A redirect is a page with no content other than a special instruction that causes a different page to display.
Make a redirect
To redirect a page to a different target page, type the following as the first line of the page:
- #REDIRECT [[Name of target page]]
- #REDIRECT [[LondonFetishScene]]
so anyone typing in LFS in the search box and hitting the Go button will be taken directly to the LondonFetishScene page. External links - from other sites - to a redirect will result in the target page being displayed.
A page can only redirect to one other target page.
Any text on the same line as the redirect will remain there but will not be visible unless someone edits the page. This enables a comment to be entered explaining to others why the redirect is occurring; this might be (as above) "abbreviation for topic", "temporary, until this topic is written", "same subject under different word", "common misspelling" or any other appropriate text.
Anything typed after the redirect line will be blanked when the page is saved.
When to use redirect
Redirects are used when an internal link from an article points to a page that has content under another name, or for alternate names that a reader might expect an article to be under. For example, create a redirect with:
- Plurals (the main article should be singular, whenever that makes sense)
- Abbreviations and accronyms (the main article should have the full title)
- Different word forms, at least until there is text under both word forms (for example, until someone writes about Whipping, it has a redirect to Whip)
- Alternate names, including slang (e.g. Violet ray and Violet wand).
- Common misspellings/alternate spellings, including those in American (titles should be in English)
- Common alternate capitalisations or confusions with proper names (articles titles should have only the first letter capitalised unless the article title is a proper name)
- Renamings and merges. If an article is renamed for any reason, the system will automatically create a redirect. If two articles are being merged because they are essentially the same topic, it is well to use a redirect to the merged article from the article that is no longer going to exist.
When NOT to use redirect
- A redirect should not be used to a blank page (unless you intend writing something for that blank page very soon).
- Do NOT link a redirect to a redirect page - it doesn't work.
- Do not link to the source page.
- Redirects to sections in a page do not work, even though the syntax is allowed.
Editing, replacing or deleting redirects
How to access a redirect page
The simplest way to get to a redirect page (where the redirect command has been put) is to type in the name in the search box and hit the Go button. This will take you to the target page, with a link back to the redirect page just under the heading.
Clicking on the link back to the redirect page will open it without redirecting and therefore allow editing.
Editing and replacing
There is nothing special about editing the redirect: just change the target page name and the redirect will go to that page.
To replace the redirect with some text, remove the entire content of the redirect and start typing your article, just as you ususually would. Consider putting a link to what was the target page, perhaps under a 'See also' heading.
To delete the redirect and not replace it with anything, you must be an Administrator. Be sure of the need to delete as redirects take very little effort and may be linked from outside the Wipipedia.
Target pages of a redirect
A page can have many redirects to it. There need be no changes on the target page for redirect to work but if you are redirecting because of duplicate names for essentially the same topic, it is usual to highlight both terms: for an example of this, see Nitrite inhalants, which also has a redirect from Poppers. Think of a user who has just tried to access the redirected name - their first reaction will be "why is this page showing?"