What is the Joomla System - Redirect? All you need to know

So what the heck is the Joomla System - Redirect plugin and component? The Joomla Redirect is a combination of a Joomla component and plugin which makes your life easier by allowing you to easily redirect old URLs to new ones, so that you make sure you don't lose any existing traffic.

 

So what does Joomla redirect do and how does it work?

A redirect is simply a notification / instruction to the browser, that your page has moved from one location to another, and that it should now visit the new location to get the updated version of the page. And why do we need a Redirect instruction? Let's give a simple example. Let's say you have a Joomla Tutorial on a page which used to be at 

https://www.collectiveray.com/joomla/joomla-tutorials/joomla/whatisJoomla.html

and you decided to create a new one and update this page. If you unpublish this page, anybody who tries to access the address above will get a "404 - Page Not Found" error. Typically a user bounces back once they get this error, this error means the page no longer exists. If Google was accessing and indexing this webpage, after trying to visit this site a number of times and always get a 404 error, it will remove this page from its index (it will probably advise you about this error in Google WebMaster Tools). Now, if that web page had incoming links to it from your own website or from other websites, and if Google was also sending traffic to it, when you unpublish this link, all traffic (and effort to get that traffic) is simply lost. 

However, you don't have to throw away all that traffic. There is a way to actually create a new page, on a new address, AND still maintain the traffic from the old website. This is the Redirect functionality. So let's say our new page is http://www.dart-creations.com/joomla/whatisJoomla3.html

How do I create a Joomla Redirect?

Joomla has a native component which allows you to create Redirects. This can be found under Components > Redirect. Once you access this page, you can create a new Joomla Redirect instruction. The important parameters to note are

Source URL - the old URL which you want to redirect traffic from e.g. http://www.dart-creations.com/joomla/whatisJoomla.html

Destination URL - this is the new page which you want to send the redirect to e.g. http://www.dart-creations.com/joomla/whatisJoomla3.html

Make sure the status is Enabled.

What else do I need to do?

Make sure the Joomla System - Redirect plugin is enabled. Go to Extensions > Plugin Manager, find "System - Redirect" and make sure it is enabled. That's it! You can add as many Joomla Redirects as necessary for your website. 

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Errors you may hit

 Save failed with the following error: The source URL must be unique - This is fairly simple to solve. This means that the Source URL you are trying to add already exists in the database. You might have chosen to Archive, Trash or Unpublish the item, but it is still there (Are you having trouble finding your trashed Joomla items?). You may want to delete this completely or change the old entry to the new one you need and republish as necessary.

 

One more thing...

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