Help:Setting up client-side redirects

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It is possible to set up MediaWiki to force client-side redirects (using HTTP 302, "temporary redirect"). Doing this means redirects will be handled by the client's browser instead of by the server. Two methods exist to do this.

Method 1[edit]

for MediaWiki 1.9.0)

This piece of code forces all redirects to be done by the client, by issuing them a 302 Temporary Redirect to the new pages specific location.
A lot of search engines decrease your pages rank if they discover duplicated content. The traditional Redirect method allows a huge amount of duplication, and doesn't redirect as nicely. This also allows you to use images for navigation. Additionally it can be a limitation/annoying to not see the full redirected pages location in the address bar, and having the annoying "Redirected from" link.
Warning: This hack will increase your servers network load somewhat, for 99% of MediaWiki servers this will be negligible, but I wouldn't see Wikipedia doing this mod any time soon!
Open "includes\Article.php" and edit the function "followRedirect()"
Change line 94 (approximately) from "return $rt;" to "return $rt->getFullURL();"
The whole function should now look like this:
	 * @return mixed false, Title of in-wiki target, or string with URL
	function followRedirect() {
		$text = $this->getContent();
		$rt = Title::newFromRedirect( $text );
		# process if title object is valid and not special:userlogout
		if( $rt ) {
			if( $rt->getInterwiki() != '' ) {
				if( $rt->isLocal() ) {
					// Offsite wikis need an HTTP redirect.
					// This can be hard to reverse and may produce loops,
					// so they may be disabled in the site configuration.
					$source = $this->mTitle->getFullURL( 'redirect=no' );
					return $rt->getFullURL( 'rdfrom=' . urlencode( $source ) );
			} else {
				if( $rt->getNamespace() == NS_SPECIAL ) {
					// Gotta handle redirects to special pages differently:
					// Fill the HTTP response "Location" header and ignore
					// the rest of the page we're on.
					// This can be hard to reverse, so they may be disabled.
					if( $rt->isSpecial( 'Userlogout' ) ) {
						// rolleyes
					} else {
						return $rt->getFullURL();
				return $rt->getFullURL();
		// No or invalid redirect
		return false;

Method 2[edit]

Since modifying MediaWiki's functions like done in the method mentioned above could break some extensions using them like Polyglot, you should better use the following little extension:

	$wgHooks['InitializeArticleMaybeRedirect'][] = 'redirectHook';
	function redirectHook($title, $request, &$ignoreRedirect, &$target, &$article)
		if (!$ignoreRedirect && $article->isRedirect()) {
			if (($target = $article->followRedirect()) instanceof Title) {
				$target = $target->getFullURL();
		return true;

It works for all Version since 1.14.0. The Hook InitializeArticleMaybeRedirect was actually introduced in 1.13.0, but the $article parameter used was missing back then. If you're using a version prior to 1.14.0, you could insert the function body directly at the position in includes/Wiki.php, where the hook was placed later, but you really need to know what you're doing then.