Retour review: How does it work and is it worth the money?
Written on by Anastasiia Ivanova
We continue reviewing our favorite plugins for Craft CMS. Today we look at Retour, your assistant in getting rid of 404 Not Found errors.
At some point, we all need to restructure or rebuild a website. It’s all fun and games until links break and ranking loss occurs.
Imagine changing a letter, in the URL of a popular page. It seems trivial but actually has a lot of impact when this page gets lots of inbound traffic. As the result is now a not found until until Google re-indexes your site. It means that your business loses traffic and money. You get the point.
Retour steps in to solve this problem to intelligently redirect legacy URLs and doesn’t let you lose SEO value and customers. How does it work and is it worth its money?
If you rename an entry's slug or move an entry around in the Structure section, Retour memorizes it and enters the changes into the database. Then, when someone clicks the legacy URL, the plugin automatically creates a redirect to avoid traffic loss.
If you know in advance that you are changing the URLs, you can make the appropriate settings in the plugin dashboard. Do it for singular pages, as well as if you have hundreds of pages on a blog where a part of the link needs to be changed. For this, Retour analyzes the URL and redirects traffic to another URL. Depending on needs, the links go to the corresponding sections (e.g. to reviews, news or can be removed completely).
Retour redirects only after the web server has already thrown a 404 error, so the server doesn’t get overloaded. It then caches the successful redirect results for future requests.
Another cool feature is its statistics. Retour records every 404 that your site receives and displays everything in the dashboard, so you know how many redirects happened during a certain period of time, how many 404s were handled and missed by the plugin.
Retour costs $59 per year and then $29/year per site for updates, leaving you wondering if you even need to buy a license.
Surely you can do the same work manually and write a file by yourself. It may take a few hours. Besides, if you want to monitor your site for broken links, you will need to dive into the Google Analytics to find and fix those links. Analyzing 404s this way is tedious, to say the least. Plus, the possible financial losses if you fail to prevent traffic drops when redesigning the site.
You know your hourly rate; so is Retour worth $59?
The plugin can be installed via the Craft Plugin Store. Enjoy!