How To Perform WordPress Redirect Without Plugin

Here is how to perform WordPress redirect without plugins. But we highly recommend using a plugin to avoid editing code syntax if you're not comfortable with it or accidentally create multiple redirect chains.

Manual Ways To Redirect URLs

301 and 302 are the two common redirects for a small website. When a URL structure change on your site, you must properly create the right redirect so you don't lose traffic or search engine index.

301 redirect simply tells the search engine that the old content has been moved, and it will pass the old URL search engine ranking juice to the new URL.

302 redirect is recommended if you're redesigning or updating the website. Users will visit a redirected page for a short period of time.

Editing .htaccess

The .htaccess file can be accessed under the website's main directory.

Under public_html

Simply log into your hosting FTP account and get to the file manager. 

wpx file manager

You will see something like this:

For the purpose of this demonstration from a live website, the URLs have been obscured. If you want to redirect an URL, please add the redirect under RewriteEngine:

Redirecting a page

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On

Redirect 301 "/OLDURL" "/NEWURL

Redirecting a folder

RewriteRule ^/?folder/(.\*)$ /location/$1 [R,L]


Important Tips To Remember

When performing 301 redirect on a existing page that already gets a lot of traffic. It's important to create the redirect right away. Otherwise the search engine will see the new URL as a new page, and that page will lose all keyword rankings.

Too many redirects on a website can impact website speed because the more redirect hops it takes to get to a URL, the harder the server has to work. Linking to the final destination to skip the chain can reduce a website's load

  • Immediate 301 redirect also helps to ensure internal links onsite and existing inbound links to that page don't get interrupted. 
  • Index the new URL to get index
  • Last, when creating URL for a new page, make sure to do it right the first time as much as possible to avoid redirects.
  • Remove redirect as soon as the new URL is index and the traffic has been stabilized

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