A redirect is a page starting with:
where pagename is the target page.
Extra text after the #REDIRECT command and link is ignored. It is rendered only in preview and in a diff.
How it appears to the user
If the redirect target is an existing page in the same project, going to the redirect page by means of a link, the URL, or the Go button, results in the redirect target page, just like following the link. However, the browser shows the URL of the redirect page, and the target page shows a small notice below the top title to indicate you arrived here indirectly.
To get the canonical URL of the target page in your browser's address bar, click the article tab.
If the redirect target is a non-existing page in the same project, or to a page in another project, one simply arrives at the redirect page.
When a page called for inclusion is a redirect page, the redirect target is included instead, with the same parameters, without any redirect message. A double redirect does not work (see below).
As a simple way to avoid problems with infinite recursion, if the redirect target is another redirect page, the second redirect is not applied.
A redirect target cannot depend on a variable, template, or parser function. When attempting this, the restriction does not become apparent in the preview (see also the section below on the rendering of a redirect page), but only after saving.
A code like %70 in a redirect disables it, although the link works from the redirect page.
Note also that different projects have different specifications on what can be redirected. On en.wiktionary.org, the multilingual dictionary, most redirects are prohibited by policy.
Purposes of a redirect
- Allow access in the case that a pagename is provided:
- which is an alternative term for the subject
- which is a term for a subtopic (in this case one may use a redirect to a section)
- which uses alternative capitalization and hyphenation
- which uses alternative spelling
- which has a common misspelling
- Provide a way of conveniently going to a page (shortcut)
- Keep links to a page active after it has been moved (even if internal links are updated, this still applies for external links)
Creating a redirect
If you're creating a new redirect, start a new page, write #REDIRECT [[pagename]] (or #redirect [[pagename]]) at the top of the page, where pagename is the name of the target page. Here is an example. If you're replacing an existing page with a redirect, for example after merging a duplicate page, go to the page, edit it, and replace the existing text with #REDIRECT [[pagename]].
The page will not redirect if there is anything on the page before the redirect. Also, there must be no spaces between the # and the REDIRECT.
Extra text after the #REDIRECT command and link is ignored.
An edit summary is automatically provided, with the text according to MediaWiki:Autoredircomment, but only if no edit summary is supplied (as opposed to the automatic edit summary in section editing, which can be supplemented by the user).
Rendering of the redirect page
After you save the redirect page, you get sent to a page with the string "&redirect=no" in the URL. Thus the just created redirect page is shown, not the page to which it redirects.
To see your redirect working, use your address bar to delete that part of the URL. Alternatively, create a link on another page to your redirect, and then follow that link.
Changing a redirect
When changing a redirect target to a different page, or turn a redirect page into a regular page, you must go to the redirect page. To do so, click on a link to the redirect page. Then look for the link to the redirect page at the top of the page you've been redirected to; e.g.
Once you get to the redirect page, click Edit this page. You can then either change the target of the redirect or replace the redirect with a brand new page.
Another way to get to the redirect page: 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 this page as above.
Deleting a redirect
Administrators can delete redirects in the same way as any other page. There may be project-specific guidelines on when this is appropriate.