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How to Trace Your Website’s URL Redirects

Have you ever clicked a link expecting to land on a specific page but ended up somewhere completely different? This can be frustrating for both you and your website visitors. It often occurs due to URL redirects.

While redirects are a common practice, tracing where your URLs or links actually lead is crucial.

In this knowledgebase article, we will walk you through various methods to easily trace redirects, guaranteeing that you, your visitors, and search engines always reach the intended destination.

How to Trace Redirects

There are several ways to trace redirects on your website. Here, we’ll explore two user-friendly methods:

1 Using a WordPress Plugin (Rank Math SEO)

If you’re already using the Rank Math SEO plugin to manage your website’s redirections, you can leverage its built-in debugging feature to trace them easily. Here’s how:

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Rank Math SEO → Redirections. Next, click the Settings button at the top of the Redirections page.

Rank Math Redirections page

This will take you to the Redirections settings tab. Under the Redirections tab, find the Debug Redirections option and enable it, as shown below. After that, click the Save Changes button to save your settings.

Setting up Debug Redirections in Rank Math

Once the settings are saved, you can now open any redirections you created using Rank Math. When you open these redirections, you will see that Rank Math’s debug mode will display an interstitial page.

This page will show you details about the redirect, including the source URL, destination URL, and management options. With this information, you can confirm and manage the redirect path if needed.

Rank Math Redirect Debugger

The interstitial page disappears after 5 seconds and is only visible to website administrators. You can temporarily stop the redirection by clicking the Stop Redirection option below the count. 

Additionally, you can manage the redirection by clicking the Manage This Redirection link.

Rank Math Interstitial page to trace Redirects

Clicking on Manage This Redirection will direct you to the specific redirect rule causing the redirection, enabling you to diagnose and fix unwanted redirections.

Add or Edit redirections in Rank Math

When you are done with your adjustments, you can save your changes.

Please remember that this method is specifically for tracing redirects set up using the Rank Math SEO plugin. If you do not have Rank Math installed on your WordPress website, consider installing it to manage all SEO aspects effectively.

2 Using an Online Redirect Checker

If the redirects on your website were not set up by Rank Math, but instead by other plugins or server-side redirects, you can use an online redirect checker like httpstatus.io to trace them.

This tool provides a detailed analysis of the redirect chain for any URL, helping you understand how your redirects are functioning.

To begin, visit httpstatus.io using your web browser. In the input field on the homepage, enter the URL you want to trace and click the Check status button.

httpstatus.io homepage to insert URL

Note that you can enter multiple URLs to trace their redirects, but you will want to add them per line. When you click the button, the tool will analyze the URLs and display a report if any redirects are present.

The report will typically show the number of redirects, the final destination URL, and the redirect status codes.

httpstatus.io analyzes URLs for redirects

You can examine the redirect path to identify any unnecessary or problematic redirects. Based on the analysis, you can make the necessary adjustments to your redirects to optimize your site’s performance and user experience.

By following these steps, you can effectively trace and manage your URL redirects, ensuring your website remains user-friendly and optimized for search engines.

That’s it! We hope you have learned how to easily trace your website’s URLs or link redirects. If you have any further questions about tracing redirects using Rank Math or need assistance, feel free to contact our support team. They are always ready to help you.

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