There’ll be a plugin for that… Redirect

I’ve been using so many new WordPress plugins lately and I am not up to date with my plugin reviews, so this is the first post of a few that are due. I’m currently converting an html site to a WordPress site and not taking on all of the structure of the old site, but presenting the content in a different way. The old site has been around for quite a while. I don’t know anything about the analytics figures, but it occurs to me that it is possible that its content has been linked to from other places, and there are search engine rankings to consider too.

I also decided to preserve the old site, at least for a while, so that I had it as a reference for the new material. So I moved it to a sub-folder, ‘old_web’, but I realised when I delved into it that some of the internal links were absolute rather than relative. When I clicked on them, I just got a 404 page not found error on the new WordPress installation.

I thought I need to set up something that redirects old links either to new pages in the new WordPress installation or to the new location of the old content. I thought “There’ll be a plugin for that…“, and of course there is, as always several choices.

Screen shot Redirection plugin

Example screen from Redirection plugin

Deciding which plugin to use for any particular purpose is time consuming. I feel the need to assess them all, but I am coming round to the idea that I just keep assessing to rule out, and once I come to one that does the job I want without being overly complicated, then I stop searching and go with that.

One of my selection criteria is – has it been updated recently? Another is – has it been tested for compatibility with my current version of WordPress? Then I have a look at the 1 star reviews to see if there are any recent big problems with it – usually you will also find out there if the functionality you want is actually a paid for element. Then, if nothing stands out to stop me trying it, I install and activate and then see how easy it is to use. If I can’t grasp how it works quickly, I will be tempted to deactivate and try something else.

For this purpose, I chose Redirection by John Godley (WordPress.org page). I wanted something that had a page I could find easily (is placed in the tools menu) where I could put in ‘redirect this URL to this one’ (see screen shot above).

Redirection plugin wordpress.org page

The added extras that I wasn’t thinking about is, it has a list of 404 errors, ie links that are broken and have resulted in a person clicking on them and ending up on page not found. This can alert you to links that might need to be redirected that weren’t obvious.

Anyway, so far so good, this has done the job I had in mind.

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