Sometimes it’s convenient to have a link on your site that redirects elsewhere.
(These are often referred to as “301 redirects”, but it’s fine to say just plain “redirects” too.)
Example: Change of Address
Imagine that your About and Contact pages are separate:
Later you decide to combine both pages into a single page:
If a site or search engine has linked to the old page addresses, anyone following those links will get a Page Not Found error.
It would be great if we could have the old page addresses automatically redirect people to the new address.
Example: External Fundraising Site
Imagine that your organization is hosting a fundraiser called “Together Now”. The page for the fundraiser is on a separate, partner website that handles your donations.
Unfortunately, sharing that address in print and email shines a light on Donation Vendor’s site rather than yours.
It would be great if we could use an address on our site:
…and have that address automatically redirect people to the donation vendor’s site.
Note: once the visitor clicks that link, the donation vendor’s site address will appear in the browser’s address bar. Even so, we’ve used our site name to promote the event.
WordPress doesn’t directly provide this kind of redirection, but there are two ways to do it.
With supreme geekery
It’s possible to do this behind the scenes by editing web server configuration files. But this requires some technical chops, and even once it’s set up you’ll find it no simpler to add/edit/delete redirection rules.
With a plugin
A plugin has the benefit of letting any website administrator edit your redirection rules—no supreme geekery required.
Many plugins let you manage link redirection from within WordPress. Two examples:
Elegant Themes published an article discussing several plugins:
Turn Around: The 7 Best Redirect Plugins for WordPress
Elegant Themes (2015)