410 Gone WordPress Mod Tutorial

I’ve made a few changes around here which is why this notification is auto-generated. Doc’s political archives have been moved to this subdomain, which is a more suitable place for them. Some other old stuff was removed as well. This created a HUGE SEO problem as there were thousands of URLs that were displaying the standard HTTP 404 page not found status code. This is a big SEO no-no as search engines will crawl those not found URLs (dead links) practically forever checking if they are back available.

To alleviate this SEO debacle on docsplace.org I spent this morning searching for how to convert those 404s to the more appropriate 410 Gone HTTP status code. 410 tells search engine crawlers that the URL is removed and is not coming back, so missing URLs will be permanently removed from search indexes.

I’ve also removed the paid language translation, which also could be why this page is autogenerated. It cost only $20 per month but had very little usage. This worked by having the languages behind the WordPress root directory /de/ /fr/ etc. Since that is no longer functional, I prefer those dead links will be removed from search engines. Translation to 131 languages is still available by selecting the popup on the right bottom of any page. It’s set to auto-change language to a visitor’s web browser language settings.

This is the PHP code that is pasted into a theme’s 404.php file, just above the get header command. If anyone needs to implement this mod further info is available here at Stack Overload an excellent website for PHP tips and tricks. Have questions? Sound off below, I’ll be glad to help.

410 Gone

This is an advanced mod that should only be done by those with PHP knowledge. If this is new to you, be sure to fully back up WordPress. Optionally zipping up the files and dumping the MySQL database to a local disk. This mod will crash WordPress if not properly implemented! 😥

DocsPlace.org was registered in 1998 and is a large archive open to the public. I’m 72 years old and are a non drinker/smoker who has been around the block many times. I am self-educated in many trades, and mastering the www is my continuing adventure in cyberspace. I aim also looking for one good woman to share my golden years with, Is that you? Contact me! 😏

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