Soft redirect

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This article has been adapted from Wikipedia:Soft redirect and Help:Redirect on the English Wikipedia. The English pages have been translated in other languages. When editing or translating this page, consider referring to/ synchronizing with the current versions listed on Wiki-Data: Wikipedia:Soft redirect and Help:Redirect.

A soft redirect or interwiki redirect is a replacement of usual or "hard" redirects and is used where the linked destination is another website — including other Wikimedia projects. Soft redirects differ from ordinary redirects in that they lead to a special redirect page first, requiring the user to click through to the redirected link again as opposed to automatically taking them there.

Unlike normal redirects, a soft redirect is not a functionality of the wiki software. It is merely a page with a notification to users, that they will be taken to another website when clicking on the link being offered.

The technique is particularly likely to be used when redirecting users across different Wikimedia sister projects. Normal redirects would be undesirable in these circumstances, and hard interwiki redirects are disabled. (Reasons: they could not be easily edited without hand-crafting the correct URL, since clicking on a link to the redirect page would take you straight to the redirect's target and there would be no "Redirected from ..." message to click, in order to return to the redirect page itself; there would also be infinite loop security considerations.)

Example:

A soft redirect can be useful if one wants to link to it from its target, as an invitation to create a page, like a red link. Just as a red link looks different from an ordinary link, a link to a soft redirect can look different using the stub link feature (this can be activated by setting a "Threshold for stub link formatting" under "Advanced options" on the "Appearance" tab of the user preferences). See also Redirect and/or link to non-existing page.

Soft redirects between different languages should be avoided because they will generally be unhelpful to readers unfamiliar with the destination language.

Soft redirects are intended mostly to point to external websites, where hard redirects will not function. For internal use in general, hard redirects should be used instead.

Another situation where soft redirects are used is when the intended target is a special page, and the system automatically "softens" attempted hard redirects to special pages. For example, en:Wikipedia:List of tags redirects to en:Special:Tags.

Category soft redirects[edit]

In some projects such as English Wikipedia, a notion similar to the original interwiki soft redirect is applied to categories, and they are also called "soft redirects." See for example w:en:Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion#Redirecting_categories.

Templates[edit]