So you broke something on your WordPress website and you got a 404 error or the “OOPS! that page cannot be found” message and you are wondering what you have done wrong or a better still how you can solve the missing page error on your WordPress website.
Broken links result in 404 error on a website. A 404 error can imply that:
- the page has been removed or deleted by an administrator
- the URL of the web page has been changed
- the page does not exist
Broken links on your website are not only bad from a user experience standpoint of view but will also negatively impact your search engine performance by reducing your search ranking irrespective of your SEO efforts. Organic traffic still remain the biggest and most valuable customer acquisition channel from a digital marketing point of view due to a number of reasons. First of all, it is free traffic which is paramount to a marketer and secondly is it quality traffic. People who get to your website through search initiated the customer journey and are more like to engage with your content and complete a transaction. Why waste that traffic?
There are so many ways to fix a broken link on your WordPress website you can write codes to fix the issue by modifying your .htaccess file (if you are a bad*** programmer, you can use this option) or make use of a plugin to redirect the page to the page ( this can be to your homepage or any particular page of your choice). I assume you are not a bad*** programmer since you are reading this article so let’s go straight to how you can redirect a broken link or webpage on your WordPress website.
Steps on how to Redirect a Broken Link using Redirection Plugin on WordPress
1. Download redirection plugin
Login to your WordPress website dashboard, click on the plugin tab on your left and then add new under the plugin tab.
search using the keyword “redirection”. It should be the first result on your screen.
Install and activate the plugin.
2. Redirect the missing page using the plugin
After activating the plugin, go to Tools on your WordPress dashboard, click on redirection to access the just downloaded plugin. You need to create a group before redirecting a link. A group is an easy way to classify sets of URLs you want to fix for orderliness and also for easy remembrance. You can give the group an easy name, for instance, you can name the group “modified links” which can be a group of broken pages caused by you modifying an existing URL due to, for instance, your SEO efforts (making the URLs SEO friendly). Click on add when you are done to create the redirection group.
After creating the group, click on the menu “Redirect” which takes you back to the initial redirection plugin home page. Now it is time to add the broken links or list of broken links as it may apply to you. Note, you cannot carry out a batch addition process. You have one broken link at a time to add to the plugin . This can be a hectic process if you have hundreds of broken pages on your website.
The Source URL is the broken page URL, the Target URL is the new URL or any URL you want to the broken link to redirect to. You can leave the default settings for the Match and Action Fields or you can modify them based on your needs. If you want a better customisation or you have a large group of similar URLs, make use of regular expressions. Be careful when making use of regular expressions. An incorrect expression can lead to your entire website redirecting to only one page. Sounds scary right? You can read this Google documentation on regular expressions. Click on add to save your changes and create the redirection.
Are you stil having issues fixing broken pages on your WordPress website? Share your challenges with us. Leave them in the comment section below, we will be glad to assist you.