The Case Against Joomla’s “Redirect” Extension

Almost a decade ago, we explained how Joomla’s Redirect Manager extension works. Fast forward to now (April 2023), nothing really has changed; the system still works in the same weird and inefficient way in the latest version of Joomla (4.2.9 at the time of writing this article). But not only it is weird and inefficient, it can also be harmful. How?

Well, let us explain the scenario that we just experienced with one of our new clients…

A few days ago, and on a very rainy afternoon, the phone rang… It was a new client who told us that their news website (they had a bit over 70K articles) was intermittently slow. A quick investigation revealed that many legitimate bots constantly tried to index non-existent pages. This led to the following avalanche of events:

  • The “System -> Redirect” plugin was triggered and tried to find a matching page through a bizarre heuristic.
  • If it did, then an entry linking the old (non-existent) URL to the new one was added to the database and the system redirected back to that new page.
  • If it didn’t, then the system just wasted some processing power.

As you can see, whether a match (assuming it was really a match) was found or not, there was an unnecessary overhead that increased the server load. The irony is that the client is not even interested in those redirects – the client is happy with a 404 page for those non-existent links.

So, what did we do to fix the problem?

Simple! We just disabled the “System -> Redirect” plugin and all was fine – and this is our recommendation to you, our dear reader, if you don’t care about “all of the features” of the Redirect extension, then just disable it, or, at the very least, disable the “System -> Redirect” plugin.

We hope you found this light post useful! If you’re having any issues with the performance of your Joomla website, then just contact us. We’ll be happy to help and we won’t cost you much!

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