How To Wiki

To redirect a page (1) to a different page (2), enter on the top of page 1:


For example, to redirect the Cambridge University page to the University of Cambridge page, edit the Cambridge University page and enter:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]]

Please note that you can only redirect to articles, not sections in them; although the syntax allows them, e.g.

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge#History]]

they don't work.

Everything after the redirect line will be blanked when you save the page. Any text on the same line as the redirect will stay, but will not be visible unless someone edits the page.

To go back and edit your redirect after it's working, add &redirect=no to the end of the URL for your redirect. To add a reason, select one of the tags from the Tag column below and add it one space after and on the same line as #REDIRECT [[Wherever]]. E.g. for the redirect page University of Cambridge,

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]] {{R for alternate capitalization}}

That will also add the redirect to the category listed in the Category column below.

More examples are included below:

What do we use redirects for?

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown Tag Category to find articles so tagged
Abbreviations Template:R from abbreviation
  • DSM-IV redirects to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
{{R from abbreviation}} Category:Redirects from abbreviation
Misspellings Template:R from misspelling
  • Condoleeza Rice redirects to Condoleezza Rice
{{R from misspelling}} Category:Redirects from misspellings
Other spellings, other punctuation Template:R from alternate spelling
  • colour redirects to color
  • Al-Jazeera redirects to Al Jazeera
{{R from alternate spelling}} Category:Redirects from alternate spellings
Other capitalizations, for use in links Template:R for alternate capitalization
  • Natural Selection redirects to Natural selection
{{R for alternate capitalization}} Category:Redirects for alternative capitalization
Other capitalizations, to ensure that "Go" to a mixed-capitalization article title is case-insensitive Template:R for alternate capitalization

Adding a redirect for mixed-capitalization article titles (e.g., Isle of Wight) allows "Go" to these articles to be case-insensitive. For example, without the redirect Isle of wight a "Go" for "Isle Of wight" or any capitalization other than exactly 'Isle of Wight' would not find the article Isle of Wight.

Why: Articles whose titles contain mixed-capitalization words (not all initial caps, or not all lower case except the first word) are found via "Go" only by an exact case match. (Articles, including redirects, whose titles are either all initial caps or only first word capitalized are found via "Go" using a case-insensitive match.)

Note: "Go" related redirects are needed only if the article title has more than two words and words following the first have different capitalizations. They are not needed, for example, for proper names which are all initial caps.


  • Redirect Vice chancellor of Austria to Vice Chancellor of Austria is needed because the Go search is case-sensitive for mixed-caps titles. Adding this redirect allows the article to be found when a user enters "vice chancellor of Austria" or "vice chancellor of Austria" as a Go search.
  • No redirect to Francis Ford Coppola is needed because the "Go" command is case-insensitive for an article whose title is all initial caps. Any capitalization (e.g. "France fOrD CoPPola") entered as a "Go" will find the article.
{{R for alternate capitalization}} Category:Redirects for alternative capitalization
Other names, pseudonyms, nicknames, and synonyms Template:R from alternate name
  • Wellie throwing redirects to Wellie wanging
  • Butcher of Kurdistan redirects to Ali Hassan al-Majid
  • Rev. Fred Phelps redirects to Fred Phelps
  • Linear operator redirects to Linear transformation
{{R from alternate name}} Category:Redirects from alternate names
Scientific names Template:R from scientific name
  • Heosemys depressa redirects to Arakan Forest Turtle
  • Deuterium oxide redirects to Heavy water
  • 1P/Halley redirects to Comet Halley
{{R from scientific name}} Category:Redirects from scientific names
Other languages Template:R from alternate language
  • The Abduction from the Seraglio redirects to Die Entführung aus dem Serail
{{R from alternate language}} Category:Redirects from alternate languages
Accents Template:R from ASCII
  • Kurt Goedel and Kurt Godel redirect to Kurt Gödel
{{R from ASCII}} Category:Redirects from titles with ASCII
Plurals, tenses, etc. Template:R from plural
  • greenhouse gases redirects to greenhouse gas, etc.

