If you have noticed a 404 error and are trying to figure out how to create a redirect to page that’s “alive” – you are in good hands.
This article walks you through how to create a redirect on the following platforms:
- WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, or similar platforms.
- Sites that are self-programmed from scratch or using a template.
So let’s dig in.
Why create a redirect?
If there is a link that leads to the page and you remove the page or rename the link – the redirect to an alternative page is a must.
Otherwise, search engines and especially Google gets real cranky. Just imagine Google sends out the little spiders to discover the web and they spot a URL. Once they proceed through this link – they realize there is dead-end.
The more “dead-ends” you have on your page the more search engines and especially Google will start downgrading your page. Google sees this dead link pages as graveyards.
So here is the step by step guide to assure your website isn’t a graveyard.
How to create a redirect?
Getting the redirect in place can be done simply by place this line of code – <meta http-equiv=“refresh” content=“0; url=http://example.com/” />. This query you have to place after “<head>” section but before “</head>” this part.
Nevertheless, there are easier ways depending on the platform you are using
How to create a redirect for WordPress and WooCommerce?
WordPress and WooCommerce give you the chance to solve every issue you might have with pre-built “Apps” or plugins, as they call them. These are the two of the best plugins that will help you to create redirects:
Install and activate one of these plugins. Then it will appear in the dashboard on the left site.
Once you open the plugin all you have to do is insert the old-URL from which people should be redirected to the new-URL.
How to create a redirect for Shopify?
To create a redirect on Shopify it’s easier than with any other platform:
- 1st Step – From your Shopify admin, click Online Store, and then click Navigation.
- 2nd Step – Click URL Redirects:
- 3rd Step – Click Add a URL redirect to create your first redirect:
- 4th Step – From the dialog, add the old URL that you have changed and would like to redirect in the text box labeled Old path.
- Click Save URL redirect. Now, when customers go to your store’s old URL, they will be automatically redirected to the correct page.
& you are done!
How to create a redirect for BigCommerce?
BigCommerce offers built-in redirect creation.
- 1st Step – Go to Server Settings › 301 Redirects.
- 2nd Step – Click Add Redirect.
- 3rd Step – In the field that now appears under Old URL, type the URL of the page preceded by a /. Click Save when finished. This should include all of the URL that comes after your domain name. In our example, it would be /my-old-page, but it could also be something like /category/old-category.html.
- 4th Step – Select whether you want your redirect to be manual or dynamic.
- Manual redirects have you enter the new URL you want the customer to be redirected to. If you change the URL again, you will need to update the 301 redirect.
- Dynamic redirects have you select the category, product, brand, blog entry, or web page that the customer should be redirected to. If the URL of the selected page changes later, the 301 redirect will update automatically.
- 5th Step (If you selected manual) – Enter the new URL in the empty field under New URL. As with the old URL, it should be preceded by a /. In our example, it would be /my-new-page. Alternatively, you can redirect to a 3rd party page by using the full URL, e.g. http://www.otherpage.com
- 5th Step (If you selected dynamic) – Click the link under New URL that says Click here to choose a product, category, brand or web page. In the pop-up, select the type of page you are linking to (e.g. Product, Category, Brand, Page, News) and then select the page from the list provided.
And you have your redirect ready.
How to create a redirect for sites that are self-programmed?
To create a redirect manually you must follow these steps really carefully or you can damage your website:
- 1st Step – Head over to the place where your website is hosted – mostly it’s a server that has “cpanel” or similar at the end of your URL – www.example.com/cpanel.
- 2nd Step – Allocate the page that’s missing. If the broken URL looks like this – www.example.com/blog/seo/guide, then the broken file will be located in guide folder, that’s located in SEO folder, that’s located in blog folder and so on.
- 3rd Step – Click on edit the file and allocate where starts the <head> section.
- 4th Step – Then paste this line of code:
Where you can see http://www.example.com, you have to paste your new URL where you want the broken link to bring your visitors.
Done – you just created a redirect.
Now it’s your turn
I hope this guide was useful to bring your broken URLs back from the dead and if there is anything we forgot to include. Let us know in the comment section.
Happy redirection 😉