Sometimes our online businesses need to display different types of content depending on where a visitor is.
If you have an online store, which sells to different countries; a blog that writes different articles in different languages, depending on the country; A freelancer who shows a professional service sheet depending on where they visit him from, or some other similar case, keep reading because this article interests you a lot.
What I do anticipate is that this article has a certain level of knowledge and you will have to read it more slowly than normal, because it is important to know very specific aspects to understand redirects (or Geo Redirections in this case) in WordPress.
A Geo Redirection consists of sending a visitor from a certain country (which is measured by IP) to a certain content on your website.
There are, or may be, many reasons why geo-redirects could come in handy for your project:
- You offer multiple languages on your website.
- You will be able to offer “ local content ” to your visitors (for example, if you have a blog about events, the people of “Madrid” will automatically see the events “in Madrid”).
- You can customize other types of elements such as discount coupons and very specific marketing campaigns.
- If you have an online store, you can modify the taxes on your products automatically, depending on where they visit you from.
- If there are certain legal banners (such as cookies in Europe), you can make said banner “only annoy” those who visit you from, in this example, Europe.
- Continuing with the online store, you can restrict products depending on where they visit you from.
- You can add a layer of security to your website, “kicking” out of your website any visit from countries that do not interest you.
- Other types of reasons to redirect that now do not occur to me.
Regarding the content of your website, here are some examples of redirection, configurable with the plugins that I mention below:
- Redirection based on geolocation.
- Redirection to specific pages, templates, articles.
- Filter users by type of search engine (Google, Baidú, Yandex, etc).
- Filter users who have never commented on your website.
- Filter users who have reached your website through another website (and not through a Google search).
- Filter users by their role on your website.
- Redirection of users who are online, or offline.
- Redirection depending on the device your visitors use (tablet, phone, laptop, etc).
- Redirection when your visits are Google “bots” or “crawlers” (the famous spiders that index your content).
- Redirection depending on the type of page that is visited on your website ( parent page, child page , a specific name of a page, etc).
As you can see, I had already warned you at the beginning of the article that it may be a little more difficult for you to chew than the ones I normally write.
I am now going to describe the types of destination for these redirects by geolocation, to see if little by little you will soak up everything.
Most common destination types
The destination of a redirect can have many variations. Depending on the objective you have, you can mount it as best suits you, and make your redirection strategy more or less complex.
The most common redirection “destinations” are:
- Redirection to a different language. (Although there are translation plugins, which already come with such redirection by geolocation as standard, like WPML ).
- Anti-hacker redirection to any page other than yours. (There are many hackers from eastern countries and Asia, who better have them “looking” elsewhere, when they visit your website).
- Redirection to another domain of yours . (For example if you have www.tutiendaonline.es and redirect to another page of www.youronlineshop.com destined to American public).
It is a pity that (yet) WordPress does not include by default a redirection system by geolocation, but having plugins that are very specialized in it, you will not have much trouble getting the desired redirection.
Before going on to commenting on these plugins, I would like to review the vocabulary that you have to know and take into account when using these plugins, since the vast majority are in English, and you have to be very careful with the configuration of the same ( since they could break your website ).
Vocabulary to keep in mind
As I just mentioned, I find it very important to briefly review those “words” that you can find in the plugin settings, and concepts related to geolocation, to have a certain knowledge base before using any tool.
As I warned you at the beginning, the article is still not easy, right? 🙂
This is the simplest concept. They are the redirection rules themselves. For example, sending someone visiting you from France to a page with a French flag is a redirect rule.
Within the redirection rules mentioned in the previous point, a URL would be, in the example: www.paginanuestra.com/francesa-bandera.
If you want to get technical, URL itself means “Uniform Resource Locator”.
But I’m sure that by telling you that it is a lifelong “link”, you understand.
The IP is the “DNI” of your computer. It can be your computer, or any other computer.
This IP contains information, among which is your geographical area (city, country, continent, etc).
That is why the IP is so important for geolocation, because it is one of the basic pillars of information required by the plugin you use, in order to function correctly.
A whitelist or white list is nothing more than a list of IPs that have full access to a URL (because they are trusted IPs).
It’s like a list of a VIP area in a nightclub, where a two-meter by two-meter doorman lets you pass.
As you can imagine, the blacklist or blacklist, is contrary to the whitelist. They are the IPs that are blocked from the content of your website.
In the metaphor used, in this case, the doorman would grab you by the shoulders and kick you out of the club immediately.
