One of the best things about creating a WordPress site is cementing your online presence with a permanent URL to your site. Whether you’re a blogger or an eCommerce user, your individual posts will have their own unique URL called a permalink.
What are WordPress Permalinks?
A permalink is what people will use to link to your article or how you send a link to your WordPress site in an e-mail message. Permalinks are designed to be shared and used for years to come. With the Internet (and websites!) constantly changing, learning how to create permanent links back to your content is of the utmost importance.
Think of WordPress permalinks as your permanent “address” on the Internet. A clear and descriptive address makes it easier for users and search engines alike to find their way to your content.
WordPress Default URL Settings
As a new user, WordPress creates default URLS
These default permalink WordPress site settings are unhelpful from a user experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.
A blog post URL consisting of an article ID, for example, offers no useful information to a potential reader. WordPress users want a clear, understandable, and memorable URL. Likewise, you never want to miss an opportunity to showcase your keywords to search engines via your link structure.
Thankfully, this is easily changed in your WordPress admin panel!
How Do I Change My WordPress Permalink Settings?
Most users will want to use the “Permalinks Settings” screen (found within the WordPress Dashboard “Settings” menu) to select another option, such as post name, which will result in more readable, keyword-rich URLs. These different permalink WordPress settings make it easy to develop a unique WordPress URL structure.
Improving the Look and Layout of Your Permalinks
The default WordPress link structure is not ideal for most users. Day and name information in permalinks is unattractive and offers little in the way of actionable information for users. If you’re running a WordPress blog, for example, your permalinks should give your readers a quick understanding of your content without having to view the page.
WordPress permalinks improve the usability and overall aesthetic of your links. You can choose from different permalink structure options by selecting any of the radio buttons seen in your WordPress Settings menu. Options include:
Day and name: http://mycoolblog.com/2019/04/01/sample-post/
Month and name: http://mycoolblog.com/2019/04/sample-post/
Post name: http://mycoolblog.com/sample-post/
You may choose from any of the preset options on your WordPress Dashboard Settings menu, or you may choose to specify a custom URL structure. More advanced WordPress users can generate custom bases and tag URL addresses. Simply click an option (using the radio button) to set your permalink preferences and WordPress does the rest.
As a general rule, stick with keyword-rich and descriptive URLs that offer real value to users. For most WordPress sites, this is the “Post name” permalink option.
And, of course, there’s no need to rewrite URLs manually. WordPress handles URL structure changes automatically.
Creating Value Through WordPress Permalinks
You don’t have to be familiar with coding to create a custom structure. Instead, pick a WordPress structure that reflects your site goals. A permalink in WordPress should emphasize search engine optimization and provide value to search engines and visitors who come to your site. For example, if you’re a news site, then adding the publication date and category of an article to the URL structure would be essential to how visitors access content on your site. Permalink structures should be clear and easy. Don’t overcomplicate how people can access your site.
Again, this list isn’t all-inclusive. WordPress is a richly-featured platform that’s easy to learn, but requires time to master. Start here, but always be on the lookout for additional features, tools, tips, and tricks that’ll make your WordPress experience more efficient.