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MediaWiki uses redirects to direct people who go to one location on a MediaWiki wiki to another. For example, if somebody follows a link to TNG, then they will end up at the page Star Trek: The Next Generation instead, and the top of the page will include a notice of redirection that looks like this: (Redirected from TNG).

What do we use redirects for?Edit

  • Abbreviations: TNG redirects to Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Misspellings: philisophy redirects to philosophy
  • Aiding writing: planet Vulcan redirects to Vulcan (planet)
  • Alternate spellings: Kronos redirects to Qo'noS
  • Alternate names: suspended animation redirects to stasis
  • Alternate capitalizations: Photon Torpedo redirects to photon torpedo
  • Alternate punctuation: Slug O' Cola redirects to Slug-o-Cola
  • Plurals, tenses, etc: photon torpedoes redirects to photon torpedo, beaming redirects to beam, etc
  • Pseudonyms, nicknames: Butcher of Coular redirects to Neil Cross
  • Synonyms: linear operator redirects to linear transformation
  • Accents: Max Grodenchik redirects to Max Grodénchik
  • Avoiding broken links (see below)

Sub-topic redirects are often temporary, eventually being replaced by fully fledged articles on the sub-topic in question. Be conservative when creating sub-topic redirects - they can sometimes be counter-productive, because they disguise the absence of a proper article from editors. Sub-topic redirects should only be used where the main article has a section on the sub-topic.

In accordance with naming conventions it's best to have an article at a well-defined, unambiguous term, with redirects from looser colloquial terms, rather than vice versa.

How do I create a redirect?Edit

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. 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]].

A redirect page will still redirect if there is extra text on the page after the #REDIRECT command and link (but this text will normally not be seen). However, it 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 (example: [[Example page|a great example]] is another way to make a link to a page with a name which does not occur in the first page.

Renamings and mergesEdit

We try to avoid broken links, because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of Memory Beta, or we merge two duplicate articles, we always leave redirects in the old location to point to the new location. Search engines and visitors will probably have linked to that page at that url. If the page is deleted, potential new visitors from search engines will be greeted with an edit window. The same is true for anyone who previously bookmarked that page, and so on.

How do I change a redirect?Edit

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 the page displaying the redirect code.

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.

When should we delete a redirect?Edit

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, list it on pages for immediate deletion. See deletion policy for details on how to nominate pages for deletion.

This isn't necessary if you just want to replace a redirect with an article.

You might want to delete a redirect if one or more of the following conditions is met:

  1. The redirect page makes it unreasonably difficult for users to locate similarly named articles via the search engine.
  2. The redirect might cause confusion.
  3. The redirect is offensive, such as "Joe Bloggs is a Loser" to "Joe Bloggs".
  4. The redirect makes no sense, such as [[Pink elephants painting daisies]] to [[Vulcan]].

However, avoid deleting such redirects if:

  1. They have a potentially useful page history. If the redirect was created by renaming a page with that name, and the page history just mentions the renaming, and for one of the reasons above you want to delete the page, copy the page history to the Talk page of the article it redirects to. The act of renaming is useful page history, and even more so if there has been discussion on the page name.
  2. They would make the creation of duplicate articles less likely.
  3. They aid searches on certain terms.
  4. Someone finds them useful. Hint: If someone says they find a redirect useful, they probably do. You might not find it useful - this is not because the other person is a liar, but because you browse Memory Beta in different ways.

To avoid having a redirect deleted that you think is useful, please add it to the List of useful redirects.

Link function formattingEdit

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links"). Also, avoid having code for multiple links. Only the first link will be processed by the software, but the extra code can confuse readers and might cause abnormal results on SpecialPages relating to the redirect.

Additionally, templates used to format links will not function in redirects. The links must be unformatted. For example, [[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)]] will operate as a redirect, but {{USS|Enterprise|NCC-1701-D}} will block the redirect. The template creates what is functionally the same link as the longer format, but the software will not read the final link from the {{USS}} template.

