Blogs: Cleaning, Combining and Redirecting

| September 5, 2017

Boy, it’s been forever since I’ve written here on NJFM. The site is mostly dead. I checked my stats and found that I get an average of 3 or 4 visits a day. That’s okay because except for the motivational posts, the rest of the stuff is pretty much outdated. The Internet kept evolving while No Job for Mom sat.

It is not my intention to revive NJFM. My original intention when I created No Job for Mom was to use the site as a filing system for my research and notes. No matter how well I organize my computer’s filing system, I’m never able to find previously saved information and documents when I need them. But, when I file things here on NJFM I can always find it thanks to WordPress and it’s categories, tags and search functions.

Filing System

Photo by Sanwal Deen on Unsplash

Doing Some Internet Cleaning (Again)

I have several sites that sat dormant just like NJFM. I’ve added posts to one or two of the sites, but the remainder were just there. I combined the ones of similar subject matter and am in the process of cleaning up the remaining . My goal is to reduce my online clutter. I’m streamlining things to make them more manageable. Who knows, maybe if they’re more manageable, I might write more often.

Cleaning

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

My sites now fall into one of two categories. They’re either dormant or active. NJFM falls under the dormant category. There will be posts from time to time, but the activity will remain sparse.

The active blogs are those that continued to bring in income (albeit small income) over the past couple of years even though I had not added new content. When a blog pays for its existence without input from me, it’s earned its right to survive.

Redirect 301

So, with this effective WordPress filing system, I’m filing an additional entry under the redirect 301 tag. I know I’ll need to find this information at a later date because as long as I blog, I’m sure I’ll be combining blogs from time to time.

Forwarding readers from an existing blog to a new one involves a lot of redirecting. I’ve found that the most permanent and accurate way to redirect readers is by using the command “redirect 301.” I won’t reinvent the wheel here since I’ve already blogged about 301 redirects before.

Redirecting WordPress Tags and CategoriesWordPress Categories and Tags

When I wrote about this subject before, I neglected to mention the need to redirect WordPress tags and categories. In the past I had never redirected the WordPress tags or categories and as a result, they generated an avalanche of “Page not found” errors.

Redirecting tags and categories in addition to the blog posts and pages quadruples the amount of time it takes to properly redirect a blog, but it significantly reduces page not found errors. Upon discovering the need to redirect tags/categories, I went looking around for a plugin to make things easier. The thought of manually redirecting all the tags/categories made my head spin.

Redirect Plugins to Ease the Load

There are several redirection plugins available. Here’s a blog post that gives a quick summary of 7 of them.

After looking at the various plugins I decided to skip them and modify my .htaccess file directly. In the past I used a plugin (not one listed in the above article) to redirect posts and found that it was about 75% effective. There were times when redirected pages wouldn’t redirect so I had to modify the .htaccess file anyway. Not wanting to go through the double checking process and redirecting previously redirected pages, I opted to do it right and only once.

I created a daily redirection plan and went about getting it done. Once completed I make sure to check the crawl errors in Google’s Search Console. I check frequently for newly redirected blogs and less frequently after things settle down.

I’ve found there are some crawl errors that are so weird that they’ll forever be an error. I fix those that are fixable, and let rest take care of themselves.

No More 404

I know it’s been quite a while, but if any of the NJFM old timers happen to read this post, I’d be interested to know what you’ve been up to.

Tags: , ,

Category: Blog, Plugins, WordPress

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (6)

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  1. Ignatius says:

    It’s good to see you’re still out there. Life does change, and the Internet is definitely different. I have been focusing on learning new things.

    I’m casting a fairly wide net on what I’m studying, but I’m currently focusing on learning more about programming. There is always something more to learn in that area.

    I actually started blogging to get some experience designing web sites. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself in the content writing business. Not sure how that happened. 🙂 Anyway, I’m still doing some writing, but I’m moving back over to the technical side.

    Congratulations on earning that “Grandmother” title. Have fun!

    • Felicia says:

      Hello there Ignatius,

      Always good to hear from you. Learning new things is my life’s motto. Things never get boring as long as you continue to learn.

      Programming is something I wish I had learned earlier. I don’t think I have the stamina to learn it now. I hack around a bit behind the scenes of a blog, but I don’t go too deep because I’ll lose myself. If I remember correctly, your advice has helped me out of a bind or two. 🙂

      Best wishes to you in your technical travels.

  2. Loretta says:

    Hi there, Felicia. You are hearing from another one of the old timers on your NJFM site – yours truly. I jumped with joy after seeing the email from NJFM in my mailbox this morning. My first thought was she’s back, “rising like the Phoenix from the ashes.” Then, as I continued reading, I learned that you did not permanently resurrect what was once one of my favorite, informational sites. What a tease. But I’m not mad at you (LOL) because I should have taken a cue from the title of the post. As you continue sharing your wisdom on other sites that you’ve created, I’ll continue to be a loyal follower. It was good to see you back here, albeit temporarily. Wishing you ongoing success, my friend.
    Loretta recently posted…Activism is Nothing to Laugh AboutMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Hey Loretta,
      Nice hearing from you. I think NJFM has run its course. The Internet has changed quite a bit since I last blogged here. Although, as I make my way through the quagmire I might share some of my “discoveries.” A discovery for me may be old hat for others, but I’ll need to document it nonetheless. 🙂

  3. Vidya Sury says:

    How nice to see an update from you, Felicia! 301 redirects are indeed life-savers.

    How is your furniture restoration going on? What have you been up to?

    As for what I’ve been up to, I’ve got seven blogs in all, now and have also started working with a publisher to edit manuscripts for their authors. Blogging actively, as usual. Son’s in his third year of college and studying on campus, and life is good, overall!

    Hugs! As I said, always a pleasure to hear from you! Yours was always one of my favorite sites for no-fluff, no-bluff advice about writing and blogging. I wish you well.
    Vidya Sury recently posted…At Menri Monastery, Dolanji, Solan, Himachal PradeshMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Hello Vidya!

      Nice to hear from you. I can’t believe your son is in third year of college already! Time really passes quickly. You must be very proud of him. With seven blogs and manuscript editing, how do you find the time?

      Furniture restoration for me is like writing. It’s in my blood. I’m having a good time with it. The season seems to ebb and flow, but there’s always something out there that needs my touch. 🙂

      My most favorite project these days is being a grandmother. Nothing beats it!

      Wishing you all the best!