How to Successfully Redirect Old Webpages

How to Successfully Redirect Old Webpages_Wild Wattle Digital
Picture of Bianca Batty
Bianca Batty

Ever stumbled on an old webpage of yours and thought, ‘Yikes, that’s ancient!’ Maybe it’s that retro product you’ve stopped selling or some outdated info you forgot existed. Before you slam the ‘delete’ button, pump the brakes a sec.

Here’s the scoop: It’s not about just kicking that old page to the curb. You gotta guide those wandering web visitors somewhere else. Think of it as a detour sign on the digital highway. And guess what? I’m here to spill the beans on how to do it like a pro!

  1. Map out the journey
    Before bulldozing any content, have a little sit-down. Think, ‘Where should my lost visitor head next?’ Planning ahead means no sad faces landing on those dreaded error pages. Ask yourself: If a visitor was looking for this old content, where would they ideally want to end up next? Jot down a couple of spots on your site where these lost souls could go. A related product, an updated blog post, or maybe the homepage?
  2. Dive into the changes
    If you’re scrapping some content, bid it a fond farewell, but not before taking a quick snapshot of it first. You never know when you might need to reference it or chuckle over old memories. If you’re ushering in the new, ensure it’s crisp, fresh, and note down its URL. This will be your redirect’s final destination.
  3. Make the magic redirection
    Time for some techy fun! Think of redirection as rerouting digital traffic. It’s like telling visitors, ‘Hey, the party has moved over here! If you’re on WordPress, the Redirection plugin is your knight in shining armor. If you’re feeling unsure, YouTube has a treasure trove of tutorials to guide you.
  4. Test the waters
    After your digital magic trick, play detective. Pop open a browser, type in the old address, and see where it leads. If it’s the spot you picked earlier, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, a bit of troubleshooting is in order!
  5. Keep en eye out for errors
    Once you’ve set up redirects, it’s not a ‘set it and forget it’ deal. Like a lighthouse keeper, keep a watchful eye on potential pitfalls. That Redirection plugin doesn’t just redirect; it’s also a great watchdog for 404 errors. If you spot frequent offenders, it might be time for another redirect. After all, a smoothly sailing site equals happy visitors.

With these steps, you’re not just deleting old pages; you’re crafting seamless digital journeys. Wave goodbye to the old and hello to the smooth redirects.

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