Redirects are used to forward users from one page name to another. They can be useful if a particular article is referred to by multiple names, or has alternative punctuation, capitalization or spellings. Redirecting pages may also be helpful when joining two pages into one, or if two articles contain the same, or similar information.
To redirect, or not to redirect
Before creating a redirect, first decide which of the following you are trying to accomplish:
1. Are you trying to help users find the same article under various names? This may be accomplished by creating a new page by a new title, and redirecting that page to an existing page. If you are simply trying to rename a page, however, please see "Moving pages."
2. Are you trying to send users from a pre-existing page to another pre-existing page? If so, please see "Resolving duplicate articles."
3. Are you trying to send users from a pre-existing page to a page that has not yet been created?
Once you know which of the following you are trying to accomplish, decide which page you want to redirect FROM, and which page you want to redirect TO. Make sure both pages exist before redirecting one page to another. Learn how to create a new page. Once both pages exist (whether text appears in those pages or not), please follow the corresponding instructions below.
Resolving duplicate articles
Duplicate pages may be resolved by copying differing information from one of the articles into the other article, and then re-directing the first article to the second article. Pages and articles are often linked together. By re-directing pages, the links to various pages will not be broken. For example:
- Article A contains similar information to Article B.
- Copy any differing information from Article A into Article B.
- After copying the information from Article A, confirm that it all appears in Article B.
- Remove any remaining text from Article A, however, do not "Delete" the page (NOTE: Deleting pages may only be done by users with administrative roles). Removing text from one of the articles is not mandatory, however, it is a good best practice. The removed text is not gone forever, but remains in the history of that page in case at some point the redirect needs to be removed.
- Using the steps below, "Redirect" Article A to Article B.
Creating a redirect
1. Make sure you are logged in.
2. Locate and navigate to the page you want to redirect FROM.
3. Click "Edit" under the page options. This should open the Editing window.
4. In the Editing window, type the following, however, instead of the word "pagename" type the identical title of the page you want to direct TO.
You can use the 'preview' button, to check that you have entered the correct page name (Generally you will be redirecting to an existing page name, so the link should be blue, not red). If the pagename appears red, the title entered was incorrect. NOTE: Pagename titles are case sensitive. For example, if you attempt to redirect a page to the article titled "Indiana birth records," and you type "Indiana Birth Records," the redirect will not work.
Viewing a redirect
After creating a redirect, you can no longer get to that page name. The browser is always redirected! However near the top of the page, a link is provided. Click this to get back to the redirected page name, and "view" the redirect.
By doing this, you can do all the things that any wiki page allows. You can go to the associated discussion page to discuss the redirect. You can view the history of the page before the redirect was put in place. You edit the page if the redirect is wrong, and you can revert to an older version to remove the redirect.
Deleting a redirect
There's generally no need to delete redirects. They do not occupy a significant amount of database space, and they do not show up in wiki search results. If a page name is vaguely meaningful there's no harm (and some benefit) in having it as a redirect to the most relevant existing page in your wiki. However...
If you do need to delete a redirect, e.g. if the page name of the redirect is offensive, or you wish to discourage people from referring to concept by that name, then you simply go to the redirect page, and follow the same procedure for deleting a page. See: Help:Deleting a page
A double redirect (a page redirecting to a page which is itself a redirect) will not work. The redirecting will not follow through to the end of the chain. Instead people will just be presented with the relevant link (a view of the redirect page). This is a deliberate restriction, partly to prevent infinite loops, and partly to keep things simple. It avoids people building up an unpleasantly complicated tree of redirects!
However this does mean that you should look out for double redirects and eliminate them, by changing them to be 1-step redirects instead. You are most likely to need to do this after a significant page move. Use the 'what links here' toolbox link to find double redirects to a particular page, or use Special:DoubleRedirects to find them throughout the whole wiki.
A redirect to a page in the category namespace
To prevent a page that redirects to a category from appearing in the category; precede the word Category with a colon like so : #REDIRECT [[:Category:Glossary]]