HOW TO FIX 404 ERRORS IN WORDPRESS USING 301 REDIRECTS

HOW TO FIX 404 ERRORS IN WORDPRESS USING 301 REDIRECTS

Looking to fix 404 errors in WordPress? Then read on, as today’s beginner-friendly tutorial shows you how.

When faced with the 404 error page, many visitors are quick to assume that the website they are visiting is broken. After all, they aren’t seeing the web page they were expecting to. Instead, they get something like this:

fix 404 errors in WordPress: example 404 page

However, this assumption is incorrect. A 404 error does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your website at all.

A 404 error simply means that the requested URL cannot be found. This could be the result of a broken link, or something as simple as a typo. In other words, 404s are classified as a client-side error – something the visitor has done wrong, whether directly or indirectly.

Even so, 404 errors will inevitably reflect badly on your website – especially to visitors who fail to understand their cause. They can create problems, too, as lots of errors will undoubtedly hurt the visitor experience. And, if the missing webpage is a sales page, well, that pretty much destroys any possibility of scoring a conversion from that visitor.

Hopefully, now you understand that, while 404 errors might not be your fault (although some are), they need to be fixed. And fortunately, there’s a plugin for the job … perhaps your best solution to fix 404 errors in WordPress – it’s called Redirection, available for free from the official repository:

RedirectionRedirection

Author(s): John Godley

Current Version: 3.2

Last Updated: February 18, 2018

redirection.3.2.zip

Today, we are going to look at three common causes of 404 errors, and how to use the Redirection plugin to ‘fix’ them using 301 redirects. While you can create these 301 redirects without using a plugin by editing the .htaccess file manually, the Redirection plugin is the quickest and easiest solution to fix 404 errors in WordPress.

How to fix 404 errors in WordPress: the possible scenarios

The three scenarios we are going to be looking at are:

  • Changing URLs yourself.
  • Problems with inbound links pointed at known destinations.
  • Problems with inbound links pointed at unknown destinations.

Scenario one: changing URLs yourself

This is the one scenario we have full control over.

If, for whatever reason, we decide to change our URLs – most likely a result of changing permalinks – then all of our existing URLs become redundant, effective immediately.

For example, when we switch from example.com/2016/old-link to example.com/new-link, the original URL no longer exists. Requesting that URL will return an error.

Of course, we still want our existing posts and pages to work. Therefore, we need to configure 301 redirects to resolve the problem.

A 301 redirect is the best redirect in most situations – it tells the search engines that the web page has permanently moved. As a result, the search engines won’t penalize you for the changes, and your SEO ranking is preserved – read more about the redirect types here. Fortunately, the Redirection plugin specializes in 301 redirects.

Let’s break scenario one down into two further possibilities:

a) Existing URL changes

If you’ve already changed your URLs, you’re probably experiencing lots of 404s, right? That’s bad news for everybody, so it’s time for a quick firefighting job – or a long one, depending on how big your website is.

In this situation, you’re going to have to create the 301 redirects manually.

Start by making a note of all your old URLs and the corresponding new URLs. Now navigate to Tools / Redirection.

Under the Add new redirection heading, add one of your redundant URLs in the Source URL field. Although there are numerous options for the Match field, ‘URL only’ works best here, so leave it as is.

Similarly, because we know the target location for our web page, we can leave the Action field set to ‘Redirect to URL.’ Leave the Regular expression field blank.

Finally, input the correct URL in the Target URL field. Finish by clicking the Add Redirection button.

Redirection 301 Redirect

Now we need to test the redirect. Visit the old URL and, if you’ve configured the redirect correctly, you’ll immediately be relocated to the correct URL.

Great, your first attempt to fix 404 errors in WordPress is a success!

This is quite a laborious process we’ve discussed, as it involves creating a manual redirect for every single page. If it’s not too late, there is a better way, though…

b) Future URL changes

If you’re considering changing your URLs, do yourself a favor and install the Redirection plugin now. This will save you a lot of time and frustration down the line.

This is because Redirection will track all changes to existing URLs and automaticallycreate a 301 redirect when it detects any changes.

Before you start, click through to Tools / Redirection, then click on the Groups tab. Name your group, set it to WordPress Posts, then click Add.

Redirection Group

Now go to the Options tab, find the Monitor changes to posts field, and select the group you just created. Hit Update.

Redirection Options

Go into a post, then click to edit the URL extension. When you’ve made your changes, hit OK and then Update.

Now, when you navigate back to Tools / Redirection, you will see the plugin has already done the hard work. It has already created a 301 redirect, pointing the old URL at the new one:

Redirection Auto 301 Redirect

Scenario two: incorrect inbound links pointed at known destinations

For most 404 errors, you’re completely blameless, though. For example, we all want lots of inbound links from high authority websites, right? But what if those websites make a mistake and point their link at the wrong place?

In this situation, anyone who clicks that link will arrive at a URL that doesn’t exist, producing a 404 error. As you have no control over the external website, how do you go about fixing this problem?

One option is to reach out to the webmaster regarding any known broken links. Failing that, you can turn to the trusty Redirection plugin again.

Navigate to Tools / Redirection. Next, click on the 404s tab. This screen will list all of the 404 errors generated on your website. Go ahead and try it out by attempting to visit a URL on your site that doesn’t exist – the Redirection plugin will flag the 404 error in real-time.

Redirection 404 detection

Now, not all 404s are worth fixing, but if you see one URL appearing multiple times, you might want to point it at the right place. If the right place is obvious, that is.

When you’ve determined where the link should be pointed, click the Add redirectbutton.

Redirection Add Redirect

Add the correct URL in the Target URL field. Again, leave the Match and Actionoptions on the defaults, and hit Add Redirection.

Redirection Correcting Broken link

Easy, huh? Now try to visit the broken link, to confirm that your redirect is active.

Scenario three: incorrect inbound links pointed at unknown destinations

In scenario two, we fixed links pointed at the wrong place when the correct destination could be determined.

This won’t always be the case, however, or perhaps some links simply aren’t worth the bother of fixing as they’re so infrequently used.

Remember: you can never prevent or fix 404 errors in WordPress entirely. They are just a part of running a website. The question is: how do you keep the impact of a 404 error to a minimum?

This is the default error message produced by the Twenty Sixteen theme. Let’s be honest: a page like this one is no use to anyone, right?

Example Error Page

Even if the correct destination cannot be determined, you can still serve the customer something more useful than this. For example, you might refer visitors to your most useful resources to get them up and running. Or you might simply redirect them to another existing page, such as the homepage.

Every WordPress theme ships with a default 404 error page, but they aren’t always the most helpful or creative, as we’ve just demonstrated. If you want to customize your 404 page, you can do so by editing your theme’s 404.php file or by installing a plugin.

If you go the plugin route – and it’s by far the more user-friendly option of the two – I recommend the 404 Page by SeedProd plugin:

404 Page by SeedProd404 Page by SeedProd

Author(s): SeedProd

Current Version: 1.0.0

Last Updated: December 13, 2017

404-page.1.0.1.zip

This option won’t fix 404 errors in WordPress per se. However, by presenting visitors with a useful alternative to the content they were looking for, they are far more likely to remain on your website. And maybe you can still score that conversion after all.

How do you fix 404 errors in WordPress? Share your thoughts, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

How To Backup Joomla Website

How To Backup Joomla Website

Joomla 3.x. How to make full website backup

Most website hosts provide software to back up your site. Check with your host to find out what services and programs they provide.

In this tutorial you will find out how to make a full backup for your Joomla Site.

Joomla 3.x. How to make full website backup

There are 2 steps to make the backup.

