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[top]What is a redirect?

A redirect is a page with no other content than something of the form
#REDIRECT link in internal link style
If the link is to an existing page in the same project, going to the redirect (by means of a link, the URL, or the Go button) results in the new page, just like following the link, except that the browser shows the original URL, and the new page shows a redirection message below the title.
For example, if somebody browses to: http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/redirection, or follows a link to redirection, then they will end up at this page instead, and the top of the page will look like:

Help:Redirect

(Redirected from Redirection)


(etc)

If the link is to a non-existing page in the same project, one simply arrives at the redirect page.
If the link is to a page in another project, going to the redirect results in following the link, regardless of existence (a project does not retrieve information about existence of pages on another project, but just sends through). The browser shows the new URL.

[top]Purposes of a redirect

[list][*]Finding a page
[*]Conveniently going to a page
[*]Conveniently linking indirectly to a page, without the need for a piped link. For this purpose, making the stem (the common first part) of a collection of strongly related terms a redirect reduces the need for having many redirects. E.g. categor can be used for category, categories, categorical. Note that having the other redirects anyway is even better; also a piped link is in some respects even better than relying on a redirect, see Comparison with piped link.
[*]Allowing a link title independent of the eventual link target; one creates a page whose name is the desired link title, and which redirects to the desired target page. See e.g. w:Template:Ft, containing [[30.48 cm|ft]], with the page w:30.48 cm redirecting to w:Foot (unit of length). The link title "30.48 cm" informs in the hover box about the unit "ft" even without following the link to the article about this unit.
[/redirect]

Due to redirects, after renamings and merges, old URLs in links, bookmarks, search engines, etc., still lead to the appropriate page.

[top]The move tool

When a page is renamed/moved with the Renaming (moving) a page function, a redirect is automatically created from the old to the new name, and also one for the corresponding talk page.
If the new page name is occupied by a redirect with only one edit in its history, it is replaced by the page being moved. If the redirect has more than one history entry, then it must either be deleted by an administrator or moved to another name. This move will leave behind a new redirect with no edit history, which can then be replaced by the desired page move. It might be desirable to delete the moved redirect.

[top]How do I create a redirect?

If you're creating a new redirect, start a new page, write #REDIRECT [[pagename]] (or #redirect[[pagename]]) at the top of the page, where pagename is the name of the target page. Here is an example. If you're replacing an existing page with a redirect, for example after merging a duplicate page, go to the page, edit it, and replace the existing text with #REDIRECT [[pagename]].
Extra text after the #REDIRECT command and link, on the same line, can serve as explanatory text. It is only shown when viewing the redirect page itself.
Extra lines of text are automatically deleted on Save (not yet on Preview).
The page will not redirect if there is anything on the page before the redirect. Also, there must be no spaces between the # and the REDIRECT. Consider copying the #REDIRECT [[pagename]] text into the edit summary so that people know that you have created a redirect.
After you create a redirect, you get sent to a page with the string "&redirects=no" in the URL. Thus the just created redirect page is shown, not the page to which it redirects. To see your redirect working, use your address bar to delete that part of the URL. Alternatively, create a link on another page to your redirect, and then follow that link.
When creating new redirects, bear in mind that creating too many redirects can clutter up the search results page, which can hinder users. Also, don't spend too much time creating redirects - often it's more important to spend time improving the quality of the target page. A piped link is another way to make a link to a page with a name which does not occur in the first page.

[top]How do I change a redirect?

Click on a link to the redirect page. Then look for the "(redirected from pagename)" link at the top of the page you've been redirected to. You will be taken to a page looking something like:

Pagename

From {project name} ...


[list=1][*] REDIRECT target page
[/redirect]

Then click Edit this page. You can then either change the target of the redirect, or replace the redirect with a brand new page.
Another way to do the same thing: Go to the target page, and click "What links here". This will show you all the back-links from that page, including redirects. To change a redirect, click on it, and then click on Edit this page as above.
These things do not work for redirects to other projects or to Special pages. Use
http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=...&redirect=no
(for projects outside Wikimedia the "w/" is not always used).
Here on Meta, go to http://meta.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Redirection&redirect=no and change the page name (here Redirection) in the address bar of the browser.

