If you are moving your website from Wordpress to Squarespace and have been using the Pretty Link plugin, you don't have to lose all those lovely inbound links you've created. You can keep your Pretty Links intact by using the URL Mappings tool on Squarespace. Today's video tutorial will show you how.
What is a Pretty Link?
I recently decided to move my website from Wordpress to Squarespace. One of the plugins I loved using on Wordpress was Pretty Links. If you are an affiliate marketer, you may be familiar with this plugin.
The problem with many affiliate links is that they are long and not terribly attractive or easy to remember. By using a Pretty Link, you can cover the full url with a shorter, more memorable link, which includes your own url at the beginning.
I haven't used Pretty Links for affiliates, but have used them for my longer blog images. If I produce a longer graphic for sharing on Pinterest, I put the link to the post directly on the graphic. That way, if someone uses the image on their website but doesn't include a link back to my site, my URL is embedded into the image, following it wherever it goes.
These images have since be pinned on Pinterest and are now scattered all over the place. Which is, of course, great and what I was hoping for. But, on moving to Squarespace, I didn't want to lose all those lovely inbound links others had kindly created for me.
Making Sure Existing Links Still Work
When moving your site across to Squarespace, you'll want to make sure older inbound links to your site still work.
To do this, you have to remap your URLs. You need to:
- navigate to Settings-Website-Advanced-URL Mappings;
- type the old Pretty Link for the page or blog post;
- type an arrow symbol (made up of a dash and a right-pointed bracket);
- type the new Squarespace URL for the page or post; and
- type 301 to indicate the move is a permanent one.
Your entry would look like this:
Old Pretty Link URL + Space + Arrow + Space + New Squarespace URL + Space + 301
For example, if I want to keep my Pretty Link itsorganised.com/ps, which redirects to a Page called itsorganised.com/learn-photoshop, I would type the following:
/ps -> /learn-photoshop 301
If I want to keep my Pretty Link itsorganised.com/notsogreat, which redirects to a Blog Post called itsorganised.com/blog/blog-images-improve-less-than-perfect-photos, I would type the following:
/notsogreat -> /blog/blog-images-improve-less-than-perfect-photos 301
You will notice:
There is no need to type in the full URL, just / followed by the name of the post or page.
- The URL for a Squarespace Blog Posts includes /blog/ before the title of the post.
The video will walk you through the whole thing. And, as is often the case with these things, it's a lot easier to do than first appears. Once you've done the first few, it's easy, honestly!
I didn't have many Pretty Links to move across, so this was relatively quick to do. If you've been blogging for a while, this can be quite a task. Why not tackle it slowly, doing a few each day until you're done. You can prioritise your list by identifying the pages or posts that get the most traffic before you start.
It's worth taking the time to do, however, as you don't want to waste all the link building you've put so much work into. You also don't want to present your visitor with endless 404 pages, as it's not the best welcome or a good way to foster a long-term relationship!
Using URL Mappings as Pretty Links
If you want to create new pretty links for future pages or posts, you can simply create these directly in the URL Mappings section. For example, if I have a blog post called itsorganised.com/blog/wordpress-squarespace-url-mappings, and I want to create something shorter and more memorable for a graphic, I would go to my URL Mappings and type:
/urlmapping -> /blog/wordpress-squarespace-url-mappings 301
I would then embed itsorganised.com/urlmapping on the long blog-post graphic, and the blog post would still live at itsorganised.com/blog/wordpress-squarespace-url-mappings, When someone types itsorganised.com/urlmapping into their browser, Squarespace will kindly redirect them to the post.
If you are thinking about a move, rest assured that while the super Pretty Links plugin is no longer at your disposal, your existing Pretty Links can remain intact.
Once you've migrated across, don't forget to use URL Mappings your new Pretty Link equivalent.