A redirect is a page whose only function is to send the reader directly to another page. This helps users to find the article they are looking for when searching or using an internal link. For example, if you search with the word "fundamentalist" (or click on this link), you will be redirected to the "fundamentalism" article. A small message ("Redirected from Fundamentalist") appears below the title to let you know that you arrived there by redirect. If you wish to view or edit the redirect page, click on the link in this small message.
Why redirects are good
The advantage of having redirects is it allows people looking for an article on a particular subject (e.g. the United States of America) to find it using related terms such as abbreviations ("USA"), alternative names ("America") and adjectives ("American"). This not only helps people searching for these terms, but makes it easy to create internal links without having to remember the exact name of the article you want to link to.
If redirects are not created for related terms, there is a risk that somebody will not find an article on the subject they are searching for, and will unintentionally create a duplicate article on the same subject.
Creating a redirect page
Redirects are very easy to do, and only take a few seconds to create.
Go to the page you want to create a redirect from. E.g. if you want to redirect from "goats" to "goat", search for "goats". Then choose the option to edit (or create this page if you are creating a new redirect where there was nothing previously). In the edit box, write and save the following:
Replace the word "article" with the title of whatever article you are redirecting to (e.g. #redirect [[goat]]). This creates a page which will automatically redirect any searches or links to this page.
- Note the editing toolbox includes a one-click Redirect facility.
No double redirects
Always redirect to the actual title of an article. Make sure you are not redirecting to another redirect page, as this will not work. Double redirects are prevented from functioning by the wikisoftware, to avoid possible loops.
For example, the "fundamentalist" and "fundamentalists" redirect pages should link directly to the "fundamentalism" article. "Fundamentalists" must not redirect to "fundamentalist" (another redirect page) as this will prevent it from redirecting to the "fundamentalism" article.
Redirects after page moves
If you have moved an article to a new location (using relocate), a redirect page is set up automagically from the old location to the new one. However, if there were any other redirect pages pointing to the old location, this would cause a double redirect when the article was moved. To check for this, go to the old location (now a redirect page) and check What links here in the toolbox window at the left of the page. You will see a list of pages which link to this page. Any redirects will say "redirect page" in brackets after the title. You can then access these redirect pages and change them to redirect to the new location.
If you find this confusing, don't worry, it's really simple (but explaining it isn't). Double redirects are usually discovered and corrected fairly soon by other
interfering nerds editors.
When to create redirects
Whenever you create a new article, it is a good idea to create redirects linking to it for common variants of the title.
- If the titles is a noun (e.g. goat), create a redirect from the plural (e.g. goats). Usually the article title should be singular and the plural variant should redirect to it.
- If the title is a religion, philosophy, ideology or science (e.g. Judaism, feminism, mathematics), create redirects from any variants or directly related words
- (e.g. Jew, Jews and Jewish redirect to Judaism; feminist and feminists redirect to feminism; math, maths, mathematician and mathematicians redirect to mathematics).
- If the title is an organisation (e.g. Federal Bureau of Investigation), create a redirect from any alternative names such as abbreviations (e.g. FBI).
- If the title is a person's name (e.g. Barack Obama) but they are also commonly referred to by their surname (e.g. Obama), then that should be a redirect.
After you have redirected a page
In the event that an article has been changed into a redirect - please place the redirect's corresponding talk page, if it exists, in to Category:Talk pages for redirected articles.