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Template:Wikipedia subcat guideline

For general info on creating redirects see Help:Redirect.

How to make a redirect

To redirect a page (1) to a different page (2), enter the following on the top of page 1. Please note that although the redirect command itself is not case sensitive, some anti vandalism bots will automatically revert you unless it is all capital letters.


For example, to redirect the Cambridge University page to the University of Cambridge page, edit the Cambridge University page and enter:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]]

Don't make Double_redirects; they don't work, create slow, unpleasant experiences for the reader, waste server resources, and make the navigational structure of the site confusing.

Double redirects are usually created after a move when old redirects are left unchanged and pointing towards an old name.

Another type of undesirable redirect is a self-redirect: an article that redirects to itself through a redirect.

Please note that you can redirect only to articles, not sections in them; although the syntax allows them, they don't work:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge#History]]

Everything after the redirect line will be blanked when you save the page. Any text on the same line as the redirect will stay, but will not be visible unless someone edits the page.

To go back and edit your redirect after it's working, add &redirect=no to the end of the URL for your redirect:

To add a reason, select one of the tags from the Tag column below and add it one space after and on the same line as #REDIRECT [[Wherever]]. For example, on the redirect page University of cambridge,

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]] {{R from other capitalisation}} 

That will also add the redirect to the category listed in the Category column below.

More examples are included below:

What do we use redirects for?

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown Tag Category to find articles so tagged
Abbreviations Template:R from abbreviation {{R from abbreviation}} Category:Redirects from abbreviation
Misspellings Template:R from misspelling {{R from misspelling}} Category:Redirects from misspellings
Other spellings, other punctuation Template:R from alternate spelling {{R from alternate spelling}} Category:Redirects from alternate spellings
Other capitalisations, to ensure that "Go" to a mixed-capitalisation article title is case-insensitive Template:R from other capitalisation

Adding a redirect for mixed-capitalisation article titles (e.g., Isle of Wight) allows "Go" to these articles to be case-insensitive. For example, without the redirect Isle of wight a "Go" for "Isle Of wight" or any capitalisation other than exactly 'Isle of Wight' would not find the article Isle of Wight.

Why: Articles whose titles contain mixed-capitalisation words (not all initial caps, or not all lower case except the first word) are found via "Go" only by an exact case match. (Articles, including redirects, whose titles are either all initial caps or only first word capitalised are found via "Go" using a case-insensitive match.)

Note: "Go" related redirects are needed only if the article title has more than two words and words following the first have different capitalisations. They are not needed, for example, for proper names which are all initial caps.


  • Natural Selection redirects to Natural selection
  • Redirect Vice chancellor of austria to Vice Chancellor of Austria is needed because the Go search is case-sensitive for mixed-caps titles. Adding this redirect allows the article to be found when a user enters "vice chancellor of austria" or "vice chancellor of Austria" as a Go search.
  • No redirect to Francis Ford Coppola is needed because the "Go" command is case-insensitive for an article whose title is all initial caps. Any capitalisation (e.g. "francis fOrD CoPPola") entered as a "Go" will find the article.
{{R from other capitalisation}} Category:Redirects from other capitalisations
Other names, pseudonyms, nicknames, and synonyms Template:R from alternate name {{R from alternate name}} Category:Redirects from alternate names
Scientific names Template:R from scientific name {{R from scientific name}} Category:Redirects from scientific names
Scientific names Template:R to scientific name {{R to scientific name}} Category:Redirects to scientific names
Other languages Template:R from alternate language {{R from alternate language}} Category:Redirects from alternate languages
Accents Template:R from ASCII {{R from ASCII}} Category:Redirects from titles with ASCII
Plurals, tenses, etc Template:R from plural

Note that [[greenhouse gas]]es shows up as greenhouse gases, so it is not usually necessary to redirect plurals. However third-party websites started adding automatic links to wikipedia from their topics (see, e.g., [1]). Many of them follow the opposite naming convention, i.e., topics are named in plural, and the link to wikipedia may land into an empty page, if there is no redirect.

