After a hard evenings work, I have a much better redirection method to replace the one I described in this post. Previously, I was simply guessing which post a searcher was looking for and displayed a link to that post.
That was all fine and dandy, but I have pretty good search ranking for various keywords. I’d like to keep it that way. After digging around a bit I came across the best method to keep my search rankings in place and manage to redirect the searcher to the desired post. Enter the 301 Permanent Redirect.
I found a nice simple PHP function to do redirection on any number of levels. This function has the ability to send specific HTTP/1.1 status codes based on the type of redirection desired. Since my old permalinks will never be valid again, I chose the 301 Permanent Redirect. A note, the function listed at the URL linked above doesn’t work as-is, you need to modify it. The modified function is below, plus some extra code. All of that code is in my themes header.php file.
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