As Amelia and I were finishing up the manuscript for Write Your Book, I decided to include an Amazon affiliate link in the Kindle edition and to suggest that readers share that link with other writers and share that Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) will earn a commission on the sales that result from that link being shared. I also decided to include a link to the book’s review page on Amazon to make it easy for readers to rate and review it.

When I obtained the target URLs I realized that they were long, unwieldy, and ugly. Here they are:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1490828362?ie=UTF8&creativeASIN=1490828362&linkCode=xm2&tag=bibliographywrite-20

http://www.amazon.com/review/create-review/ref=cm_cr_dp_no_rvw_e?ie=UTF8&asin=B00K769K2G&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text

Rather than creating a hurdle to having those links used and shared, I decided to determine a couple of user-friendly URLs based on my site’s domain and then redirect those URLs to the target URLs using the appropriate procedure for a self-hosted WordPress blog. Here are the user-friendly URLs:

How to Buy Write Your Book

Please Review Write Your Book

Redirecting from user-friendly URLs to target URLs is similar to setting up short URLs using bit.ly or another provider, but by using my domain I hope to maintain a higher level of professionalism and make more people aware of this blog.

That said, the title of this post is “How to Redirect Users to a Different URL” so let’s get it done! I recommend printing this blog post so you can see what needs to be done without clicking back and forth between screens and can cross through the words in each step as you complete them.

__ determine the short, unique URL you want to redirect from by choosing a word or two to use as the path (the part of the URL to the right of .com/) that you have not used before and will not use in the future (see my examples above)

__ add that URL to the notes on a monthly “confirm redirect URLs working” appointment on your calendar so you will try to visit it each month to confirm that doing so redirects users to the correct target URL and that the target URL still takes users to the desired page (if it ever does not then find the new target URL, copy it, and go to the Redirects section of the cPanel on your hosting service to edit your redirect instructions)

__ visit the web page that you want to redirect to, select the URL, and copy it into memory

__ log in on your hosting service (I use Webhostingpad–affiliate link)

__ navigate to your control panel (I rest my cursor on Services, click My Services > View Details > Login to cPanel)

__ scroll down to the Domains section and click Redirects

screen capture of Redirects page of cPanel

__ in the Type dropdown select either Permanent or Temporary

__ in the Domains dropdown select the domain you want to redirect from

__ to the right of the Domains dropdown enter the word or two you chose for the path (no spaces)

__ in the Redirects To box paste the URL that you want the user to be redirected to

__ in the www. Redirection section click to select the option that applies (I usually click “Redirect with or without www”)

__ click Add > Go Back

__ click the Home icon in the upper left corner then scroll down and click File Manager in the Files section

__ click Document Root for: to select it and choose your domain from the drop-down

__ click Show Hidden Files to select it and click Go

__ right-click on the .htaccess file and select Edit

__ click Edit on the text editor encoding dialog box pop-up

__ select from “# BEGIN WordPress” through “# END WordPress”

screen capture of htaccess editing

__ cut selected text and paste it at the bottom (below the Rewrite rules)–my thanks to David Tierney for this procedure

__ click Save Changes > Close

__ close File Manager, cPanel, and hosting provider tabs

__ try to visit the URL that you want to redirect from and confirm that you are redirected to the target URL where you want users to end up

Congratulations on redirecting users to a different URL!

Now you can share the user-friendly URL and whenever somebody tries to visit it they will be redirected to the target URL. In addition to sharing the redirecting URLs that I set up in the Kindle version of Write Your Book, I also share them on the page for Write Your Book on this blog.

Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.