I wanted to create a new WordPress page that is actually a link to another site. The goal is to have the page show up in a list of my pages, but actually send the web user to the target URL.
For example, say I want to include a page that indicates "My Photos" but actually redirects them to Flickr.
I'm guessing one way to accomplish this is by using a custom template page with a redirect instruction in PHP, but unfortunately I am a newbie to PHP and am not familiar with the way to accomplish this...
You can accomplish this two ways, both of which need to be done through editing your template files.
The first one is just to add an html link to your navigation where ever you want it to show up.
The second (and my guess, the one you're looking for) is to create a new page template, which isn't too difficult if you have the ability to create a new .php file in your theme/template directory. Something like the below code should do:
<?php /* Template Name: Page Redirect */ header('Location: http://www.nameofnewsite.com'); exit(); ?>
Where the template name is whatever you want to set it too and the url in the header function is the new url you want to direct a user to. After you modify the above code to meet your needs, save it in a php file in your active theme folder to the template name. So, if you leave the name of your template "Page Redirect" name the php file page-redirect.php.
After that's been saved, log into your WordPress backend, and create a new page. You can add a title and content to the body if you'd like, but the important thing to note is that on the right hand side, there should be a drop down option for you to choose which page template to use, with default showing first. In that drop down list, there should be the name of the new template file to use. Select the new template, publish the page, and you should be golden.
Also, you can do this dynamically as well by using the Custom Fields section below the body editor. If you're interested, let me know and I can paste the code for that guy in a new response.
I've found that these problems are often best solved at the server layer. Do you have access to an .htaccess file where you could place a redirect rule? If so:
RedirectPermanent /path/to/page http://uri.com
This redirect will also serve a "301 Moved Permanently" response to indicate that the Flickr page (for example) is the permanent URI for the old page.
If this is not possible, you can create a custom page template for each page in question, and add the following PHP code to the top of the page template (actually, this is all you need in the template:
header('Location: http://uri.com, true, 301');