How To Easily Track 404 Pages And Redirect Them in WordPress?
404 errors, or “Page Not Found” errors, can be frustrating for your website visitors. They occur when a page or resource is not found on your website. Tracking and redirecting 404 pages is essential for improving user experience and retaining visitors. In WordPress, you can achieve this with the help of WordPress redirect plugins. Here’s how to easily track and redirect 404 pages:
Install and Activate the Redirection Plugin
The Redirection plugin is a popular choice for tracking and managing 404 errors in WordPress. Here’s how to install and activate it:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to the “Plugins” section and click “Add New.”
- In the search bar, type “Redirection” and press Enter.
- Find the “Redirection” plugin in the search results and click “Install Now.”
- After installation, click “Activate.”
Configure Redirection Settings
Upon plugin activation, configure its settings to start tracking and managing 404 errors:
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to the “Tools” section and click “Redirection.”
- In the “Redirects” tab, you can view a list of existing redirects and add new ones. Initially, there won’t be any redirects.
- To set up basic tracking for 404 errors, click the “404s” tab.
- Here, you can view a list of URLs that resulted in 404 errors on your site. The plugin will automatically track these errors.
Create Redirects for 404 Pages
Now, let’s set up redirects for the tracked 404 pages:
- In the “404s” tab, review the list of URLs that resulted in 404 errors.
- Identify URLs that should be redirected to valid pages on your site. For example, if a visitor tried to access “yoursite.com/old-page” but it no longer exists, you can redirect it to “yoursite.com/new-page.”
- In the “Source URL” column, click the “Add Redirect” link next to the URL you want to redirect.
- In the “Source URL” field, the URL with 404 error will be pre-filled.
- In the “Target URL” field, enter the destination URL where you want the user to be redirected.
- Choose a “Redirection Type.” Typically, for redirecting 404 pages, you can use the “301 – Permanent” option, which indicates that the page has moved permanently.
- Click the “Add Redirect” button to save the redirect.
- You can repeat this process for other 404 URLs that you want to redirect.
Test the Redirects
After creating the redirects, it’s essential to test them to ensure they work as expected. Open an incognito or private browsing window and enter the old URLs that resulted in 404 errors. Verify that the redirection is using the correct destination URLs.
Monitor and Review 404 Errors
To maintain your website’s health and user experience, regularly monitor and review the 404 errors tracked by the “Redirection” plugin:
- In the “404s” tab of the plugin, you can see the ongoing list of 404 errors. This allows you to identify recurring issues or areas of your site where users frequently encounter problems.
- Review and create redirects as needed to ensure that users are directed to relevant and functional pages.
By using the “Redirection” plugin in WordPress, you can easily track 404 errors and set up redirects. Managing 404 errors not only improves user experience but also has SEO benefits. More importantly, it helps prevent users from encountering broken links, which can negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings.