In a previous article I wrote entitled Essentials for your WordPress blog, I briefly touched on a few of the most useful WordPress plugins that I am using currently. One of the plugins that I really felt needed more attention was the way that WordPress handles the domain name of a site.
When I established this site, I wasn’t too aware of the fact that there was a difference between http://www.ejcross.com and http://ejcross.com. Lot’s of people might be confused about this as well. So you might ask, what’s the big deal?
When search engines index your site, they look at the main page that it submitted or linked to from other sites. When they would find this site, Google for example would find http://ejcross.com as the main page. The problem this creates, and from my site statistics on how people link to me and find me through search engines, is that there are instances of http://www.ejcross.com in the results. You might not think this is a big deal, but it can be and often is for search engine optimization of a blog.
When Google and other search engines compare the results from a search to that of links on other pages and submissions to the search engine, they see two different sites! This can seriously affect and hurt your page ranking, and could possibly lead to your site being penalized as having duplicate content.
I wasn’t really aware of this until I came across this WordPress plugin that takes that worry away. Justin Shattuck has written a simple and powerful WWW Redirect WordPress plugin that will allow you to perform a 301 redirect to the style you prefer. If you want your site to show up with the WWW in it, you can specify that, or the traditional WordPress way of not having the WWW.
The great thing about this plugin is it allows for people that already have your site bookmarked, digg-ed, technoratied and stumbled to still find you without suffering the possible consequences of having duplicate content from the search engines.
You can also allow your site’s home page to show up with or without the “/index.php” at the end of the main page.
This is a really neat little plugin, so I hope you find it useful for your site’s optimization.