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How to Change Permalinks in WordPress

How to Change Permalinks in WordPress

Permalinks are a term that many bloggers use on a daily basis, but many of them do not fully understand them. They are very important, and before you create a website in WordPress, you should think about the best framework for your site. But before you can customize them correctly, you know what a permalink is and how they affect a blog.

This type of URL for posts, pages, categories, tags, images and other content in your URL is unique to each website and page. They should be infinite and should never change, they are called permalinks (short for permanent link).

Imagine permalinks as a direct address to the content that is found on a site. If you can imagine a website as a city, then each content category will be in a street, when each single permalink will serve as its address with its unique number.

Why You Should Change Permalink Structure

From the moment you install WordPress, permalinks will be set and activated. Every new post you publish will receive a unique link, and everything will work without problems. So, in the beginning, thinking about changing the permalink structure is a common question among the newcomers.

Although in many cases you should follow the philosophy "do not fix it if not broken", it is not one of those moments. The default permalink structure of WordPress looks ugly and it can cause both problems for your visitors and search engines. By default, WordPress uses a simple permalink structure that looks like http://example.com/?p=123

Many bloggers use the date structure that they simply do not need. For example, sites that depend on the timestamp news site can help, but they may harm other types of websites. Just try to imagine yourself in a situation where you fall on an article that happened in the past a few years ago. Although the post is not time-sensitive, you will immediately assume that it is old and not readable, is not it?

Therefore, to help all users, and to help search engines properly index your pages, it is important to make the default permalink structure more attractive to humans and machines.

What is The Best One You Should Use?

Although there is no correct answer to this question, the Internet is full of controversy over the perfect permalink structure. We try to avoid you using the default (plain) permalink form which is only using the page id. It is considered difficult to index and it is not user friendly.

But any other permalink structure may not be suitable for your site. It all depends on what you write about. If you are interested in writing dozens of news articles every day, it is normal to include time and date in your permalinks. On the other hand, if you have some famous writers who want to differentiate you, then someone will not ask you to add author slogs to the permalink structure. So, as you can see from this example, everything depends on the blog you're creating.

However, most WordPress websites use the "post name" structure or similar custom one. Keeping the post names in Permalink, you will have the opportunity to include your keyword directly into your article address. This can help search engines better rank your article. Even the popular SEO plugin for WordPress will warn you if the alert is not in the parameters. From the user's point of view, do you think that the title of the post is better than the link ID or the date? ...

Change Permalink Structure

When you decide that when it changes the blog's permalink structure, navigate to Settings -> Permalinks.

On the Permalink Settings page, you can see six available options for changing your site URL:

  • Simple - Post ID in a user friendly format
  • Day and name - follow the name of the post / year / month format
  • Months and names - Year / month format by post name
  • Numeric - Post ID number
  • Name of the post - Sanitized name of the post
  • Custom - You can build custom formations with ten available tags

How to Change Permalinks in WordPress

To change the form, select your preferred option and save the changes. Well, this is the least true for the first five options, but the custom requires a little more action on your side.

How to Use a Custom Structure

When using a custom permalink structure, WordPress lets you use ten tags to describe your links:

  • % Year% - post year
  • % Month% - months of the year
  • % Day% - days of the month
  • % Hour% - hour hours
  • % Min% - hour minutes
  • % Second% - minute second
  • % post_id% - Unique post ID number
  • % PostName% - Sanitized version of post title (post slug field)
  • % Category% - Sanitized version of category name (category slug field)
  • % Author% - Sanitized version of author name

Feel free to use any combination of tags that you have. By default, only the name of the post is displayed in the custom permalink, so it does the same as the "post name" structure, which you can already select from the list.

For example, if you rely heavily on categories, you can change your permalink formations in both the category and the post name tag:


When creating a custom structure, do not forget to add a "/" sign after each tag.

Keep the same structure

Since permalinks affect the entire site, it should always be kept at the same time as you. Before you publish your first post, you will decide on the permalink structure but it will be the best. If you change this in the future, you may have dozens or hundreds of published posts, correction of permalink structure can cause traffic damage. Old permalinks in search engines are already indexed and users may have bookmarks on their original forms.

You still have to change the structure, do not worry. It can be done, but you will need a redirection plugin that patches the whole thing and when necessary it will point to the new link for search engines and users.

The Category and Tag Base

There is sections and tags archives page. For example, if you have a section "cake", and you want to list all the articles in that particular category, you will need to navigate to http://www.yoursite.com/category/cakes.

For example, there is a "division" base in the permalink. At the bottom of the Permalink Settings page, you can find options to change that base to the one you prefer.

How to Change Permalinks in WordPress

For example, if you create a blog dedicated to cooking, your recipes may only contain sections. So, instead of naming it "section", it would be more reasonable to change the base as "recipe". If you change the option, your new permalink will be seen here: http://www.yoursite.com/recipes/cakes

Goes for the same tag. Instead of http://www.yoursite.com/tag/chocolate, you might also want to make changes to the base, let's say, "elements" if you have content like tags. So the new permalink structure will look like this: http://www.yoursite.com/ingredients/chocolate

Last thought

Since they define the entire fabric of the blog, permalinks are an essential part of your site. Because of that, you should not ignore them. Before you start customizing the site and writing articles, you think about permalinks and customize their structure to your website's requirements. Believe us; Once you understand that the plain structure is not good enough it is now a better option than to struggle with redirects.

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