(image from lotus0718)
Last week, I wrote a post that contained a list of the latest and greatest WordPress plugins that I have come across. The first plugin on this list was WP-Hive, which allows you to create multiple WordPress installations (on one domain or multiple domains) from a single database and set of WordPress files.
One of the biggest reasons I like this plugin so much is because it makes it very easy to keep all of your WordPress files up to date. Instead of logging into each blog or website that you have running WordPress, you can update your plugins or WordPress version one time, and your files will be updated across all of your blogs and websites running off of WP Hive. Since keeping your WordPress files up to date is one of the most effective ways to keep WordPress secure, this plugin can save you from a lot of trouble down the road.
While my experience with WP Hive has been very smooth, there was one issue that I ran into which wasn’t actually related to the plugin itself. Because I wanted to consolidate as many of my blogs and websites as possible, I actually converted some static HTML websites to WordPress. While the process went smoothly, once I had finished converting these sites, I realized that it was going to cause my indexed pages to lead to a 404 page.
Since I didn’t want to lose my traffic, I decided to 301 my old pages to the newer pages. However, this is where I ran into a problem. Although I have used .htacess files to create 301 redirects in the past, because of the way that WP Hive sets up your files, I couldn’t get the redirects to work. While I came across some very good resources on .htacess and 301 redirects, I simply could not get the redirects to work properly.
Fortunately, after reaching my peak level of frustration, I decided to see if I could solve my problem in the way that I solve most of my WordPress problems; I did a search to see if there was a plugin to create 301 redirects. And to my pleasant surprise, not only did I find one, but I found one that lived up to its name: Simple 301 Redirects.
After I downloaded the plugin, I uploaded it to the directory that contains my WordPress files. Then I logged into the admin area of one of my blogs which had been created using WP Hive, and I activated the plugin.
(image from WordPress.org)
As you can see from the screenshot above, once I activated the plugin and visited its main page, I was presented with a very easy to use interface. I simply entered the old link in the first box (ex. /photos.html) and then the current URL the in the second box (ex. http://www.mywphiveblog.com/photos/). After I clicked the Save Changes button, I looked up my old link in Google, and when I clicked it, I was instantly redirected to the current URL.
So, if you want to avoid losing traffic and rankings by sending users to pages that are going to give them a 404 error, Simple 301 Redirects is the plugin for you!