Creating 301 Permanent Redirects with the Redirection Plugin

Setting up 301 redirects is hardly the hardest task an average WordPress user or developer has before them, but it’s a very important one for SEO reasons. When you move a page—especially one that Google has shown an affinity for—it’s really good to make sure that your new page gets that old one’s racked-up affinity.

Making sure old URLs redirect in WordPress can be done a number of ways. On Apache servers, .htaccess files can house all the rules. But if you’re using Nginx, or just don’t want to learn about that, WordPress plugins can do the job. In this tutorial, we use the Redirection plugin. It’s quite popular and has all the basic features you need to make sure your new page gets all that sweet favor from Google that the the old page did.

Here’s the video:

Written Directions for Setting Up a 301 Redirect in WordPress

  1. Click “Plugins > Add New” in the left side bar of your WordPress admin area.
  2. Search for, install, and activate the “Redirection” plugin.
  3. Find the interface for the Redirection plugin by going to “Tool > Redirection” in your left sidebar.
  4. Paste in the old URL of the page you want to be forward in the box labelled “Source URL”.
  5. Paste the new URL where you want Google and your visitors to end up in the “Target URL” field.
  6. Visit the old URL in the web browser, if everything worked correctly you should find yourself looking at the new URL.

Old hands will have thought of this, but you can’t forward inside of a WordPress plugin to a URL that this WordPress site doesn’t serve. So if your website is at a rule for will not forward to where you instruct it. The Redirection plugin thoughtfully has rules to alert you to this potential source of errors and confusion, but it’s based on a core limitation of the way the internet works. 🙂

For more about the why and how of 301 redirects, please check out the full article: “Understanding 301 Redirects in WordPress (Or: How to Not Ruin Your Client’s SEO).” Cheers!

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