Best Practices

Using Permalinks in WordPress

A permalink is exactly what the portmanteau suggests – a permanent link. All WordPress content, whether it’s a post or a page, has a permalink. That lets you easily create internal links and to build a backlink portfolio for SEO. But there are a few tips for making the best use of permalinks.

WordPress General Settings for Posts

Each new post can be assigned a permalink in a few different ways. Navigate to Settings > Permalinks from the main WordPress menu. There you will see options for:

  • Plain /?p=123 (bad choice)
  • Day and name /2020/20/08/sample-post/
  • Month and name /2020/08/sample-post/
  • Numeric /archives/123 (bad choice)
  • Post name /sample-post/
  • Custom Structure

You’ll notice I’ve marked anything that uses numbers to represent your blog posts as a bad choice. The URL can be configured to contain keywords that you want to rank for. Giving up the opportunity to add keywords to your URL is a mistake. Be sure you’ve selected one that uses the post name. On my blog, I use a custom structure of /blog/%postname%/.

Edit a Permalink

In both a post and a page, the Document Settings > Permalink will allow you to edit the permalink after it’s been generated. It will default to the post or page name, forced to lowercase, and separated by dashes. For example: using-permalinks-in-wordpress. If you want to change that, you can do it from the URL Slug under Permalink Document Settings.

Just be careful that you either create a 301 permanent redirect or that you’ve set up your redirect plugin to automatically create redirects when you change a URL Slug. If it’s a brand new piece of content there’s no risk, but if it’s been indexed by Google or linked to by someone else, those links will break when the permalink changes.

Just a few easy settings, and little bit of forethought will have you with attractive, easy to read, high CTR links in Google results!