How to Add Redirect Rules for Your WordPress Sites

Updated on November 12, 2017

You can now add redirect rules from right within your MyKinsta dashboard! Redirect rules allow you to seamlessly direct traffic from one location to another. It is particularly useful for preventing 404 errors, ensuring proper SEO when you make changes, and routing visitors to the correct locations on your site.

Using free WordPress plugins to implement redirects can sometimes cause performance issues as most of them utilize the wp_redirect function, which requires additional code execution and resources. Some of them also add autoloaded data to your wp_options table, which increases database bloat. Adding them in MyKinsta means the rules are implemented at the server level, which is a much more optimal way. Just follow the steps below on how to add them.

redirect rules

How to Add a Redirect Rule

Step 1

To add a redirect, click on your site in MyKinsta and go to “Redirects.” Then click on “Add Redirect Rule.”

add redirect rule

Redirect rules

Step 2

You can then choose the type of redirect rule you want. Check out this article on redirection to learn more about which type of rule you should use. Our tool does use and support regex expressions.

  • 301 redirect: Used for URLs and or content that is “moved permanently.” Typically this is the one you will want to use for SEO purposes.
  • 302 redirect: Used for URLs and or content that is “found” or “moved temporarily.”

In this example below, we add a 301 redirect for a blog post URL that was changed and updated to something else. This ensures that all traffic, backlinks, and link juice from Google is now sent to the new URL. 301 redirects pass between 90-99% of link juice. You can select which domain prefix you want it to be added for. In this case, we want both www and non-www traffic to redirect.

301 redirect

Add 301 redirect

Note: This will automatically redirect UTM parameters or anything on the end of the URL. For example, if the old URL is shared on social media using a tool like Buffer, it might appear as the following:

https://wpdev.ink/blogpost/?utm_content=buffer

This will automatically be directed to:

https://wpdev.ink/newblogpost?utm_content=buffer

It is also important to check your current backlinks in a tool such as Ahrefs. For example, you might have backlinks on 3rd party sites that point to two different versions of your URL:

https://wpdev.ink/blogpost
https://wpdev.ink/blogpost/

Notice the second one has a backslash on the end of it. If you don’t take this into consideration, it could break the redirect. Therefore, if you aren’t sure what version third party sites are linking to, you can always use a wildcard regex command (?) instead to ensure that both work. See example below:

Wildcard redirect

Wildcard redirect

In the above example all links to both /blogpost and /blogpost/ (with the backslash) would get redirected to /newblogpost. You can then easily manage all of your redirect rules from the dashboard.

manage redirect rules

Manage redirect rules

Using Regex

A regular expression is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. Below are some additional examples of that can be used with the MyKinsta redirect tool. The “Redirect from” field supports regular expressions and the “Redirect to” field allows capture group references and some variables (e.g. $host, $scheme). Here are a few important things to note:

  • Redirects are checked in the order you add them. Best practice is to have the more specific ones before the general redirects.
  • By default, our redirect tool is case sensitive (see below to use case-insensitive redirection).
  • Restricted characters: #, space, “, and linebreak characters.
  • You can’t redirect by arguments.

Here is a few common regex syntax:

  • ^ – Match only if the following is at the beginning of the line
  • $ – Match only if the previous is at the end of the line
  • ? – Match the previous 0 or 1 times (makes it optional)
  • . – Match any single character
  • * – Match the previous 0 or more times
  • \ – Escape special characters
  • (?i) – Case-insensitive
  • .* – Wildcard to match anything (any character any time which will match any string)
  • (.*) – Capturing group which contains a wildcard match for any string in the given place

Regex Examples

Include your https://domain.com/store page

^/store

Include your https://domain.com/store page (with case-insensitive redirection)

(?i)^/store

Include a single file, such as https://domain.com/store.php:

^/store\.php

Include all files of the same type, such as all of the PHP files.

^/store/.*\.php

Include everything that contains a certain phrase, such as https://domain.com/*store*
It is recommended to specify the redirection string “/” to decrease the chance of it redirecting something unwanted. Note: Since our tool automatically applies regex, .* are automatically applied and aren’t needed in this case.

/store or /store/

Include both of the following URLs:  https://mydomain.com/fast-racing and https://mydomain.com/fast-car-racing

^/fast(-car)?-racing

Here is another example from our article on Disabling Google AMP. We needed to redirect all blog posts containing /amp/ to their original non-AMP URL to ensure that they got re-indexed to their original URLs. In other words, we catch everything before /amp/ in the URI and append-only that in place of “$1”.

^/(.*)/amp/
Regex example

Regex example

Further Regex Reading

Here are some helpful links for further reading about what you can do with Regex, and understanding the basics:

How to Bulk Import Redirect Rules

Perhaps you have a more complex setup or want to get rid of your 301 redirect plugin on your WordPress site. We also have the option for you to bulk import redirect rules from a CSV.

Step 1

To add bulk import redirect rules click on your site in MyKinsta and go to “Redirects.” Then click on “Bulk Import.”

add redirect rule

Redirect rules

Step 2

Paste the contents of a CSV file in the field. The CSV should contain information separated by commas in this order: status code, domain (all for all domains), redirect from path and redirect to URL. Each redirect rule should be placed on a new line. Then click on “Import Redirects.”

Bulk import redirect rules

Bulk import redirect rules

Bulk deletion of redirect rules is also supported.

Exporting Redirects from WordPress

If you are wanting to migrate your current redirects from a WordPress plugin to MyKinsta, many of them have export options available in their settings (export option example below from the EPS redirects plugin). Just ensure they are properly formatted before bulk importing.

export redirects

EPS plugin export redirects

If you are using the Simple 301 Redirects plugin you can use this Export Simple 301 Redirects to CSV plugin.

Notes

For more complex redirects you might need to open up a support ticket. Since we don’t run Apache, you can’t use .htaccess. Instead, we run NGINX which has its own rewrite rule syntax; whatever you can do with .htaccess files you can “translate” to Nginx’s syntax and we’ll add them to your site’s NGINX config file.

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