When you’re redesigning a website or updating old content, changes to your URL structures are likely. And if you don’t follow WordPress redirect best practices, you risk negatively impacting the User Experience (UX) and your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The WordPress redirect functionality built into the core platform is designed to catch incorrect URLs. That’s to say: when a wrong URL is requested, WordPress tries to locate the correct URL and will redirect the visitor if it does.
In this post, we’ll explain the importance of WordPress redirects and how they influence page speed and, of course, SEO. We’ll also discuss how you can minimize redirects in WordPress and guide you through the various solutions you can use to set them up.
Let’s get started!
An Introduction to WordPress Redirects
WordPress core comes with redirect functionality that is intended to help catch and correct incorrect URLs. If someone requests an incorrect URL, WordPress attempts to locate the correct one and then redirects the visitor if it was successful.
Let’s say you have a page that resides at “http://www.example.com/parent/page”. If you type “http://example.com/page” into your browser, typically, WordPress is smart enough to automatically locate the correct page to redirect you to.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. If you set up your website to resolve using HTTPS (so as to force all traffic to be redirected from the HTTP to HTTPS prefixed URL), the redirection process becomes more complex.
For example, imagine that a visitor attempts to access the web page “https://www.example.com/parent/page” by typing “http://example.com/page” into the address bar. The process would unfold as follows:
- First, the visitor is redirected from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Second, the visitor is redirected when “www” is added to the URL.
- Third, the visitor is redirected to the URL formulation that includes the parent page in the path.
- Finally, the server begins to send the website’s files and resources to the visitor’s browser.
You might be thinking: “That’s great! I can butcher a link and the visitor will still end up where they’re supposed to be.” In a sense, you’d be right to think that. WordPress is very good at figuring out where URLs are supposed to resolve, and this means that mistyped URLs will often resolve properly.
However, all of this auto-redirection also has a downside.
When changes to your URL structures occur, you’ll need to follow these redirect best practices… or risk impacting your SEO and UX ❌?
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How WordPress Redirects Impact Page Loading Speed
Once you realize how resilient WordPress is, it’s easy to get tricked into neglecting URL formulation. This is particularly dangerous if you manually type out the URLs in
This article was written by Jon Penland and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.