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Creating redirects

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PathfinderWiki uses redirects to direct people from one article on the wiki to another. For example, if somebody follows a link to PFS, then they will end up at the page Pathfinder Society (second edition) instead, and the top of the page will include a notice of redirection that looks like this: (Redirected from PFS).

What do we use redirects for?

  • Abbreviations: PFS redirects to Pathfinder Society (second edition)
  • Aiding writing: Alchemy lab redirects to Laboratory
  • Alternative spellings: Armour redirects to Armor
  • Alternative names: Aiudara redirects to Elf gate
  • Alternative capitalizations: Aldori swordlords redirects to Aldori Swordlords
    • However, do not make redirects to cover potential typos.
  • Alternative punctuation: A’shadieeyah bint Khalid redirects to Ashadieeyah bint Khalid
  • Plurals, tenses, etc.: elves redirects to elf
  • Pseudonyms, nicknames: Rough Beast redirects to Rovagug
  • Synonyms: Barge redirects to Ship
  • Accents: Aldair Eamon redirects to Aldair Eámon
  • Sub-topic redirects (see below)
  • Avoiding broken links (see below under "Renaming and merging")

Sub-topic redirects point a user to a sub-section of a longer, main article, for instance, whisky points to the part of the page alcoholic beverages that discusses this particular spirit. "Whisky" has yet to have a page of its own as the information about it is relatively small but, potentially, it could have one were Paizo to publish more relevant material, and this criterion is a useful guide as to whether a sub-topic redirect should be added. Indeed, 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?

If you're creating a new redirect, start a new page and write at the very top of it:

#REDIRECT [[pagename]]

Replace pagename in this context with the name of the target page.

If you're replacing an existing page with a redirect, for example after merging a duplicate page, edit the page you want to redirect and replace the existing text with #REDIRECT [[pagename]].

Redirect button.png

Use this button above the editing area to help create a redirect page.

A redirect page still redirects visitors even if there is additional text on the page after the #REDIRECT command and link, but this text is not normally seen. However, it will not redirect if there is anything on the page before the redirect. Also, there must not be any spaces between the hash sign (#) and the word REDIRECT.

Consider copying the #REDIRECT [[pagename]] text into the edit summary so that people know that you have created a redirect.

To form a sub-topic redirect use the following amended format:

#REDIRECT [[pagename#subtopictitle]]

Where pagename is replaced with the main article's title and subtopictitle is replaced with the precise, case-sensitive heading of the targeted article section.

Using the whisky example above, then, the redirect page would look like this:

#REDIRECT [[Alcoholic beverages#Whisky / Whiskey]]

To confirm that your redirect works, try going to the redirect, for instance, by typing the redirected title into the wiki's search bar, or by following a link to the redirected title.

When creating new redirects, bear in mind that redirects also appear in search results alongside articles; too many similar redirects might clutter the results and 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, such as [[Example page|a great example]], is another way to link to a specific article while displaying a different term in the article's text.

Renaming and merging

We try to avoid broken links because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of PathfinderWiki, or we merge two duplicate articles, we often leave redirects in the old location to point to the new location. Search engines and visitors might have linked to that page at that URL, and if the page is deleted without a redirect, potential new visitors from search engines will be greeted with a confusing edit window and a page deletion message. The same is true for anyone who previously bookmarked that page, and so on.

For that reason, it is always preferable to propose a deletion or merger by adding the {{Deletion}} and {{Merge}} templates to a page and notifying an administrator, and safer to leave a redirect than to completely delete a page.

Category pages—any page that starts with Category:—are a considerable exception, and should never use redirects. Categories serve a different purpose than articles by helping to organize them into related groups and are used by tagging articles with categories, not by editing the category pages. Redirecting category pages might then lead to articles being incompletely or confusingly split across multiple categories that should be consolidated.

How do I change a redirect?

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" the redirect 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" as above.

When should we delete a redirect?

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, add the {{Deletion}} template and provide a reason why the redirect should be deleted. An administrator should then provide advice, suggest changes, or delete the article.

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 "James Jacobs is a Loser" to "James Jacobs".
  4. The redirect makes no sense, such as [[Pink elephants painting daisies]] to [[Absalom]].

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.
Information icon.jpg

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 incorrect, but because you browse PathfinderWiki in different ways.

Avoiding circular and double redirects

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links" or "circular links"). A visitor who clicks a link and is redirected to the page they're already on, without any reasoning or explanation, will be confused. To link to a section within the same page, use an anchor link (such as [[#Whisky / Whiskey]]).

Also, avoid having a redirect that points to another redirect. These are inefficient for the wiki and potentially confusing, especially if future edits result in these double redirects interacting in unexpected ways.

Categorizing redirects

While most redirects that simply point alternative names or identities to relevant articles should not be categorized, in some cases a category might help contextualize the redirect and lead researchers to useful information.

For example, the page dagger includes descriptions of several distinct types of daggers, such as the punching dagger and kerambit, that don't yet warrant their own articles. Redirects point those links to the dagger page, but because they also represent distinct types of daggers, the redirects themselves are also categorized with Category:Daggers. (These redirects are indicated on the category page by being italicized.)

Because the redirects also appear on the category page, people using the category to research daggers can more easily discover and read about other examples even though they don't have their own standalone articles.

Related topics