Categories will function on redirects, allowing the redirect article appearing in the category's list. It is useful for categorizing alternate names. For example, Red Squad is categorized in a subcategory of Category:Nicknames, but Starfleet 47th Cadet Training Squad is listed is a category of official unit names, even though the proper name is less used than the nickname, and is a redirect.

Related topicsEdit


  • MediaWiki User's Guide: Using Redirects (2004-02-15, 04:26 UTC). In Meta, a wiki about Wikipedia. Retrieved from Wikipedia.
Redirect sign
Redirect example

A redirect on Community Central that goes to this page.

A redirect is a bit of code that forwards the user to a new page.

Creating redirects is helpful when there is more than one possible title for a page, or many different ways a user might search for a topic. Creating redirects for potential titles helps your users find the existing page, and also helps to prevent the accidental creation of duplicate articles.

Redirects are also automatically created when a page is moved, allowing links and users who used the old title to automatically be brought to the new title.

How to create a redirect

  • To make a page redirect to another, first open the page for editing and go to the source editor.
  • If there is any content on the page, delete it so the page is clear.
  • Enter the following onto the page:
#redirect [[Page title]]
  • Publish the page.

Additionally, if you wanted to redirect to a certain section on a page, add a # and the name of the section. This can also be done to redirect to tabs on a tabber.

#redirect [[Page title#Section name]]

Tips

  • Both lower case #redirect or upper case #REDIRECT will work.
  • The #redirect line must be the first line of the page, and lines below it will be ignored.
  • Redirects do not work with external links.
  • Make sure the redirect code is not wrapped in any other tags, like <nowiki></nowiki> tags.


An example

Instead of creating duplicate articles for Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker on Wookieepedia, you might want links to [[Darth Vader]] and [[Anakin Skywalker]] to point to the same page.

If you want that page title to be "Anakin Skywalker", then "Darth Vader" should be a redirect. The Darth Vader page would contain this:

#redirect [[Anakin Skywalker]]

How do I change a redirect?

It is possible to change the Darth Vader redirect by editing it. As an example, trying visiting the "Darth Vader" page, which redirects to the "Anakin Skywalker" page. Below the title of the page, you will see the text:

Click this "Darth Vader" link to go back to the "Darth Vader" redirect page. You can then click "edit" to alter the Darth Vader page as usual (making the redirect link point somewhere else, or replacing it with a new article) like any other page.

What is a "double redirect"?

A double redirect is a redirect page that points to another redirect page. For example, suppose that "Vader" points to "Darth Vader" which points to "Anakin Skywalker". Then visits to the "Vader" page will be forwarded only once and stop at the "Darth Vader" redirect.

To fix this, click the (Redirected from...) link on the "Darth Vader" redirect page, to go back to the "Vader" redirect. Edit Vader's redirect to point to "Anakin Skywalker".

You can find a list of double redirects by visiting the Special:DoubleRedirects page on your community.

What is a "broken redirect"?

A broken redirect is a redirect page that points to a page that does not exist.

To fix this, click the "Edit" button and redirect the page to one that does exist. (Previewing the edit can help you check if the redirect destination exists.)

You can find a list of broken redirects by visiting the Special:BrokenRedirects page on your community.

Can I put anything else on a redirect page?

All text below the first line will be ignored, except for categories. Although this is rarely needed, there are a few circumstances where you might want to categorize redirects.

A common reason to categorize a redirect is the cache limitations of Special:ListRedirects. Some communities may have more than 1000 redirects, so the special page would list only the first thousand and stop listing any more after the thousandth redirect in the system.

This can be undesirable for maintenance and organizational purposes (e.g. a title that is very unlikely to be searched may not be found normally), so most communities generally categorize redirects so they can be listed, as a category list is not subject to the cache limitation of a special page.

See also

Further help and feedback

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