Use Redirections to Help Users and Search Engines

Detour AheadMoving a website from static HTML files to a content management system can be a daunting task that people don’t like to tackle. There are a lot of benefits to move from a static HTML website to a system such as WordPress. The most obvious are how easy it is to add and edit the information in your website, not to mention the benefits of offering RSS feeds for your readers. Aside from the moving of information from the static HTML files into WordPress one of the most often ignored aspects of moving a website into WordPress is the need to redirect users and the search engines from the old pages to the new pages seamlessly.

Recently here at LGR Internet Solutions I have been working on integrating the blog, that I originally had on a sub domain, into my main website and redirecting several of the original pages of the website to different locations on the new website. I have also been updating several other websites from being managed with Frontpage to WordPress and have been faced with redirecting hundreds of pages from their original locations to new locations on the new WordPress managed website.

Redirection is not one of those really sexy things that you do when you manage a website. It is a task that many webmasters and bloggers don’t even bother with because it is easier to just let users and the search engines find the new pages and hope for the best. Managing redirections can make a huge difference if you want to keep your search engine rankings and help your readers to find the new location. In the recent change here and with my clients websites redirections were imperative. Search engine rankings and user experience were incredibly important so I had to have a way that was easier for my clients to be able to use to manage simple redirects.

With the need for the clients to be able to manage the redirects on their WordPress websites I started looking for a solution that they could manage from inside of WordPress. While I might like to use .htaccess redirects it is not practical to train people in using .htaccess redirects when all they need is to redirect the occasional URL. The system I found that worked the best with WordPress is to install the redirection plugin into WordPress.

The redirection plugin provides a nice easy to use interface to manage redirects and add new redirects. The feature that I have found essential has been the ability of the plugin to log 404 errors and make it easy to add those 404 errors to redirect to the correct locations with a couple of clicks.

The redirection plugin makes moving a website from static HTML files to WordPress an easier task. It ensures that users and the search engines continue to find the pages and information that your website is already known for. The plugin is easy to use once installed and can help even the beginner WordPress user to manage what can be a complex task. I have used the plugin to help clients, and myself, with my latest changes to the LGR Internet Solutions website and blog. It has made it easier to manage the many different redirects that have been needed and is a great plugin even for simple redirects such as changing a WordPress permalink. If you are thinking of moving from static HTML files to WordPress and you want to make it a seamless transition try out the redirection plugin in WordPress, it might be just what you are looking for.

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