I came across a WordPress plugin this week, when trying to solve a problem for a client, that is simply brilliant. Here’s the situation. You’ve build a new WordPress website and when launching you realise that the old web site, regardless if it was WordPress or not has URLs to content that will not be the same on the new.
There is more than one way to solve this. Regularly what we do is get a complete list of the URLs from the old site and use .htaccess to redirect to the same content in the new website.
That’s fine and in some cases will still be the way that I approach the problem.
However, there’s a WordPress plugin “404 Redirected” that approaches the problem is a different way. Once installed and activated it will listen for 404 errors that are about to happen. It then will do some smarts to see if it can work out where the content is. For example if a post title in your new WordPress site matches the relevant part of the inbound URL – it will connect the two.
Since it has done the work once, the plugin will then create a 301 redirect so that the next time the WordPress setups has a request for that URL it will simply execute the redirect.
Obvious – yes, but I hadn’t thought of the approach the way it’s been put together is very nice.
The plugin logs what it’s doing and even displays statistics like how many hits the redirected URL is receiving. There are some more detailed settings but on my first use I pretty much activated and used it as is, so the defaults are just fine to get you started.
Sound interesting? Here is the plugin in the WordPress repository.