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John Godley’s Redirection

Can you believe it? A WordPress plugin so clever, it’s actually worth writing about.

I can’t say I’ve ever been compelled to write about something so seemingly petty as a WordPress plugin, before, but Automatic’s own John Godley once upon a time created a plugin that now represents a large contributor to WordPress’ whole value as a CMS, personally. It’s called Redirection, and it allows the user to point any ole’ directory off their domain to point to any other URL, anywhere on the web. (For instance, davidblue.wtf/facebook will send you directly to my Facebook profile.)

Redirection’s List/Directory page and “new redirection” interface.

Extratone originally ran on WordPress, and over time, I made quite extensive use of redirections – to the point where I felt it was necessary to formally document all of them. Honestly, I’m not sure how many users actually made use of the function, but I thought it a particularly clever, fresh new media feature I wish all of my regularly-read digital media properities would adopt.1

That was all before the plugin had its offered its own complete, internal list of all redirections – when each redirection was created by creating a new page in WordPress and selecting a special “page template.” The functionality added to Redirection just since then – one of the valuable discoveries I’ve made thanks to the creation of this experimental WordPress site – was what justified this very post.

Redirection’s now extensive Options page within WordPress.

For ye who would seek functionality beyond simple redirects, Redirection offers a plethora – much of which I do not fully understand. Here are some of the advanced options just within redirects from its plugin page on WordPress.org:

Conditional Redirects
In addition to straightforward URL matching you can redirect based on other conditions:
Login status – redirect only if the user is logged in or logged out
WordPress capability – redirect if the user is able to perform a certain capability
Browser – redirect if the user is using a certain browser
Referrer – redirect if the user visited the link from another page
Cookies – redirect if a particular cookie is set
HTTP headers – redirect based on a HTTP header
Custom filter – redirect based on your own WordPress filter
IP address – redirect if the client IP address matches
Server – redirect another domain if also hosted on this server
Page type – redirect if the current page is a 404

Also included is 404 error tracking, native Apache server compatibility, customizable per-user permissions, import/export, and Search Regex integration. Regarding pricing, Godley has this to say: “Yes, it’s really free. There’s no premium version and no need to pay money to get access to features. This is a dedicated redirect management plugin.”

My take? You’re not making full use of WordPress unless you’re actively using this plugin.

  1. To get super pretentious: I thought it notably reflected Extratone‘s style guide-bound commitment to assuming our readers web savvy, at the very least.

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