[top]How do I delete a redirect?

Administrators can delete redirects in the same way as any other page. There may be project-specific guidelines on when this is appropriate.

[top]Inter-wiki redirects and redirects to Special pages

It is also possible to set up redirects between MediaWiki wikis, such as between Wiktionary and Wikipedia. Simply append the language code and the page name to the word "Wikipedia" (or other WikiMedia projects: Wikibooks, Wikitext?, Wikiquote?, Wikisource?, ...?) with colons. To link to the Wikipedia article for dog from an article in wiktionary, one would use [[Wikipedia:en:dog]]. For example Wikipedia:en:dog. As a redirect: #REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:en:dog]]
However, compared with redirects within a MediaWiki wiki there are restrictions and drawbacks:
[list][*]The message "Redirected from ..." is not shown.
[*]Editing the redirect page is cumbersome, one has to use
[/redirect]
http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=...&redirect=no
[list][*]"What links here" does not work across wiki's; this applies also to redirects, so one can not see which page(s) redirect(s) to a given page.
[*]Being led to an other wiki without explicit request may be confusing.
[/redirect]
In order to change an inter-wiki redirect (perhaps restoring previous content), manually go to a URL like
http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=my_title&redirect=no , but replace "my_title" with the title of the page in question. You can then view page history, edit the page, etc, in the normal fashion. This is tedious, but it is the only way of doing this, currently.
The same applies to redirects to Special pages.
To avoid these problems, consider direct interwiki links (or direct links to Special pages) without redirect, or a "non-automatic redirect": a page with "See ...", e.g. en:Wikipedia:Enhanced Recent Changes. This requires an extra click to use, but is less confusing and the redirect page itself is easier to go to (to edit, to apply "What links here" and to discuss it on its Talk page).
If you use a "real" interwiki redirect anyway, put on the page to which the redirect points links to such redirect pages, using a URL with "redirect=no". This is not possible in the case redirect-to-Special.
Alternatively a page like en:Wikipedia:What it thinks it is - go to interwiki redirect page itself can additionally be made, a redirect page to en:Wikipedia:What it thinks it is which is an interwiki redirect page; linking to the first-mentioned page leads you to the interwiki redirect page, making use of the fact that redirection is not recursive. Other examples are Be bold - go to interwiki redirect page itself and the page "Image Go To A Random Page .png ? go to redirect-to-Special page itself" on Wikibooks: http://wikibooks.org/wiki/Image_Go_To_A_Random_Page_.png_%E2%80%93_go_to_red irect-to-Special_page_itself
There are plans to adjust the software so as to reduce the complications.

[top]Double redirects

As a simple way to avoid problems with infinite recursion, in the case one is redirected within the same project to another redirect page, the second redirect is not applied.

[top]Redirects to an anchor

An example of this:
#REDIRECT [[definitions#G]]

[top]Images linking to a page

An image can link to a page of choice instead of the image description page by putting a redirect as "image description". The actual image description then has to be put on the Talk page.
For clarity it may be useful to add a text near the image, which can be made a link to the same page. Thus clicking on the text and on the image has the same effect.
However, when arriving at the target page, not only is the message (Redirected from Image:xxxxx.xxx) displayed, but so is the image itself. This may not be the effect sought. As an alternative navigable images provides image anchored navigation in projects that allow embedding images in external link style.
If the main function of the image is just being a symbol for the link, then, before uploading, give it a name describing that function rather than describing the image itself.
See e.g. the two images on wikibooks:Main Page:Franšais.

[top]Redirect or link to edit page

When B is a subtopic of A, and B does not have its own article, one may be tempted to do the following:
[list][*]redirect B to A
[*]link A to B as invitation or preparation for creating an article
[/redirect]
Both make sense, but not combined, that results in an indirect self link. The first seems more useful. If one really wants both, one could put something like: "Write article about:

Gloves of Spell Mastery or Stronghold Gauntlets".
Anyway, if the text about B is short, it can better be added to A.

[top]See also


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