A client of mine changed their information architecture resulting in 152 pages returning “404 Error not found” pages. So I had to quickly redirect multiple WordPress urls before the users left in droves and the great Google algorithm made drastic calculations.
Luckily it is not so hard to fix using the WordPress “Redirection” plugin . Ideally you shouldn’t use a plugin unless absolutely necessary, since this isn’t hard to do using the standard .htaccess file.
However as this site is large it makes sense to use a plugin because the changes need to be done quite often and Redirection also logs 404 Errors.
If all the urls contain the same change then you are in luck, since you won’t need redirect them one by one, you can use a ‘Regex’ redirect.
Regex makes absolutely no sense to me and probably won’t to you. Fear not though, you’ll only need to Copy and Paste. WP Engine have the best documentation on Regex here.
Here’s how to redirect multiple WordPress urls
Here is what I did to redirect all urls containing /programs-2/ to /programs/
1.Look for all /programs-2/
2.Change it to /programs/
Just go to the Tools > Redirection – Redirects ‘Add new redirection’
Further notes on drastic url changes
- Make sure you setup an automatic notification of a sudden increase in error pages, you can do it with Google Analytics or save time and use a service such as Metrics Watch
- Check the Google Search Console and mark the 404’s as fixed if need be
- Check Analytics for a prioritised list of 404 to fix
Hope that helps someone out there 🙂