WordPress.com 301 Redirect Plugin Tutorial

Whether you’re changing domains or upgrading your site, a WordPress.com 301 redirect plugin can funnel your online visitors to the right place and help you maintain the page rank you’ve worked so hard to reach.

Here’s a guide to setting up a WordPress.com 301 redirect plugin, which also explains why doing so is essential.

Why are 301 redirects so important?

As a business owner, you can attract new customers with your content and products at your website domain. So, if you decide that you’re changing direction and permanently moving to a different domain — or changing some of the permalinks on your domain — then it’s essential to tell your clientele where you’re moving. This is the job of a 301 website redirect. It informs online visitors and search engines that you’ve made a permanent move.

So, whether someone encounters one of your old URLs through a web search, an old bookmark, website links, or old business cards, they will automatically be taken to the new URL. Without a website redirect, users will be taken to a 404 error page, and according to IMPACT, this will cause 73.72% of visitors to leave and never return to your site.

Your guide to setting up a WordPress.com 301 redirect

Log in to your WordPress.com website and go to Plugins > Add New. In order to activate plugins on your site, you’ll need a WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan; you can upgrade right from that page if you need to.

In the keyword search box type “redirection.”

Install and Activate the free plugin called Redirection.

Now go to Tools > Redirection.

Click Start Setup on the introduction page.

During the setup process, you have the option of monitoring permalink changes, as well as keeping a log and storing information about your redirects and 404 errors. You can always come back later to pick your preferences or change your selections in the future. After you make your choices, scroll to the bottom and click Continue Setup.

On the next page, click Finish Setup.

Once your progress reaches 100 percent, click Finished.

Under the redirect section, click Add New.

Type the old page in the source URL section and the new page in the Target URL section. Then click Add Redirect.

Now go to the old URL and refresh it; you should be automatically redirected to the new URL.

There’s no question that 404 error pages can ruin user experience. Proper use of 301 website redirects ensures that both users and search engines are transferred to your new and correct URLs.

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