3 Reasons to Use Temporary Redirects on Your Site (And How to Get Started)

User experience and SEO page rank are two factors that you may consider to be most important on your blog. Sometimes, however, you may find yourself needing to perform tasks, such as site maintenance or A/B testing, which can negatively impact one, or even both.

This can be avoided, though, with the help of temporary site redirects. A temporary redirect is just as it sounds, offering non-permanent redirection from one URL to another. There’s a number of reasons you may require this technique, but no matter the reason, plugins like Pretty Links can effectively help you to implement it.

In this post, we’ll discuss temporary redirects, when to use them, and three reasons why they are used. Additionally, you’ll learn how to implement temporary redirects with Pretty Links. Let’s get started!

What Temporary Redirects Are (and When You Should Use Them)

temporary site redirect setup in Pretty Links

An example of a temporary redirect as seen in Pretty Links. With this set up, users will be redirected to the target URL (http://targetsiteURL.com).

 

URL redirection is a technique used to make web pages available at more than one location.

There are two main redirection types – temporary and permanent – that each serve their own purposes. Permanent redirects, for example, are great for permanent website moves. Temporary redirects are better for short-term events, such as site maintenance.

Both work in the same manner, redirecting search engines and site traffic to the newly-established link. The key difference, though, is that during a temporary redirect search engines will continually refer to the original URL. Once that URL is back in use, the original connection will be reestablished and search engine crawls will continue as normal.

3 Reasons to Use Temporary Redirects on Your Site

With a better understanding of temporary redirects, let’s dig in to a few reasons for using them on your site.

1. To Implement A/B Testing

When you set up your web pages, you may not always be sure you’ve created the best version possible. That’s where A/B testing comes in.

Simply put, A/B testing is a process where two different versions of the same web page are compared. 50% of the page’s traffic will be sent to Version A, while the other 50% will be sent to Version B. Comparisons are typically made regarding conversion rates, though other stats, such as bounce rate and time spent on page, can also be used.

A/B testing is a great way to learn how to improve your site. And, with a temporary redirect, there’s no harm to your site's search engine rankings during testing.

2. To Maintain or Update Your Site Without Disruption

Site maintenance keeps your site running smoothly, keeps security tight, and ensures that SEO is up to date. The maintenance process, though, can be a bit involved. This can put your site out of commission for a few hours during the bulk of the process.

With temporary redirects, however, you can perform site maintenance while also limiting site unavailability. This means that site visitors will not be put out by the downtime, and search engine bots will hold off on site crawling until the temporary redirect has been removed and the original URL is restored.

3. To Create a Page Without Impacting SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process involved in effecting website and web page position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

While you typically like to have your web pages available for search engine bots to crawl, there may be a few reasons to block such activities.

One of the main reasons is site testing or development. During the early stages of a web page’s creation, having it rank for SEO may not be particularly helpful for your site. Another common reason is client feedback, enabling you to create a page without it being included in your site's rankings. This is commonly used by website developers, but you can also use this technique if you’re a content writer, copywriter, or other creative.

How Pretty Links Can Help You Implement Temporary Redirects

Pretty Links screenshot

While the main feature of Pretty Links is link shortening, it has a variety of other features, including both permanent and temporary redirect options.

With Pretty Links, setting up temporary redirects are simple. To begin, head to Pretty Links > Add New Link on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.

First, add the redirect URL (the URL which all traffic will be redirected to) to the Target URL box.

Then, add a custom slug to the Pretty Links box. This is the link URL which will be requested by site visitors, but they’ll be sent to the target URL instead.

Now, keep in mind, if you already have a page in your WordPress site with the desired Pretty Links slug, you will have to edit the original page’s URL. This is because Pretty Links will not allow the creation of an identical URL. Don’t worry, though, as the slug can always be changed back once you’re done using the temporary redirect.

Conclusion

As we’ve discussed above, temporary redirects can be helpful for a number of reasons. Fortunately, such redirects are easy to implement with a link management tool, such as Pretty Links.

In the above post, we discussed three reasons to use temporary redirects on your site. To recap, they include:

  1. To implement A/B testing.
  2. To maintain or update your site without disruption.
  3. To create a page without impacting SEO.

Do you have any questions about temporary redirects or how Pretty Links can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

Categories: How Tos Pretty Links