HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM...
One of the biggest challenges that I’ve come across while setting up a new blog is redirecting visitors.
When you start out in something totally new, with no experience or expectations, either of success, or of even staying the course, you usually go with the simplest, cheapest (often, free), and most idiot-proof option available, one which is forgiving of mistakes, easy to learn, and quick to grow.
Such was my thinking when I started my first blog, back in 2009, on Wordpress.com.
While sufficient for most applications and while I did get a large following on this blog, I did not have as much room to grow as I wanted to, which is what made me want to change to Wordpress.org, for more options and flexibility.
When I set up another blog early in 2016, it occurred to me that if I wanted to start growing my visitor numbers, then I was going to have to put in a redirect. A redirect is something which sends people who went to the homepage of my old blog (http://scheong.wordpress.com), to the homepage of my new blog (www.throughouthistory.com) instead.
One of the pitfalls of the Wordpress system, in my opinion, is that it can be pretty confusing. There’s two different kinds: Wordpress.com (which is free), and wordpress.org (which is not). Knowing which set of instructions to follow for which type of wordpress website you have (paid, or unpaid), can get a tad confusing as the only thing that differentiates them is .com (free), and .org (paid), and the system itself is usually just referred to as ‘wordpress’, without any indication of whether the information is for free, or paid websites.
THE SOLUTION...SORT OF...
Because of this, finding out how to put a redirect from one website (unpaid) to another (paid) using the same system (Wordpress), was significantly trickier than I imagined.
Step 1: Paying for the redirect
Setting up a redirect from one website to another is not free – you have to pay for this privilege, either through PayPal, or a credit card. Fortunately, this is pretty easy.
Step 2: Putting the redirect in place.
While setting up the redirect and paying for it, you will be asked which two sites you will be using.
One site is the current site which you’re operating, the other is the site which will have the redirect applied to it. You simply type in the two addresses and pick the one which will have the redirect applied to it.
I did that and then my redirect troubles really started!
HELP! I CAN'T GET TO MY OLD WEBSITE...!
You’ve set up your redirect, you’ve got it going and you’ve paid for it, and now you want to go back into your old website to get something out of it…but you can’t…because when you go there, the redirect does exactly what it’s supposed to, and sends you to your new site, which is not what you want…
This irritated me for ages, and despite searching, I couldn’t find any clear answers, even when I went to the Wordpress website. There were two options available: To cancel the redirect (which isn’t what I wanted), or to temporarily stop the redirect (which was my aim).
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do either of these; I don’t think I ever found the instructions anywhere.
THE REAL SOLUTION
What I had to do instead was to enter the page which listed the two websites to which the redirect was applied, and switch the redirect from one site (the old one), to the new one. This meant that I was able to enter the old site (which no longer had the redirect), retrieve the information I required, and then I simply flipped the switch back the other way, to set things right again.
Or to explain it a completely different way, here's what you have to do:
Go to https://en.support.wordpress.com/site-redirect/
Switch the redirect from the old site to the new site (so if you click on the link to the new site it sends you to the old site);
Go to the old site and retrieve the needed information;
Go back to the Wordpress Redirect site listed above and change the redirect back to the old site, so when people click on the link to the old site, they get sent to the new site.
Which is all a bit confusing, no? Well, describing it might be confusing, but actually doing it wasn't particularly difficult.
But it WAS frustrating, since I was running around in circles with precious little information or guidance to help me find out what I wanted to know.
That frustration is the reason that this blog-posting exists!
If you read through the Site Redirect page I’m talking about, which is associated with Wordpress...
...you might understand why I had a few problems with it. It says:
“If you want to turn off the redirect for a while but don’t want to delete it, click on the radio button next to your default WordPress.com address, and click the Update Primary Domain button.”
Which, try as I might, I wasn’t able to do. It was extremely frustrating. The lack of any other instructions or other ways to fix things made what should’ve been a very easy action needlessly complicated, although I’m glad I sorted it out in the end!
So ends this posting about this particular facet of the trials and tribulations of blogging, and setting up a blog.
I was extremely happy with the end result, even if the whole process took much longer than it should have.
Hopefully reading this has helped you in your quest to set up, and understand the intricacies surrounding your own website redirect.
If you'd like to read more about my trials and tribulations in getting my blog set up so I can earn money from it please send me a note at email@example.com.
ABOUT OUR GUEST POSTER: Shahan Cheong writes guest posts for West Island Digital on a regular basis, describing his battle with and eventual victory over the technology he uses in his business and blog site, www.throughouthistory.com.
Shahan is a history and antiques buff with a wide-ranging and varied interest in different time periods and the collectibles from them. He enjoys writing about his finds and describing the process he uses to get the pieces working again.
If you have a question about an antique, you can contact Shahan at firstname.lastname@example.org For a small fee, he will research the history of your antique and provide a short report about it.