1. PrettyWP
  2. PrettyWP Guides
  3. WordPress for Beginners
  4. What you need to know about Permalinks

What you need to know about Permalinks

Permalinks are the permanent URLs that point to your individual posts, pages, and other types of content on your WordPress website. They are crucial in search engine optimization (SEO), user experience, and link structure. Understanding permalinks is important for creating user-friendly and SEO-friendly URLs for your website.

Here's what you need to know about permalinks:

  1. Default Permalink Structure: WordPress uses a plain and non-descriptive permalink structure, such as "https://yourdomain.com/?p=123." While functional, this structure is not ideal for SEO or human readability.

  2. Custom Permalink Structure: WordPress allows you to define a custom permalink structure that is more descriptive and meaningful. You can access the permalink settings in the WordPress dashboard by navigating to 'Settings' > 'Permalinks.'

  3. Common Permalink Formats: WordPress provides several common permalink formats that you can choose from:

    • Plain: This is the default format with non-descriptive URLs that use query parameters.
    • Day and Name: Includes the date and post name in the URL.
    • Month and Name: Similar to the "Day and Name" format but excludes the day.
    • Numeric: Uses post IDs in the URL.
    • Post Name: Uses only the post name in the URL, making it the most concise and SEO-friendly option.

  4. SEO Considerations: Choosing a permalink structure with relevant keywords and the post/page title can improve your website's search engine visibility. The "Post Name" format is generally recommended for SEO as it provides a clean and keyword-rich URL.

  5. Permalink Customization: WordPress also allows you to customize the structure of individual posts and page URLs. You can edit the permalink directly below the title field when creating or editing a post or page. It's good practice to keep permalinks concise, using hyphens to separate words.

  6. Permalink Updates: Once you have published a post or page with a specific permalink structure, it's important to avoid changing it unless necessary. Changing permalinks can break existing links and result in 404 errors. If you must update a permalink, set up redirects to ensure visitors and search engines are directed to the correct URL.

  7. Plugin Support: Some plugins, such as SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack, offer advanced permalink customization options. These plugins provide additional features like including category names or custom taxonomies in the URL structure.

  8. Permalink Best Practices: Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

    • Use descriptive and keyword-rich URLs.
    • Keep permalinks concise and easy to read.
    • Avoid using stop words like "and," "the," or "of" in permalinks.
    • Use hyphens ("-") to separate words in permalinks.
    • Update permalinks when necessary, but be cautious to avoid breaking existing links.

Understanding permalinks and customizing them according to best practices helps create user-friendly and SEO-friendly URLs for your WordPress website. By optimizing your permalink structure, you can improve the readability, clickability, and search engine visibility of your content.

Previous WordPress Settings: Guide to Customizing Your Website
Next An Introduction to the wp-config.php File