Posted on July 17, 2018
One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is how to change the permalink of a page in WordPress. So, here comes this article, which I hope might help many of you understand a bit better about your website’s URL structure.
First of all, let’s see what is an SEO-Friendly URL.
An SEO-Friendly URL contains keywords that explain what the page is about. These URLs are easy to read by both humans and search engines. For this reason, they also improve your chances to rank higher in search engines. An SEO-friendly URL, for example, is: https://pinkseo.marketing/on-page-optimisation-keywords/
A non-SEO friendly URL, instead, would be: https://pinkseo.marketing/?p=2633 As a website user, you’d feel puzzled, seeing it, wouldn’t you? This happens because this URL does not explain hat the article is about. A visitor – and a spider bot/crawler of a search engine – wouldn’t understand what the page is about, by seeing it.
Before version 4.2, WordPress users by default the non-SEO friendly URL as a permalink. Instead, the more recent releases use SEO friendly URLs by default.
What is a permalink in WordPress
The word “permalink” is short for a permanent link. Its structure determines the default structure of the URLs of your website.
How to change a permalink in WordPress
- Log into your WordPress backend
- Click on Settings
- Select Permalinks
As you can see, there is a number of choices available.
“Plain” is a non-SEO friendly URL (as explained in the example above, it does not contains keywords, easy to read by both humans and search engines). So I suggest you NOT to use it.
“Day and name” & “Month and name” are somehow SEO friendly because they have the post name in it. Yet, showing but dates, the URLs become too long. More importantly, after some time, your content will seem outdated. I only suggest this option if your site is a news publication. in this case, it improves the user experience (which can help your SEO strategy) by showing the recency of the news. Business sites that aim to write a potentially evergreen piece of content should avoid it.
The “Post name” option is the most SEO friendly because it is short and informative. I suggest you this one unless you want to spend time crafting a
- “Custom Structure“, that allows you to use available variables (shown with the %), but it might get complicated. For example, if you’re planning to have a blog which will have a great number of articles, divided into different categories, then the custom structure %category%/%post% (%marks indicate variables) might be the best option.
When and how to change the permalink of a page in WordPress
Remember: If your site has been running for more than 6 months, changing your permalink structure might create some serious issues!
Changing your permalink structure, you will lose your social media share counts and might lose your existing SEO ranking.
Ask me for assistance, if you like: I can assist you professionally with that, if you must change your permalink structure, setting up proper redirects.