All You Need To Know About Permalinks

In this basic guide, we will see how to use permalinks, understand their structure and how make changes to WordPress.

Updated on October 31, 2022
All You Need To Know About Permalinks

Permalinks are the permanent URL of a personal blog post or web page. Is that you write in the bar of a web browser if you want to visit a specific article. If the links on your website don’t work or match properly, it will lead to various problems, like links that can break and a high bounce rate. So, in this basic guide, we will see how to use permalinks, understand their structure, and make changes to WordPress.

The permalink is the full URL you see – and use – for any given post, page, or other pieces of content on your site. It’s a permanent link, hence the name permalink. A permalink could include your domain name (www.yoast.com) plus a slug, the piece of the URL that comes after the domain name. This might include a date or a category or anything you please. So, a simple permalink makes a URL easy to understand and share.

Permalinks are an important part of your site, as both search engines and visitors use these URLs to index and visit your site. The type of permalink you pick influences how these two parties see and value your site. A URL with a load of incomprehensible gibberish at the end is a lot less shareable and enticing than a short and simple SEO-friendly URL. An example permalink could be:

https://www.visualmodo.com/category/post-name

It could also be something like: https://www.visualmodo.com/10/10/2022/post-name

or

https://visualmodo.com/post-name

Custom Permalinks

Guide on How to Create Custom Permalinks in WordPress

The default WordPress permalink structure is not SEO friendly. So, use the post number from the website’s database with the URL structure:

https://visualmodo.com/?p=101

The number you see is the ID WordPress had in mind for this particular article. It’s article number 101 in the database of your site. While Google still understands the content on that page, a URL like this does nothing for your SEO. It does not describe what kind of content the page offers and is not something users are inclined to share. And did we mention that it’s not very professional looking? If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines more information about the page than an ID or parameter.

If you want a custom permalink structure in WordPress, follow the WordPress permalinks guide and understand how to make the necessary changes:

1 – Access your WordPress dashboard.
2 – Hover over Settings in the sidebar menu and click Permalinks.

WordPress dashboard permalink button
All You Need To Know About Permalink

3 – In General Settings, select Custom Structure and enable the tags tegory% and %postname%. Feel free to select other options based on your site type.

All You Need To Know About Permalink
All You Need To Know About Permalink

4 – Scroll down and click Save Changes.

Permalinks now show the post category and name instead of the file number.

Make sure you pick a permalink structure that fits your goals. It might make sense to add the article’s publication date to the URL if you have a news site. However, if you are planning to write killer cornerstone content that has to stand the test of time, using a date in the URL is not recommended, as this could make the content look ‘old.’

We recommend using a simple and clear permalink structure. For most sites, it makes sense to append the post name to the domain name. So in WordPress, that would be the /postname/ option. In some cases, a category will help create a hierarchy in the URLs. So, keep in mind that this could also result in too long URLs.

Must be SEO Plugin-Compatible

WordPress Permalinks Guide
All You Need To Know About Permalink

Yoast SEO is a must-have tool that makes SEO available to everyone. It’s an easy-to-use tool that helps you make a perfect website. For instance, if you install WordPress and don’t change the default permalink settings, Yoast SEO will urge you to change it. Yoast SEO has several other options to help clean up those permalinks, like stripping the category base (usually category).

If you’re changing a permalink or deleting a page, we prevent users from landing on a 404 error page. Yoast SEO Premium has a brilliant redirects manager that helps you do that. It will create a 301 redirect automatically if you change the permalink of a page. In addition, it asks if you’d like to make a 301 redirect if you delete a page. Just enter the URL you want your visitors to visit, and you’re done!

Conclusion

Permalinks are important for building a solid website structure and improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And also, a naturally flowing page hierarchy as part of your website architecture facilitates user navigation and search engine crawling processes.

URL is also a Google ranking factor. Structuring your permalinks increase the chances of your content ranking well in search engine results.