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WordPress Redirects: Why Too Many Can Be A Bad Thing

There is no denying that redirects are useful for your website. You never want someone to click through on a link to your website only to find a 404 error. In fact, beyond enhancing your user’s experience, redirects play an important role in SEO too. So the question becomes, can too many WordPress Redirects be a bad thing for my website? 

Well, let’s remember the purpose of WordPress Redirects. Redirects forward both visitors and search engine crawlers to another page on your site. This is great in the event that you are directing an HTTP URL to an HTTPS version once you have successfully installed an SSL certificate for your site. Another reason why you may create a URL redirect is to redirect a deleted page on your site to a recently created or updated page.

While the purpose of website redirects are just, implementing them poorly can have a negative effect on your website’s SEO. Learning how to properly address WordPress Redirects can help to increase your SEO performance not hinder it. 

WordPress Redirects: What is a redirect anyway?

A redirect on a WordPress site or any website for that matter is when a URL that a user request is forwarded to a different destination URL. There are ultimately two main forms of a redirect. The first is called a 301 redirect while the second is called a 302 redirect.

A 301 redirect is the most common, and refers to a moved permanently redirect. This sort of redirect also transfers link equity among important signals such as PageRank. A 301 redirect is permanent, so make sure you are okay with installing this. If you are only redirecting to another page for a temporary reason, it is best to use a 302 redirect.

A 302 redirect means that a website page has moved to a different page URL, but only for a temporary period of time. Ultimately this form of a website redirect signals that this page will come back. 

A business owner or website manager will want to install redirects on their site to avoid any 404 errors. By not installing the necessary redirects on your website, it can not only have a negative impact on user experience but your SEO score as well. 

WordPress Redirects: Avoid Redirect Chains

A type of redirect to avoid is called a redirect chain. A redirect chain can occur when you implement a 301 redirect from Page A to Page B, but in the future create an additional redirect from Page B to Page C. So it will look something like this: Page A ===> Page B ===> Page C===>. 

This means that Page A redirects twice because of this chain.

There are many other forms of redirect chains such as an HTTP URL redirecting to an HTTPS URL or when your company switches to an entirely new website domain name altogether. To see if your website has any redirect chains try using a program like Screaming Frog or the Ahrefs Site Audit Tool for help.

WordPress Redirects: Impact on SEO

WordPress Redirect chains are harmful to your website for a couple of reasons. First it impacts your site speed because of the extra steps necessary to get to the final page of that chain. 

A redirect chain can also make it harder for bots to crawl your website. Since bots have limited resources when crawling your site, it could lead to them abandoning your redirect chain eventually. 

One thing to note about WordPress Redirects though is that it does not affect your PageRank. So no need to worry about creating too many redirects as long as you avoid creating redirect chains or loops. 

WordPress Redirects: How to Fix Them

Let’s go back to our original example about a redirect chain. 

Page A points to Page B which points to Page C. 

To fix a redirect chain simply go back and point Page A to Page C. This avoids a redirect chain and helps to avoid creating new ones by mistake. In conclusion, you must be careful when it comes to WordPress Redirects. You should be especially mindful of redirect chains because of the negative impact they have on your SEO score and website overall. The good news though is that you can always scan our website for redirect chains and they are easy to fix! 

WordPress Redirects: Plugins to Help 

We have spent a lot of time in this article discussing WordPress Redirects and redirects in general. If you have a WordPress Website here are the top 8 plugins/tools for you to use when dealing with redirects. 

1. Redirection

2. Easy HTTPS Redirection

3. WP 404 Auto Redirect to Similar Post

4. 301 redirects

5. All 404 Redirect to HomePage

6. 301 SEO Redirection

7. Contact Form 7 Redirection

8. Equivalent Mobile Redirection

About MarketKeep

MarketKeep is a digital marketing agency for small businesses and start-ups based in Towson, Md. Our goal is to help small business owners plan, place, and optimize their digital marketing strategies. MarketKeep is proud to offer our clients the following services:

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