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I noticed that WordPress automatically redirects the old to the new page after I made changes to the old url.

Are these changes permanent or is it better to add a redirect in the htaccess as well?

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Well define "better" ;)

If you do the redirect in the htaccess file the advantage is that it will kick in slightly faster as PHP and WordPress is never bothered and the redirect happens right from the server. But practically on an average site this won't really make a noticeable difference.

Anyway as long as WordPress isn't changed in future (which is very unlikely to happen in this particular case) this is permanent.

So I'd say keep it simple and stick with the default WP behaviour.

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