Over the years working with WordPress I have to come across several situations where I needed to use a redirection plugin on a personal or a client’s website.

There are several plugins for anything that you need to do in WordPress and when it comes to creating URL redirects in WordPress, there are so many options that a new user can sometimes really get confused which one to go with.

So, I got a related question in our WordPress group on Facebook and decided to write this piece to provide my take on top 5 redirect plugins for WordPress.

Redirection plugin by author John Godley is the first one that comes up when you search for redirection in WordPress plugin library. This one happens to be my favorite one for a long time and there are good reasons for that. Here are some;

  • It can monitor the 404s. Keeps a log of all 404s that you can map to 301 redirects.
  • Pass through feature allows you to pass a url to another page or a website.
  • Keep a log of all redirects. Very useful in cases where you want to see which redirected pages are getting most hits.
  • The plugin seems to work for all the URLs to be redirected and it just does not only work for the URLs that do not exist.
  • The useful WP CLI feature support is the Unique Selling Point of this plugin.
  • This is not at all dependent on the Apache .htaccess as it is capable of working stand alone within the WordPress framework.
  • Automatic inclusion of the 301 redirection is possible just as when the URL of the post changes.
  • There is support for the export/ import to the CSV, JSON, Nginx and the .htaccess type of the rewrite rules.
  • There is a possibility for making a manual inclusion of the 301, 302 and the 307 redirects for any file, including the WordPress post.
  • There is full support provided for the Nginx and Apache.
  • The plugin is flexible and that could be seen with its complete localized support and availability in a variety of languages.
  • Finally, the redirection statistics work in a way to tell you about the number of times a redirection instance has occurred, the last time it occurred, who did it and from where the user found your URL from.

No advanced settings with no complicated settings makes this one of the easiest, yet diverse redirect plugin to use. This plugin is primarily designed to handle the 301 redirect setting, once the content from one location to the other is permanently moved.

The best use of this is seen when there is a need for changing the hosts or domains and at the same time page ranking to needs be preserved, or if you have removed a URL and looking for a simple way to redirect the old URL to a new page. The plugin would keep the old links intact and then all the traffic (user) would be redirected to the newly available content.

This one is a very popular plugin with more than 200,000 recorded users so far. The functionality is quite smooth and easy which splits into two different categories, which are given as follows:

  • Individual Redirects:– These are quite straightforward to use with no need of an existing post or page. You just need to enter the URL (request) and the destination URL and the rest would be handled automatically by the tool. This approach is good with the fixing of the incorrect permalinks, issues with the content that is been moves and the updated URLs.
  • Quick Redirects:– This option is for the already existing content on the website. It would add a Meta box over the post (edit) screen and that would allow you to specify the desired redirect type and its location.

This is a lightweight redirection plugin. One unique thing about this plugin is that unlike many other redirection plugins that store redirects in options table in the database, this one stores them as Custom Post Types.

A unique security feature of this plugin is that it only allows redirects created to whitelisted hosts, which may be useful for certain websites.

The plugin also allows you to choose the status code (301 or 302 etc) when creating a redirect and it handles the whitelisting or URLs automatically.

This one appears to have almost all the features like the number 1 in our list. It can be used for the different types of redirects, such as 301, 302, 307 and 404 etc. Also have the error monitoring feature among other goodies. This is a good plugin overall but I have seen reports of certain issues, for example, interference with JetPack and a serious security vulnerability which caused rank lower it our list. Hope to see things improve and we will move it up on the list.