  1. First, backup the database.
    1. To make sure you will work with the right database, log into your Hosting control panel. Select ‘File manager‘ button, locate the root folder for your Joomla website, it should have this look:

      Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-1

      Look for the file named ‘configuration.php‘. Open this file and check the database name, username and password, it should look like this:

      Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-2

    2. Go back to cPanel, open ‘phpMyAdmin‘, then select the database name that you have checked above. Next, click ‘Export‘ button to export this database, then click ‘Go‘. Save it as a .sql file on your computer:

      Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-3

  2. Next step, you will back up all the files of Joomla website.
    1. From hosting cPanel, go to ‘File Manager‘, select all the files with ‘Select all‘. There is usually the ability to archive all the files, you can click ‘Compress‘ to zip them:

      Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-4

    2. Then download and save it as a .zip file to your computer:

      Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-5

Now you have the full backup files saved on your computer:

Joomla_How_to_make_a_full_backup-6

Feel free to check the detailed video tutorial below:

Difference Between Joomla and WordPress

Difference Between Joomla and WordPress

Choosing a Content Management System (CMS) is an important decision that can have huge repercussions for your website. There are a number available, each with their own pros and cons, and fanatical fanbases pulling for their chosen platform. That being said, there are two platforms that stand out among the pack that can be directly compared: WordPress vs Joomla.

Both platforms are renowned for their ease-of-use, extensive customization opportunities, and active communities. While WordPress and Joomla have their respective pros and cons, they can both be employed to build modern, feature-filled sites – so how are you supposed to choose which one is right for you?

Don’t worry! We’re here to help you by comparing both platforms in four adrenaline-filled rounds (we might be exaggerating a bit here) to determine which one reigns supreme. Without further ado, let’s get started with WordPress vs Joomla!

WordPress vs Joomla: a 4-round comparison

The basic difference between WordPress and Joomla is that Joomla is a portal- or community type site mostly while WordPress is a blog focused CMS, however before we throw ourselves into the comparison, it’s worth pointing out that both WordPress and Joomla aren’t stand-alone pieces of software. In other words, they only work when installed on a web server – usually, a web server that you get from a third-party company.

If you haven’t made the decision yet as to which web host is going to be the right one for you, some of our reviews might help you out.

1. Search engine optimization

If we compare the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) capabilities of both platforms out of the box, Joomla takes a slight edge due enabling its users to set meta descriptions and keywords for new articles, like so:

A screenshot of Joomla's meta settings.

That being said, the true SEO capabilities of either platform aren’t readily apparent unless we take a look at the plugins or extensions available for the task. On WordPress’ side, we’ve got the incredibly popular Yoast SEO plugin – it’s powerful, offers lots of features, and best of all anyone can get to grips with it in a matter of minutes.

Yoast categorizes your SEO score in different areas using a traffic light system of red, yellow, or green colors. Furthermore, the plugin tells you exactly how to improve your score in each area – and if that wasn’t enough, it also rates your post’s readability.

During our testing, we found Easy Frontend SEO (EFSEO) to be the best Joomla equivalent to Yoast. It enables you to carry out many of the same tasks – such as editing your meta information – directly on the front end of your site, and also includes a handy automatic mode for generating this data without your input.

A screenshot of Easy Frontend SEO's header.

 WordPress 1 : Joomla 0 

However, it’s clear that as handy as EFSEO is, it’s no match for Yoast. Due to this, round one of WordPress vs Joomla goes to WordPress.

2. Security

When it comes to security, any system is only as strong as its weakest link – so the question is: which platform is more secure out of the box?

Due to its popularity, WordPress has a giant target on its back when it comes to security vulnerabilities. Each WordPress install is unique thanks to the thousands of plugins (there’s a plugin for everything, from making charts to using pig latin) and themes available for the CMS.

While this is a definite positive, it’s also a nightmare from a security standpoint – it’s impossible to make sure that every plugin employs proper safety standards, and remains compatible with newer versions of the platform.

Moreover, WordPress doesn’t ship with basic features such as forcing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection on its dashboard – you need to modify its core files to enable it – or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). In fact, most of its advanced security features rely entirely on plugins.

On the other hand, Joomla ships with both an option to force connections over SSL and another one for 2FA. In addition, it offers its own set of security extensions, and its developers maintain a list of those extensions with known vulnerabilities.

A screenshot of Joomla's Force HTTPS option.

 WordPress 1 : Joomla 1 

Round two of WordPress vs Joomla goes to Joomla.

3. Customization potential

We’ve already covered some ground when it comes to WordPress plugins and Joomla extensions. Both CMSs have their own roster of plugins for the most conceivable of use cases – although WordPress wins hands down due to sheer number.

