Redirect your visitors to
- a random post
- your last (latest) post
- your first (oldest) post
- the previous or next post
- or a combination of conditions, for example a random post among your last 10 posts, or the latest post from at least 3 months ago, or the latest post of a specific author.
A magic URL takes you to the right post
This plugin provides a URL (link) that takes you directly to a post in single-post view. This post is determined by the query parameter ?redirect_to= and optional others.
While the URL remains the same, its target changes depending on the available posts at the time when somebody enters it. That means you can use the same static URL in a menu, with a button or in a newsletter and the plugin finds out the correct target.
Simply enter the URL of your WordPress site into your browser and add ?redirect_to=… to the end.
Possible values for redirect_to are:
- last or latest – The URL will redirect to the last (latest) post.
- first or oldest – The URL will redirect to the first (oldest) post.
- random – The URL will redirect to a random post.
- prev or previous – The URL will redirect to the previous post (by date).
- next – The URL will redirect to the next post (by date).
- custom – The post will be determined according to the mandatory parameter orderby and the optional parameter order.
You can also limit the scope of considered posts by additional filter parameters, such as &s=searchaword or &cat=2, or use an offset to go to the second latest or to the post before the previous. The parameter random combined with count and bias lets you pick the latest (or oldest) posts with a different probability than the rest.
The plugin offers caching of database results.
Settings and Parameters
There is no settings page in the backend. You configure the plugin entirely through the query parameters in the URL.
Please find more information about parameters and troubleshooting on the plugin website.
Examples for URLs
Note: Replace “http://www.example.com/” with your own website location. Spaces are written as “%20”.
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=latest – redirects to the latest post
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&pk_campaign=random – redirects to a random post and tracks the visit
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=prev – redirects to the previous post
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&each_once=rewind – redirects to a random post, avoiding duplicates, and then starts over again
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=prev&offset=1 – redirects to the post before the previous post
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&count=10 – redirects to a random post among the 10 latest posts
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&count=10&bias=80 – redirects to a random post. The plugin picks one from the latest 10 with a probability of 80% and from the rest with a probability of 20%
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&count=10&offset=1 – redirects to a random post among the 10 posts that come after the latest
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=random&after=1%20month%20ago – redirects to a random post among the posts that are not older than 1 month
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=latest&exclude=4,7 – redirects to the latest post, excluding the posts with the IDs 4 and 7
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=latest&offset=1 – redirects to the second latest post
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=custom&orderby=comment_count&order=DESC – redirects to the post with the most comments
http://www.example.com/?redirect_to=latest&s=iaido&default_redirect_to=12&cache=200 – redirects to the latest post that contains the word ‘iaido’ or, if nothing can be found, to the page or post with the ID 12; use a cache with a 200 second lifetime
The plugin also provides a shortcode [redirect_to_post_button] to create a simple button. Some parameters are available.
A button that links to a random post is a great way to increase your visitors’ on-site engagement and therefore your SEO ranking!
(video by WPBeginner)
If you find this plugin useful, please give it a 5-star rating. Thank you!
Check out my other plugins
- Find the plugin in the list at the admin backend and click to install it. Or, upload the ZIP file through the admin backend. Or, upload the unzipped redirect-url-to-post folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
- Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
After the first activation you will find a screen with some examples of URLs for your blog.
1. How to find out the cause if something doesn’t work?
The first thing you should try is to add
&rutpdebug=2for advanced users) to the URL. This will show you more details about what is happening in the background. At the end you will see the URL of the resulting post without actually going there.
2. What if more than one post match the criteria (e.g. two have the same comment_count)?
There can be only one winner. The post that would be first in the list (as determined by WP) beats all others.
3. The random parameter redirects always to the same post
You probably use a caching plugin or service that also caches query strings. Try adding an exception for the string “redirect_to=”. If you use Cloudflare, you can try their Page Rules.
4. Which URL can serve as the base?
Obviously only URLs of the WordPress blog where this plugin is installed.
5. The post cannot be found but I’m sure that it’s there and that it’s public
The most common reason is that this post belongs to a special post type. Try the parameter “post_type”, for example “post_type=product”.
6. Can I help translate?
Thank you! Please continue here.
Contributors & Developers
“Random Post Plugin – Redirect URL to Post” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.Contributors
“Random Post Plugin – Redirect URL to Post” has been translated into 2 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.
Interested in development?
- Option to delete the cache (for a particular set of parameters) with
cache=-1(here too, the constant
- Added the actual database request to the debugging output
- Paramter post_type can also be a comma-separated list.
- New parameters: author__in, author__not_in, category__and, category__in, category__not_in, post__in, post__not_in, post_name__in, post_parent, post_parent__in, post_parent__not_in, tag__and, tag__in, tag__not_in, tag_slug__and, tag_slug__in. More information. Wherever WordPress requires an array, you submit the elements as comma-separated list:
- Added more debug messages for
- Define own URL parameters that will be passed through by adding to your wp-config.php
define( 'CHATTY_MANGO_RUTP_PASS_THROUGH', 'own1,own2' );(comma-separated list) to allow …&own1=foo&own2=bar
- Reduced memory usage when not required to retrieve post objects from database
- Fixing parameter ignore_sticky_posts
- Fixing bug introduced in last version (random with bias not working)
- New parameter
lockto redirect a visitor always to the same post for a specified time. Use it with a time in seconds:
...&lock=86400. Particularly useful with random redirects. This works only in the same browser and if the visitor accepts and keeps cookies.
- Cookies (for
lock) have now by default a domain-wide validity. Switch to separate cookies per directory with the parameter
- Please help translate!
- New parameter
includeto use a comma-separated list of post (page, product, …) IDs.
- New parameters
custom_taxonomy_termto filter by custom taxonomies, such as product_tag or product_cat: … &custom_taxonomy_slug=product_cat&custom_taxonomy_field=slug&custom_taxonomy_term=shelf-warmers
The complete changelog is available here.