Do you remember the last time you moved to a new house? You had to change your address so all of your mail could arrive at the right place. The same thing applies to your website.
If you happen to change hosting and move it to another server, all your URLs will be in disarray. You’ll have to get them in order, simply to make sure everyone can reach your website without fault. At the end of the day, how are you expecting to gain visitors if they don’t know where to find you?
This, and many other reasons, is why you need a redirection plugin for your WordPress website. While there are many available, we’ll look at one of the most popular today to see if it’s worth the investment.
WP 301 Redirects
WP 301 Redirects is a rather popular premium WordPress redirection plugin. Its main goal is to prevent you from traffic loss caused by broken links, bad URLs, or server changes. And let’s face the facts if you’re interested in what a site has to offer but encounter a 404, chances are you won’t be returning there again.
These facts can massively aid you with SEO as users will know where to find your pages instead of encountering another annoying 404 error.
Besides, this is why every site that strives for quality and a good user experience should opt for a redirection plugin. And WP 301 Redirect seems to be one of the most comprehensive options out there. But to truly see how this plugin works and if it’s worth the purchase, we have to see it in action.
Initial Setup and Settings
Once you download the plugin, you’ll have to put in your license key to get to the setup wizard. The plugin will automatically perform several checks to ensure you have the correct PHP version. The rest is pretty basic.
However, step two of the installation wizard does come with an exciting feature. It allows you to enable automatic 404 redirections. Now, what does this mean? In essence, if you enable this feature right in the wizard when someone makes a typo while putting in one of your URLs.
The plugin will automatically try to guess the right page to ensure your visit will find themselves where they want to be even though they’ve made a typo. Besides, this is an exciting feature and definitive bonus point in our book.
There are other things you can set up during the installation phase. Still, we won’t go into too much detail about that in this section as they are configurable after the installation. And it will be given more attention in the continuation of the review.
The plugin has a self-explanatory interface, and a convenient feature is the number of redirects you’ve had in the last 24hr and the number of 404s. Both of them are displayed in the top right corner and allow you to keep tabs on everything.
The most crucial section of the “Settings” tab is your logging policies and reports. You can choose to do anonymous logging, which means that no user data is saved, or turn it on as needed.
There’s also an option to choose how long you’d wish to keep said logs. If you’re working with a single site only, this might not be of great importance to you. However, if you’re using this plugin for multiple locations or are using it to help your clients, it can be helpful.
When it comes to reports, you can choose to get them emailed to you, or you can check what’s going on straight from your WordPress dashboard.
Setting up Redirects
To add a redirect rule, naturally, one continues to the “Redirection Rules” tab. Here you can create a new redirection rule. Import one you already had, or import the ones in place within the free version if you had used it before upgrading to the premium.
While our example screenshot might look quite simple over time, this is especially true if you’re running something that is content-heavy.
Redirection rules can add up and cause a bit of a mess. So, the search bar at the top of the page can be a potential lifesaver. Simply click on the search box type in the URL in question, and the plugin will find it for you in no time at all.
Sometimes, a redirect rule might become obsolete, and you don’t need it anymore. This plugin features a small trash icon you can simply click to delete anything you might not need. The same thing applies for pages you’re working on and need to have the rule temporarily disabled, switch them on and off as you please.
WP 301 Redirects also includes fairly advanced analytics tabs for both 404 and redirection logs. We won’t spend as much time on this feature because it is also more vital for those who will use this plugin for their clients.
However, we will briefly mention that the dashboard contains information about the devices that get the redirect most often, counties, and browsers. Plus, if you’re interested, you can always find more details below the graphs in the details section.
While a lot of the features we’ve mentioned thus far are functional and even build upon your traditional redirection plugin. Further, we’d like to devote some extra time to the newest addition to this plugin called the Link Scanner.
The link scanner will analyze all your pages and links and develop a detailed analysis of the harmful and problematic ones. This feature is the one that sealed the deal for us, so let’s see how it works.
To utilize this feature, you will have to have at least one credit available. The number of credits you have, of course, depends on how many you bought. These can either be reoccurring, meaning you get however many you want at once, or get a subscription that’s renewed every month.
Scanning the entire site will take only a few minutes, and you can do whatever you want while the scan is taking place as it happens in the background. Once complete, you’ll get a total overview of every page, complete with how many links it contains. Also, how many of them passed the test, so to speak, and how many turned out to be problematic.
A section on the top of the page informs you how many pages this feature had scanned in total. How many links there are in total, and how many of those may need further attention. Once again, you may utilize the search bar to find what you’re looking for.
To find out more about your potentially harmful links, you’ll be glad to hear that the details section provides all the information you could need.
Click on the “Open Details” button to inspect everything you’d like to know about your problematic links. You can find all of the page links on this page. But the problematic ones will be located at the top so that you can manage them more easily.
Besides every broken link, there’ll be a series of stats for the link in question.
These stats include:
- Anchor text/URL,
- Page title,
- Target rel attributes,
- Redirect status,
- Google Web risk,
- Adult content,
- Domain inbound links,
- Domain Alexa rank,
- Domain language,
- Malware status
These can provide valuable information about how your pages are doing and indicate the root of the problem.
To isolate any of the links, click on the icon next to the URL. Also, this will take you straight to the link in question and mark it out for, so you won’t have to go round looking for it yourself.
From here, you can simply choose to deal with the link as you please – redirect it, replace it, or remove it.
Full Rebranding – No coding is needed for this. And if you plan to use this plugin to work with your clients, you’ll be able to fully rebrand it to make the existence of this plugin and its creators completely undetectable.
Support – The plugin contains in-depth documentation that can help you every step of the way. But even if that doesn’t seem to do the trick, you’ll be glad to know that you can always contact the developers for some extra help.
So, in the end, the only question that remains is whether or not this plugin is worthwhile to purchase. Definitely is our response. It’s a detailed redirection solution that’s simple to use even if you don’t have much experience.
If the fact that it’s a premium plugin seems to deter you, you can always try the somewhat barebone-free version and upgrade from there. Either way, we can wholeheartedly say that you won’t regret this plugin if you get this plugin.
It’s excellent for both site owners and those looking to get a plugin for business purposes. Sure, some of the features won’t be necessary for a casual site owner, but if you take your analytics seriously and are trying to grow a business in the same breath, these to can prove to be of help.