where you change the domain or the links permanently, which we will talk about in detail in the following part. Then, a 301 redirect the name of those permanent redirects.

Creating a 301 redirect tells search engines that the requested URL has moved permanently and that the content can now be found on the destination URL.

Benefits of 301 Redirects?

Improve the Retention and User Experience

301 redirect keeps visitors engaged in your site.

In particular, after you have changed the links of posts or pages, users will get a 404 error when accessing the old URLs. This will negatively affect their experience of the site and could cause them to become frustrated and leave.

Then, the solution is using another post or page which has the same content and redirecting users to there. Thanks to such redirects, users can still find the information they need through your website. And certainly, reading those related content is better than reading an error message. This way, the user experience will be improved and your site will not be dropped from the search engine index.

That is exactly what the 301 redirect does for you.

Improve SEO

It’s important to note that anytime you move a page from one URL to another without redirection, it will take time for the search engines to notice the change and re-score your website if any. To avoid that, using 301 redirects is the best solution, which passes full link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page.

Furthermore, since 301 redirects significantly improve the retention rate and user experience for your website, it helps improve SEO ranking a lot. The goal of doing SEO for a website basically is to have better user experience. So when you have it, your website ranking will automatically increase.

In addition, you can also easily optimize URLs for articles or websites without any negative SEO impact thanks to 301 redirects. For example, if your post doesn't include keywords, you can edit the post and add a new URL. Then use 301 redirects to direct readers to the optimized URL.

How to Set Up 301 Redirects in WordPress

Method 1: Use .htaccess to Create 301 Redirects

We’ll use the .htaccess file on the server and it requires a little bit of coding. Depending on your requirements of how to redirect, the code will be customized accordingly.

The code for redirect with .htaccess looks like this:

Redirect "/old-service" "https://example.com/service"
Redirect 301 "/old-page" "https://example.com/new-page"

This method is more suitable for people who are technical or have knowledge of code. Another method is using a plugin to create 301 redirects, which is more friendly for most users.

Method 2: Use a Plugin to Create a 301 Redirect

There are numerous useful and free plugins for this on wordpress.org, which take the coding part away from creating a 301 redirect. These plugins allow the user to input the old URL then the new URL, and snap – you’ve got a 301 redirect. This makes the process of implementing redirects simpler and quicker, often cutting out the need for developer involvement.

One of the most friendly and easiest to use is Slim SEO. So, let’s start creating 301 redirects with Slim SEO in this tutorial.

Step 1: Install and Activate Slim SEO

In the admin dashboard, go to the menu Plugin > Add New. Search for the Slim SEO plugin, then install and activate it.

Step 2: Create a 301 Redirect

Go to Settings > Slim SEO > tab Redirection, and click the Add Redirect button:

Creating a redirect in Slim SEO

A new popup will appear that lets you enter the redirect details:

Enter the redirect details

In this step, you need to enter the "From URL", which is the URL you want to redirect. You can set a rule for an exact URL, or if it contains a text; and "To URL", which is the destination URL that you want to redirect to.

Make sure you select the "Type" 301 Moved Permanently to create a 301 redirect. After that, click "Add Redirect" button to finish.

After that, visite your old URL to see if it's redirected to the new URL. If you set up things correctly, you'll be redirected. Otherwise, please check the settings of the redirection in the popup.

Last Words

Through this article, I hope I have helped you better understand 301 redirects and how they work. Let's try it out and let us know the results. Don't forget to follow our next articles to get more useful knowledge. Good luck!

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