Support » Plugin: Redirection » Best practice for deleted posts and pages

  • After reading a lot of posts in this forum and using Google search I still haven’t found the answer to a question that bothers me:

    What is the best redirection practice for removed pages?

    Do I leave them and let them rot naturally or do I use the Error (404) option on a redirect?

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  • Best practice: Don’t make the visitor wonder what’s going on with a dead end.

    Personally I regard a 404 as an error and a disappointment. To me the webmaster doesn’t care about what I want, they are indeed just letting me fall into a dead-end page with no recourse. It’s left to the visitor to figure out whether anything like the original content is still available somewhere else on the site. If the site has changed focus, it would be nice to see a note that “the requested content is no longer available, but here is a recommendation to go elsewhere”. That leaves the visitor with the knowledge that this isn’t just a server issue or missed 301, the site really does not have that content available anymore.

    Be assertive. Try to redirect visitors to something else that might interest them on your own site or with a valued colleague/competitor. If that kind of redirection is not in line with business decisions then at least be friendly about the 404.

    Uh, and as others have commented about recently in this group just today, sometimes a 410 will convey your intent much better than a 404. The difference is “it was here but we’re no longer offering it. Done!” compared to a 404 which leaves people and search engines wondering if it will ever be back.

    Is it possible to use Redirection to send a 410?

    Not by default in 2.6.5 but another user has written some code for 410s:

    Looking at the current code in the Github repo, there is certainly code in there for handling a 410 but it’s not selectable in the admin UI. Only John could tell us why that is. My guess is that it’s not passing his tests yet.

    It looks like if you’re using the Apache module and you have 410 redirection in .htaccess it will use that. Personally I’d try that.


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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