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Everything You Need to Know About Modifying WordPress Permalinks

Now that you have rolled the dice and built a WordPress website for your business, it would be a good idea to not glide past by certain basics. WordPress is a massively built content management system and while you don’t need to learn every bit of it (owing to its user-friendly structure), there are certain elementary attributes that you should have an hands-down expertise over. And permalink structure happens to be one such crucial attributes.

Why The Fuss Around Permalinks?

Permalink, in its bare bones, is the URL structure of the posts and pages of any website. And they serve a greater purpose than merely influencing the navigational structure. Permalinks are extremely important for ensuring the SEO enhancement of your website since the search engines use these permalinks to index your site’s posts. They identify that keywords you include in the URL in order to figure out how to use them pertaining to their context.

Those who are novices to the world of WordPress may not have heard a lot about permalinks, but once you realize their importance, you need to be absolutely sure of the fact that your website is optimized for the most search engine friendly permalink structure so that it gets indexed more appropriately. Not having the right structure has a direct impact on respective website’s ranking since it is not drawing enough visits from the search engines.

Search engine ranking is singularly the most important reason for you to go ahead and alter the permalink structure. And the fact that it requires no intricate setup, further advocates the move.

Setting Up Permalinks In WordPress

Now WordPress gives us a host of options to set up our website’s permalink structure. These are namely, Post name, Day and name, Category and name, month and name.

WordPress Permalink Settings

Day And Name

The blogs that use this format are the ones that really need to be very specific as to when they published the post. This is usually with the media websites. In this format, the day, time and year of the day of publishing is displayed in the URL. It helps when there are number of posts going live on the same day and each post has published at a different time. The same gets reflected in the URL. This is however not a widely followed format since these details – date, time and year – can be easily displayed right above the post or at the footer of the post.

Category And Name

This format proves to be SEO friendly since it tells the search engine what kind of content can be expected in the post. And same goes for the users since they know which category a particular post belongs to. While this one is elaborative in the sense that it is descriptive, it is also the cause of many URLs becoming unnecessarily long.

This is why it is advised to keep the category slugs as short as possible. But there are even greater drawbacks of this format. The biggest being that once a post is published and put into a category, you can’t switch it to some other category since the current category is included in the URL of the post. This proves to be even more problematic when you have some other website linking to this post. Besides this, the keywords that may have included in the URL are now pushed at the tail end of the URL, so you are not getting enough SEO juice out of them.

Month And Name

This one has a similar structure to the Day, Year and Name permalink structure. The benefits are just about similar and so are the cons. But since there are no days and time specified here, the URLs are relatively shorter.

Post Name

This is the structure you will find with most website permalinks. The Post Name permalink lets the webmasters enjoy the SEO benefits like nothing else does. In this method, WordPress grabs the title of posts and converts the same to URL with hyphens in places of spaces. Consequentially, this includes all the relevant keywords that you have specified in the title and also gives your users an idea looking at the URL what a post may be about (specifically at places like the listings of posts where titles are not visible).

But if you are led to believe that this is the best SEO structure for a respective post, you are a little off the mark. There is no dearth of times when we write titles with an objective to make them catchy and don’t use the keywords. In those cases, the Post Name structure doesn’t prove to be SEO-friendly.

Custom

When having the most preferred and tailored for search engines URLs is on the agenda, nothing tops custom making them. Choosing the Custom Permalinks option gives you the wherewithal to tailor the URLs as per you want. You can include any keyword you want, irrespective of the exact works in the title if the URL fits the post description. You can choose how long or short should be the URL and so on.

With so much to choose, it comes down to what you prefer. Having said that, whichever option you go with should serve your website in a way most ideal. The URL should not just be SEO friendly, but it should be comprehensible for the end-user and in total sync with the contents of the post.

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