Although it sounds difficult, a static redirect is nothing more than a redirect that is configured with any rule, and will not be changed for a long time, or practically never.
However, dynamic redirection is a redirection rule setting that changes periodically.
The API is something very “for developers”, which means that, through it, different applications or web tools can be connected .
You are interested in knowing what it is, because if you use a plugin based on SAAS (Software as a Service), in which you have to pay a monthly fee to use it, it usually comes with an API key (API key), which you have to connect with your WordPress website where you have installed the SAAS plugin. (now it’s time to breathe after this definition).
When web content is used continuously, what the “cache” does is store that content on the server, in order to load it faster to those visitors who are watching it all the time.
You are interested in knowing what it is, because there are some geolocation redirection plugins that do not work very well if you use a Caché plugin for WordPress, such as WP-Rocket .
This word that developers like to use so much while having coffee and talking about their database work, is nothing more than the “calls” that “one content” makes to “other content”, normally stored in a database. .
For this reason, in geolocation redirection plugins, calls ( queries ) will always be made to servers, to know where they are visiting us from and to act accordingly, depending on the rules that we have previously configured.
Now we finally come to the most interesting part, which are the plugins that I have found that look very good, and with which you will be able to “play” as much as you want.
First of all, as always, comment that none of the authors of these plugins has paid me millions of euros or given me dozens of pata negra hams to talk about their work. (What else would I like to be that important!).
I have separated them into “free” and “paid”, because with the free ones, if you don’t have a very big project, you have plenty.
Of course, if your project depends to a great extent on a geolocation redirection strategy, then I highly recommend that you choose to pay for a premium plugin, since it will be much better for your website.
Since redirects by geolocation require “calls” to certain databases, it is very difficult to find a plugin that is free and that serves us 100%.
There is this one that I propose below, although I would almost recommend that you opt for the “free 14-day trials” of the paid plugins.
Still, you are free to do whatever you want! 🙂
This plugin has caught my attention because they have a fairly powerful and flexible free part.
What has caught my attention the most is its interface, quite easy and intuitive, to configure complex redirection rules.
Of course, if you use a cache plugin, they already warn you on their page that it will not work while you have it active.
As I always say, a premium plugin or service is, because it offers, in theory, some quality.
So if what you need is something very premium, and with support included, don’t think about it when using tools similar to the ones I bring you here (they don’t have to be these specifically).
This premium plugin offers you a 14-day trial. Even so, it is worth trying it, to see if it will be useful or not.
It is quite complete, and works by SAAS (there is a monthly fee).
Geo Targeting WP
Just like the plugin above, this monthly service also has a 14-day trial.
The good thing is that you can scale your needs (and the price) depending on the amount of “queries” you do.
WP GeoIP Country Redirect
This plugin is cheaper (a one-time purchase for less than $ 20) and allows you to configure certain redirection rules.
It is not even close to what the previous two offer, but it is not bad if your project is simple and you do not require something very powerful.
Test tool: Cyberprotector
But do not worry! That at least, I bring you a tool to change your IP.
So you can test the premium tools that I mention here yourself.
This tool is called Cyberprotector and in addition to being a Password Manager, its VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to visit websites “as if you were in another country”.
Thanks to this tool, nobody will be able to follow your steps on the net.
Your IP address and location are hidden so that you can browse anonymously and your fingerprint cannot be traced.
This is possible since you will not use the IP address provided by your internet provider, but one of the server’s IPs.
In this way, the moment you want to check the real operation of the redirects in another country, it will be enough to connect to a server in the same country in question, and thus you will be able to access the content to be checked.
There are other free VPN services, but these tend to have speed limits and overloaded servers, thus causing slower browsing.
However, the most important drawback of free VPNs is that, due to the abuse of these same servers, many of the websites you want to access have them blocked even though your location is correct, so you will not be able to perform the check you need and it wouldn’t do any good.
As you have already seen, this geolocation redirection is a little more complicated than normal.
Of course, once the plugins and their corresponding verification with CiberProtector are configured correctly, it works very well.
Being able to redirect your visits depending on the country from which they visit you is very useful if your business model or marketing strategy is based on that functionality.
Anyway, if you need something much more powerful, you will have no choice but to use a premium plugin (even with a monthly payment), to be able to have many more options (that is not as simple as in the video).
You decide, and surely you decide it very well.
I hope you liked this article very much, or at least that you weren’t too scared reading it, and that you practice until you master geolocation redirection.
A hug and see you in the next article!