What you need to know about WordPress Permalink

What you need to know about WordPress Permalink

WordPress uses web Permalinks which have day and name in them; however, however WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalink and archives.

Permalink is the permanent URL to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives.

A permalink is the web address used to link to your content. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence the name permalink.

Permalinks are useful to your readers because they guide them to the exact article that they are looking for, allowing them to bookmark or repost the article elsewhere and even share it!

It basically freezes the article so that even if your blog has posted thousands of other articles, a reader can always refer back to that permalink.

Permalinks are not only useful for your readers, but they are also important for building the structure of your website and improving your SEO (search engine optimization).

Using structured and well thought out permalinks can make the difference between your article staying relevant and ranking high on Google or getting lost in the thousands of posts out there.

Having emphasized on the importance of the nature of your Permalink, it is important to note that they should be easy to remember, unique, written in lower case and without stop-words like “your”, “the” and so on.

The Settings Permalinks Screen allows you to choose your default permalink structure. You can choose from common settings or create custom URL structures. You must click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen after this process for new settings to take effect.

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Common settings found on the Permalink setting page

  • Default– An example of the default structure is

http://www.sample.com/?p=123

  • Day and name– An example of the day and name based structure is

http://www.sample.com/2008/03/31/sample-post/

  • Month and name– An example of the month and name based structure is

http://www.sample.com/2008/03/sample-post/

  • Numeric– An example of the numeric structure is

http://www.sample.com/archives/123

  • Post name– An example of the post name structure is

http://www.sample.com/sample-post

  • Custom structure– In the box specify the custom structure you desire to use. One example is

/archives/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/.

You may also enter custom bases for your category and tag URLs here. For example, using /topics/ as your category base would make your category links like

http://example.org/topics/uncategorized/.

If you leave these blank the defaults will be used.

Choosing your permalink structure

In the Settings → Permalinks screen, you can choose one of the more common permalink structures or enter your own in the “Custom structure” field using the structure tags.

Please note: You do not put your site url in the permalinks fields. You only use one of the structure tags, or a combination of tags.

To activate PATHINFO permalinks, start your permalink structure with index.php/.

Structure Tags

You can use these tags to customize your “Pretty” or “Almost Pretty” permalinks. A few hints:

  • You do not put your site url in the permalinks fields. You only use one of the structure tags, or a combination of tags.
  • Make sure to end your structure with either%post_id% or %postname%(e.g. /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/) so that each permalink points to an individual post.

 %year%

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The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004

 %monthnum%

Month of the year, for example 05

 %day%

Day of the month, for example 28

 %hour%

Hour of the day, for example 15

 %minute%

Minute of the hour, for example 43

 %second%

Second of the minute, for example 33

 %post_id%

The unique ID # of the post, for example 423

 %postname%

A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomes this-is-a-great-post in the URI.

 %category%

A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.

 %author%

A sanitized version of the author name.

Category base and Tag base

The Category base and Tag base are prefixes used in URLs for category and tag archives, which look like this:

example.net/wp/category_base/category_name

The default values for these are category and tag. You can change them, but you can’t remove them from the URLs altogether.

Custom permalinks work on most systems without any problems, but there are still some conditions where problems occur.

In conclusion, WordPress offers different options for your permalink format, but its default setting is the Plain option.

This option uses the query string which is basically just ‘?p=1234’ where p is for page followed by the id numbers of the article.

Although Google can index URLs with the query string, it is not as user-friendly and will also perform extremely poorly in search engines.

Numeric is similar to the plain setting and very few bloggers use this option.

Post Name is the most popular among bloggers as it is clean, simple, easy to remember and more likely to do well in SEO. However, if you’re posting several articles about the same topic, it may be more difficult to come up with a unique post slug.

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Post slug = the last part of the permalink

Using your article name in your permalink also prevents it from becoming a ‘dead link,’ where an article becomes irrelevant in the thousands of other posts. It also allows you to update the article at any time.

Example:​

https://sample.com/11/24/2016/how-to-start-a-food-blog/

VS

https://sample.com/blogging/how-to-start-a-food-blog

Day and Name is commonly used by news publications, as the date is as relevant as the article name. However, as a blogger it will hinder you from being able to update your article at a later date and it’ll make your content feel outdated, even if it’s evergreen.

On the other hand, Month and Name is more commonly used for blogs that do not post articles frequently.

In all, just ensure you optimize your Permalink as it is as important as SEO in driving traffic to your blog. We know it can be technical and draining but it is all worth it!

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