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One of my favorite new features of Thesis 1.7 is built-in support for 301 Redirects. A 301 Redirect tells browsers and search engines that a page has permanently moved and redirects a visitor to its new location.
If you ever change a page’s name and URL, you should use this so visitors to the old URL will automatically be redirected to the new one. For this example, we’ll be moving “mydomain.net/old-page” to “mydomain.net/new-page”.
If you’re using an older version of Thesis, or a different theme, you can use a 301 Redirect plugin.
- Go to Pages > Edit, click on Old Page, and change the page’s title and slug (right below the title it shows you the permalink; click the “Edit” button next to this) to New Page.
- Go to Pages > Add New and create a page called Old Page.
- Scroll down to the section called “SEO Details and Additional Style” and put the URL to the New Page (http://mydomain.net/new-page) in the box called 301 Redirect.
Now any time someone visits mydomain.com/old-page, they will automatically be redirected to New Page. This also tells search engines that the page has moved and apply all the link popularity that was going to Old Page to New Page. This means that there will be little change in your search engine rankings.
One final thing I’d like to point out is changing category slugs. A lot of times your URL for posts might contain the category. If you change the category name and slug, WordPress will automatically set up redirects for any link that contained the old category name. So if you changed “old-category” to “new-category”, http://mydomain.net/old-category/hello-world-post would automatically redirect to http://mydomain.net/new-category/hello-world-post.