{{R from plural}} Category:Redirects from plurals
Related words Template:R from related word {{R from related word}} Category:Redirects from related words
Sub-topics or closely related topics that should be explained within the text Template:R with possibilities {{R with possibilities}} Category:Redirects with possibilities
Facilitate disambiguation Template:R to disambiguation page {{R to disambiguation page}} Category:Redirects to disambiguation pages
To track statements that date quickly Template:R for as of {{R for as of}} Category:Redirects from "As of"
To redirect to decade article Template:R to decade {{R to decade}} Category:Redirects to decade
To redirect from a shortcut Template:R from shortcut {{R from shortcut}} Category:Redirects from shortcut
Oldstyle CamelCase links Template:R from CamelCase {{R from CamelCase}} Category:Redirects from CamelCase
links autogenerated from EXIF information Template:R from EXIF {{R from EXIF}} Category:Redirects from EXIF information
From school microstub to merge location Template:R from school {{R from school}} Category: Redirects from school articles
  • Avoiding broken links (see below)
  • Minor but notable topics

Sub-topic redirects are often temporary, eventually being replaced by fully fledged articles on the sub-topic in question. Be conservative when creating sub-topic redirects — they can sometimes be counter-productive, because they disguise the absence of a proper article from editors. Sub-topic redirects should only be used where the main article has a section on the sub-topic. For example, denial of service has a section on distributed denial of service. Sub-topics should be boldfaced on their first appearance in the section, to indicate that they are in fact alternate titles or sub-titles.

In accordance with wikipedia:naming conventions (precision) it's best to have an article at a well-defined, unambiguous term, with redirects from looser colloquial terms, rather than vice versa.

Some editors prefer to avoid redirects and link directly to the target article, as it is reported that redirects lower search engine rankings.

See also: Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages which contains a somewhat longer list of available redirect templates

Renamings and merges

We try to avoid broken links, because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of Wikipedia, or we merge two duplicate articles, we always leave redirects in the old location to point to the new location. Search engines and visitors will probably have linked to that page at that url. If the page is deleted, potential new visitors from search engines will be greeted with an edit window. The same is true for anyone who previously bookmarked that page, and so on.

On a small scale, this applies to cases where we had duplicate articles on some subject, or lots of twisty little stubs on different aspects of the same overall subject. On a larger scale, we've had a few fairly major reorganisations:

When should we delete a redirect?

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, list it on redirects for deletion. See deletion policy for details on how to nominate pages for deletion.

This isn't necessary if you just want to replace a redirect with an article, or change where it points: see How do I change a redirect? for instructions on how to do this. If you want to swap a redirect and an article, but are not able to move the article to the location of the redirect please use Wikipedia:Requested moves to request help from an admin in doing that.


What needs to be done on pages that are targets of redirects?

We follow the "principle of least astonishment" — after following a redirect, the readers's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

Normally, we try to make sure that all "inbound redirects" are mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs of the article. For example:

Don't cause a secondary redirect. They don't work like a primary redirect; same with tertiary redirects.

Self-links, duplicate links

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links"). Also, avoid having two links that go to the same place. These can confuse readers, and cause them to unnecessarily load the same page twice.

Don't fix links to redirects that aren't broken

Some editors are tempted, upon finding links using a legitimate redirect target, to edit the page to "fix" the link so that it points "straight" at the "correct" page. Unless the link displays incorrectly—for instance, if the link is to a misspelling or other unprintworthy redirect, or if the hint that appears when you hover over the link is misleading—there is no need to edit the link. Most especially, there should never be a need to replace [[redirect]] with [[direct|redirect]].

Some editors are under the mistaken impression that fixing such links improves the capacity of the Wikipedia servers. But because editing a page is thousands of times more expensive for the servers than following a redirect, the opposite is actually true.

See also