Change Permalinks in WordPress

How to Change Your Permalinks Structure¬†¬† The default permalinks structure used by WordPress does not help in on-site search engine optimization (SEO). If you blog and you use WordPress, you’ll want to give this some thought…

What is Permalink Structure?

It is the permanent link structure for your individual blog posts. The default link structure includes a question mark and the Post ID, which would look like this:

http://asksusanne.com/?p=577

By customizing your permalinks, you can make the URL or link to the same blog post look like this instead:

http://asksusanne.com/wordpress-questions

You can customize your Permalink Structure by clicking Options > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard or admin panel.

Why Does Permalink Structure Matter?

It has been said that the URL structure (whether it is a static page or a blog post) carries weight in regards to search engine ranking. You may have even heard that major search engines wont read anything after the question mark (?) in a URL, but that’s obviously not the case since we see these types of links in search results every day now.

The URL should contain relevant information about the page content, and not information that isnt useful to either humans or bots. So you want your link structure to create URLs that both define the content and include relevant keywords.

It’s a well known fact that the structure of the URL alone can increase click-through rates. Not to mention it just plain looks better and gives your site a more professional appearance.

Which Permalink Structure Should You Use?

When you go to Options > Permalinks, you will notice there are several options for setting up your Permalink Structure. The default choices are default, date and name based, numeric or custom:

default: http://asksusanne.com/?p=123
date & name: http://asksusanne.com/2007/05/24/sample-post/
numeric: http://asksusanne.com.com/archives/123

I use a custom Permalink Structure that is coded like this:

/%postname%/

What that structure does is create URLs to individual blog posts that contain the Post Name. Here is an example of a permalink created using this structure:

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This is the Permalink Structure that makes the most sense.

Unless the date is highly relevant to your blog posts, its simply unnecessary. In most cases you don’t want to ‘date’ your content, but would prefer it to be (and seem) relevant to anyone reading it at anytime.