However, when looking into the top plugins on each respective CMS, we feel WordPress’ offerings have a greater subjective ‘polish’. You don’t need to take our word for it – a simple side by side comparison of two tools we’ve already mentioned, Yoast SEO and EFSEO (shown in that order), reflects this:

Yoast SEO vs EFSEO comparison.

While the latter offers just as many features as its WordPress counterpart, the former provides a better experience overall.

Moving on, when it comes to customizing your site’s style there are WordPress themes on one side and Joomla templates on the other, and the same story repeats itself here as with plugins. Not only is it easier to find high-quality WordPress themes, but they also often offer a higher level of support and a mostly better experience.

 WordPress 2 : Joomla 1 

Round three goes to WordPress.

4. Content management and potential

Both WordPress and Joomla are complex CMSs, enabling users to create and manage just about any type of website. Although WordPress is often associated with simple blogs, it’s also a great solution for landing pages and even more complex sites.

On the other hand, Joomla is renowned for its complexity – although it does offer some fantastic documentation. A site built with Joomla can evolve into anything it wants, but the learning curve is much steeper for users with no experience in web development.

Despite being equal when it comes to sheer potential, it’s fair to say that WordPress enables its users to manage their content with relative ease. Anyone can install the platform and pick up how to create posts, pages, or custom post types within minutes, whereas Joomla is less forgiving.

 WordPress 3 : Joomla 1 

Taking all of this into consideration, we must award the final round of WordPress vs Joomla to the former, which gives the overall contest to WordPress!

Conclusion

In some ways, Joomla is more flexible than WordPress. It offers an incredibly customizable system that can take almost any shape you want, and it enables you to implement a lot of small customizations without relying on extensions. However, between WordPress vs Joomla there can only be one winner, and the crown must go to WordPress.

The WordPress logo.

It beats out Joomla when it comes to SEO, customization possibilities, and content management – so the choice is clear. Furthermore, WordPress is just plain simpler to pick up for new users, and its popularity gives it the added edge of providing users with a better support structure – it’s the cherry on top of the WordPress sundae.

Either way, both platforms are at the top of their game, so there’s really not a bad choice here. Also, whichever you choose, you can then get it easily installed on some affordable $3.95/month SiteGround hosting – which is one of the best hosting platforms on the market (survey says).

Do you agree with our assessment on the WordPress vs Joomla debate? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

How To Install SSL Certificate In Cpanel

How To Install SSL Certificate In Cpanel

Download and copy your certificate files to your server

Download your SSL certificate and support files by clicking on the download link in your fulfillment email or from your GeoCerts SSL Manager account. Unzip the files and copy them into the directory where you will keep your certificates. Some files in the zip may or may not be used depending on your server type.

Install the SSL Server Certificate Files

  1. Login to cPanel
  2. Click SSL/TLS Manager > Certificates (CRT) > Generate, view, upload or delete SSL certificates
  3. In the Upload a New Certificate section click the Browse button and locate your SSL Server Certificate file your_domain_com.txt.
  4. Click the Upload button.
  5. Click the Go Back link to return to SSL/TLS Manger.

Setup the Domain

  1. Click SSL/TLS Manager > Setup a SSL certificate to work with your site. If this option is not available to you your ISP may have disabled it and you will need to contact them to complete your SSL setup.
  2. From the Domain drop down menu select the domain that will use the SSL Certificate. The system will attempt to Fetch the SSL Certificate and corresponding private key.
  3. Open GeoTrust_Intermediate.txt in Notepad or other simple text editor (not Word). Copy-and-paste all the contents of the GeoTrust_Intermediate.txt file into the Ca Bundle (CABUNDLE)box.
  4. Click on Install Certificate. You should receive a message that the certificate was successfully installed. If you receive an error you may need to contact your web hosting provider for additional support.

Verify Installation

 To verify if your certificate is installed correctly, use our Certificate Installation Checker.

Test your SSL certificate by using a browser to connect to your server. Use the https protocol directive. For example, if your SSL was issued to secure.mysite.com, enter https://secure.mysite.cominto your browser.

Your browser’s padlock icon  will be displayed in the locked position if your certificate is installed correctly and the server is properly configured for SSL.