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There are plenty of reasons bloggers change their blog post URLs. Maybe they changed the name of the post for SEO, or they’re completely changing their domain name and don’t want to lose their old blog posts.
Well, the tricky part about changing your URLs is when your links break. One of my blogging friends, for example, had a viral pin, but it was directed at her old domain name. Luckily, we were able to redirect it to the same post on her new blog.
So, how do you do it?
First things first, you want to install and activate the plugin Simple 301 Redirects. It’s super simple, so you don’t have to worry about having advanced coding knowledge to operate it.
Next, you want to find the original URL to redirect. In a perfect world, you would be doing this before you change the URL, but it’s possible you’re doing this to fix a previous mistake. Either way, you’ll need that original URL.
Oh, and you’ll need to be on the domain where the link is hosted. For example, when I’m logged into andpossiblydinosaurs.com, I can’t try to redirect facebook.com to one of my blog posts. (Wouldn’t that boost your traffic?) It’s got to be a URL that starts with andpossiblydinosaurs.com.
Then, you’ll go to your Simple 301 Redirects Settings. You get to this by going to Settings -> 301 Redirects.
Next, you’ll take the original URL and paste it into the box on the left side. You’ll want to remove anything before the first slash, though. So, for example, I’d paste “/how-to-change-your-blog-post-urls-without-breaking-your-links”, not “https://www.andpossiblydinosaurs.com/how-to-change-your-blog-post-urls-without-breaking-your-links.” It should start with a backslash.
Now, in the right box, paste the URL of the link you’d like to redirect to. Unlike the left box, it doesn’t have to be your domain name. This is super useful for things like affiliate links or links to your social media pages. You could redirect yourdomain.com/facebook to your Facebook page, or yourdomain.com/twitter to your Twitter page.
So, when you’re changing your blog post URL, you’ll want to paste the new URL in the right box. If the root domain is the same, you’re welcome to just start the new URL with the first slash. Otherwise you can include your domain name as well.
When I’m changing a URL, I’ll set up my 301 redirect at the same time I’m changing the URL on the Edit Post page. That way, there isn’t any lag time between.
Easy peesy, right?! What questions do you have? Let me know in the comments and I’ll help you out!