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WordPress Permalinks Simply Explained

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How to properly use WordPress Permanent Links

  1. What are permalinks
  2. Forms of WP permalinks
  3. Useful WordPress permalink plugins

What are permalinks

WordPress Permalinks

Permalink, short for “permanent link,” is a term used to describe a friendly URL intended to remain unchanged as long as the website itself lives. The usage of permanent links is widespread in the blogosphere. Permanent links in WordPress are needed, for example, to point to the same page on the blog with the constantly growing post number. When you set up your WordPress website, one of the main tasks is resolving the issue with permanent links.

The default address in WordPress looks like “”. This kind of permalink form is not user-friendly. Such an address is entirely unreadable. And worse, such an address doesn’t say anything to the search engines.

Thus it’s also not SEO-friendly.

Therefore, in the WordPress settings, there’s a special section in which you can set the form of permanent links to a human-readable.

Forms of WP permalinks

By default, WordPress offers five types of permanent links. In addition to the “Default” variant there are four more predefined types of links:

  • Day and Name”:
  • Month and Name”:
  • Post Name”:
  • Numeric”: – in this case, the id of the page is not transmitted by a parameter “?p=”, but is contained in a link. This variant is not fundamentally different from the default variant.

With each of these four kinds of permanent links, everything is clear. In addition to these four permalink types, there’s another option, “Custom”. In this case, the administrator can customize the permanent link structure using custom variables:

  • % year% - publication year
  • % monthnum% - publication month
  • % day% - publication day
  • % hour% - publication hour
  • % minute% - publication minute
  • % second% - publication second
  • % post_id% - the identifier of the post
  • % postname% - post name
  • % category% - post category
  • % author% - author’s name
  • % tag% - post tag

By using any of these variables in the custom order, you can construct a permanent link address of almost any form. If publication time is irrelevant, it’s a smart idea to use /%post_id%%postname% structure. This means that the permalink is formed by a unique number (which improves the speed of finding a post in a WordPress database) and the words from the title, which is good for SEO.

WordPress Permalinks

Useful WordPress permalink plugins

Also, there are few WordPress plugins that may help to work with permalinks:

Velvet Blues Update URLs is a WordPress plugin that can update all of your links. All you need to do is enter the old address, specify a new address and choose the type of links to update.

Advanced Permalinks carries a significant functionality with which you can make a migration from the old scheme of permanent links to a new one without losing rating in search results.

Setting up permanent links should be done at the very beginning of the website creation. Otherwise, when there will be a lot of posts, and you decide to change your site’s structure, the re-indexing of pages may fail.

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