Changing Permalinks in WordPress: Customizing Your Permalinks

changing wordpress permalinks

Changing permalinks in WordPress allow you to make your blog’s URLs (webpage addresses) to have a more human readable layout, which is helpful to your visitors, but it also helps with search engine rankings.

This is one of the things you should do, ideally before you start writing posts, as part of the process of setting up your blog.

Changing Permalinks in WordPress: The Permalink Process

The process of converting the post name, the category, or author’s name involves changing the text into a more web friendly version.

So the blog post title – ‘What is a blog?’ is converted as follows:

  • Original text:  What is a blog?
  • All text is turned into lower case:  what is a blog?
  • All spaces between words are converted into dashes: what-is-a-blog?
  • Everything that is not a number or character is removed : what-is-a-blog

So in the standard WordPress installation my article ‘What is a blog?’ will have the following URL:   blogbasics.com/?p=13

Using Permalinks I can change the URL of the post to just the the post name

blogbasics.com/what-is-a-blog

WARNING: Changing permalinks in WordPress means that the post appears to be in a different place on the web and so external links to the page will not work unless you redirect them back to the original URL. That’s why it’s best to make this change when you initially setup your blog, otherwise you can use a redirection plugin to help you fix any issues that this change causes.

Accessing the WordPress Permalinks Settings Screen

1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard

2. Click the Settings Menu  (left hands side near bottom of menu options)

3. Click the link to Permalinks

You will then see the Permalinks screen displayed below:

 

wordpress permalinks screen

 

To Change Your Permalink Structure

1.  Select the “Post name” option.

Changing Permalinks in WordPress

2. Click the Save Changes button

save permalink changes

 

Your blog will then be updated with your new Permalinks Structure.

Other WordPress Permalink Options

For most people the post name option is sufficient.  But you can use the options below to customize your permalink options if preferred.

Note that the permalink commands include percentage signs in front and behind the command, such as %postname%.

The commands

%year%  –  The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004

%monthnum%  – Month of the year, for example 05

%day% – Day of the month, for example 28

%hour% – Hour of the day, for example 15

%minute% – Minute of the hour, for example 43

%second% – Second of the minute, for example 33

%post_id% – The unique ID # of the post, for example 423

%tag% – Tag name

%author% – Author name

You can also use dividers, for example: >, /, –, \, |  though generally the forward slash, /, is used.

Note that it is not recommended to use a permalink structure other than “Post name”, unless you’re an advanced user with a very specific strategy behind using a different structure.

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