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Currently I am using 301 Redirects in my .htacess file to redirect old URLs to new URLs. Are there any performance benefits (i.e. site loading) o using a plugin like Redirection or should I just stick to hardcoded 301 Redirects?

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The .htaccess catches requests before WordPress is even started. That’s much faster than any plugin.
For a handful of redirects I wouldn’t install a plugin. You need that only in cases when the server cannot know the new address, for example if you rename permalinks (slugs) automatically (you shouldn’t ;)).

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