If you send out mass emails on a regular basis you have most likely sent out an email with an incorrect link. You are pumped about a new product or feature and you are rushing to send out a great new email. Next thing you know, the send button is pressed and you shriek in horror as you realize you have included an incorrect link to the wrong page or even worse an error page or page you don’t even control.
After crying for a few minutes and trying to update the link in your mass email provider (FYI: none of them allow you to update a link after you have sent out the email), you realize you need to take action. If people are taking the time to click on a link you have sent out in an email, you want to make sure they are being sent to the location they are expecting. If you are hosting your site on a WordPress blog you are in luck, there are several plugins that can help you solve the problem.
Our personal favorite is redirection by John Godley, which makes redirecting an errant link a snap. You do not have to configure server files or even open up a text editor.
If you have setup a WordPress plugin before skip this section and start with configuring the redirection plugin.
Installing The Redirection plugin
From within your dashboard click on the plugins tab and then select add new.
You are then taken to the main plugin page. Enter the term “redirection” into the search field.
Click on the search plugins button next to the search field. Your search will run and you should see the redirection plugin by John Godley in the first position, if not make sure you install the plugin we are referencing in this post. Click on the install link under the name.
Once you have installed the plugin, you need to activate it if you did not during the installation process. If installed the plugin should appear in your plugin list, which you can navigate to by clicking on the plugins link again. From your WordPress plugin list click on the activate link under the redirection description, as illustrated below:
Configuring the Redirection Plugin
Once you have installed and activated the plugin, it is time to let the plugin work its magic and save your click-throughs. Click on the settings link under the redirection title in the plugins page:
Configuring the redirection WordPress plugin is a straightforward process. The important fields are the source url and target url fields. In the source url field you want to enter the url of the incorrect link you have sent out in your email or social media. In our case we have entered a fictitious link on our site /incorrect-link-oops, you can enter the absolute or relative link, I like to enter the absolute path, which includes the “http://www”. Please keep in mind that this plugin will only manage links within your WordPress hosting setup.
In the target url field enter the address that you would like to redirect you users click on the erroneous link to, for instance, we entered our about us page as the target. See the illustration below:
Click on the add redirection button and the rule you just setup will go into affect. By default the plugin uses a 301 redirect, which in most cases is what you will want to use and is an SEO friendly option. The plugin is very powerful and we have only skimmed the surface of what is possible.
If you have any questions about using the plugin, WordPress in general, or would just like to say what’s up, please drop us a line via our contact form.