Note that [[greenhouse gas]]es shows up as greenhouse gases, so it is not usually necessary to redirect plurals. However third-party websites started adding automatic links to Wikipedia from their topics (see, e.g., [1]). Many of them follow the opposite naming convention, i.e., topics are named in plural, and the link to Wikipedia may land into an empty page, if there is no redirect.

{{R from plural}} Category:Redirects from plurals
Related words Template:R from related word
  • Symbiont redirects to Symbiosis
{{R from related word}} Category:Redirects from related words
Sub-topics or closely related topics that should be explained within the text Template:R with possibilities
  • Distributed denial of service redirects to Denial of service
{{R with possibilities}} Category:Redirects with possibilities
Facilitate disambiguation Template:R to disambiguation page
  • America (disambiguation) redirects to America
{{R to disambiguation page}} Category:Redirects to disambiguation pages
To track statements that date quickly Template:R for as of {{R for as of}} Category:Redirects from "As of"
To redirect to decade article  

This is a redirect from a year to the decade article. Years from 1700 BC to 500 BC should redirect to the relevant decade.

Do not replace these redirected links with a link directly to the target page; individual articles may be created for these years in future.

For more information, follow the category link.

  • 1003 BC redirects to 1000s BC
{{R to decade}} Category:Redirects to decade
To redirect from a shortcut Template:R from shortcut {{R from shortcut}} Category:Redirects from shortcut
Oldstyle CamelCase links Template:R from CamelCase
  • DemocracY redirects to Democracy
{{R from CamelCase}} Category:Redirects from CamelCase
links autogenerated from EXIF information Template:R from EXIF
  • Adobe Photoshop CS Windows redirects to Adobe Photoshop
{{R from EXIF}} Category:Redirects from EXIF information
From school microstub to merge location Template:R from school
  • Culler Middle School redirects to Lincoln Public Schools
{{R from school}} Category: Redirects from school articles
  • Avoiding broken links (see below)
  • Minor but notable topics

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. For example, denial of service has a section on distributed denial of service. Sub-topics should be boldfaced on their first appearance in the section, to indicate that they are in fact alternate titles or sub-titles.

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

Some editors prefer to avoid redirects and link directly to the target article, as it is reported that redirects lower search engine rankings.

See also: Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages which contains a somewhat longer list of available redirect templates

Renamings and merges

We try to avoid broken links, because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of Wikipedia, 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.

On a small scale, this applies to cases where we had duplicate articles on some subject, or lots of twisty little stubs on different aspects of the same overall subject. On a larger scale, we've had a few fairly major reorganizations:

  • Moving away from CamelCase article names
  • Moving away from having homepages in the article namespace (see User:Tim Starling/Redirects from : to User: for a partial list)
  • Moving away from using subpages in the article namespace

When should we delete a redirect?

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, list it on redirects for 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, or change where it points: see How do I change a redirect? for instructions on how to do this. If you want to swap a redirect and an article, but are not able to move the article to the location of the redirect please use Wikipedia:Requested moves to request help from an admin in doing that.


What needs to be done on pages that are targets of redirects?

We follow the "principle of least astonishment" — after following a redirect, the reader's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

Normally, we try to make sure that all "inbound redirects" are mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs of the article. For example:

  • Longships were boats used by the Vikings...
    • longship, redirect from viking ship
  • Edvard Munch (18631944) was ... The broadest collection of his works is at on display at the Munch Museum at...
    • Edvard Munch, redirect from Munch Museum

Don't cause a secondary redirect. They don't work like a primary redirect; same with tertiary redirects.

Self-links, duplicate links

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links"). Also, avoid having two links that go to the same place. These can confuse readers, and cause them to unnecessarily load the same page twice.

Don't fix redirects that aren't broken

Some editors are tempted, upon finding links using a legitimate redirect target, to edit the page to "fix" the redirect so that it points "straight" at the "correct" page. Unless the link displays incorrectly—for instance, if the link is to a misspelling or if the hint that appears when you hover over the link is misleading—there is no need to edit the link. Most especially, there should never be a need to replace [[redirect]] with [[direct|redirect]].

Some editors are under the mistaken impression that fixing such links improves the capacity of the Wikipedia servers. But because editing a page is thousands of times more expensive for the servers than following a redirect, the opposite is actually true.


This page has been adapted from

From HowTo Wiki, a Wikia wiki.