Plugin of the week : Redirection

Next up in our occasional “recommended plugin” series is…  “Redirection”.

It does one thing, and does it well – something that always appeals to site builders looking to develop knowledge of a set of tools that can cover them in any common situation.

What does it do? Simply put, it redirects: users who click on a link (i.e. URL) can be sent to a different link instead.

For example, perhaps you have some old links, www.example.com/oldstuff, that people are still clicking on, even though you no longer have content there. (e.g. An old marketing campaign, or previous version of your site). Do you want those people to just see a 404 page, or something that’ll keep them on the site?

The same can be achieved by editing a .htaccess file in your WordPress directory, but…

  • That only works if your webserver is Apache (around 90% of the time)
  • That requires you to learn about the .htaccess language
  • Using a plugin is portable – you won’t need to remember to copy your .htaccess file when moving hosting companies; it’s part of your WordPress install already
  • The plugin can also log redirections and give you statistics on what it’s been up to

“Redirection” is a mature plugin with 2.2 million downloads, so is well-tried and tested. The only issue we’ve ever had with it is too much logging – you’ll want to check your default settings to see what’s being logged, so that if you have a very high-volume site, then your database doesn’t begin to slow down due to unnecessary information.

With that many downloads, you can tell that it’s something that a lot of people often need to do. Keep this plugin in mind, and when you need to, you’ll be ready too!

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

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