When you edit or delete a page, its old URL will give rise to a 404 error, meaning it no longer exists.
To prevent this error from occurring, we use redirect 301, i.e. a redirection from the old URL to a new page, which is correctly online.
But what can you do if one day you decide to restore that old URL and then delete the redirect?
This guide will also be useful if you encounter the ” too many redirects ” problem, which occurs when you mistakenly set up two pages with “infinite” redirects from one to the other.
Let’s see together what can be done.
What to do before deleting a redirect
For delete a redirect, you must first know how it was set up. There are many ways to create a redirect: with the use of a plugin, with the .htaccess file, with the hosting functions …
Knowing how you handled the redirects will make it much easier for you to delete them.If you’re not sure how a redirect was created, you’ll need to explore within the following sections:
- .htaccess file
- WordPress plugin
- hosting functionality
Now let’s find out how to eliminate redirects in each of these cases.
Delete a redirect from the .htaccess file
Navigate to the root of your site, which is the main folder, using your hosting file manager or via an FTP connection .
Locate the .htaccess file and download it to your computer. Open the file using a simple text editor (Notepad on PC or Pages on Mac are fine).
Inside, look for the string “Redirect 301“. It will look like this:
Redirect 301 / my-old-page "https://Fanoftech.com/slug"
Remove the entire row to cancel the redirect.
Delete a redirect created with a plugin
Check among your installed plugins which of them are able to create redirects . Then find the one you want to cancel in the redirect list and delete it.
There are several plugins that help you set up a redirect . Some are dedicated solely to this purpose, like Redirection , while others are plugins with various features, including this one, like Yoast SEO Premium or Rank Math .
If you use Redirection, you will find the list under Tools> Redirection . Here you can disable or delete a redirect, or edit it.
If you use Yoast (Premium version), go to SEO> Redirect where you can edit or delete the redirect.
On Rank Math you will have to go to Rank Math> Redirections and disable the redirect .
Delete a redirect created with the hosting features
The best hosts include a dedicated section to create redirects without having to install plugins or work with your site’s files.
If you have a hosting with cPanel , you will find the redirects in the Domains> Redirects section . Check if what you are looking for appears in it and click on Delete .
Contact your hosting support if you don’t find the Redirects section.
Consequences of deleting a 301 redirect
On an SEO level, you may notice some fluctuations in your rankings after removing a redirect . This is normal, Google is analyzing your changes and evaluating whether they are good or not.
It will take some time for search engines to correctly index the old restored URL. It may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Keep an eye on the Google Search Console . Between the pages with errors and the excluded pages (section Coverage), you will find Page with redirect . Also check the Not Found (404) pages and Scan Anomalies to be sure .
If you notice that your restored URLs are within these sections, either they are still not properly processed by Google, or there has been some error.
The fact that redirects can be undone shouldn’t lead you to use them indiscriminately. Use 301-type redirects only when you are certain that the old URL is no longer needed.
If you think you will use it again in the future, choose a 302-type-redirect instead, i.e. temporary. Deleting a 302 redirect is much quicker, as Google already knows that sooner or later that URL will have to come back online.