How to Change the WordPress Permalinks - Featured Image

How to Change the WordPress Permalinks

by Sorin Marta

In the dynamic world of website development and SEO, understanding how to change WordPress permalinks is crucial for any website owner or blogger.

Permalinks, short for “permanent links” are the URLs of your website’s pages and posts. They are what users type into their browsers to access specific content on your site and are critical for SEO.

This guide will comprehensively explore how to change WordPress permalinks effectively, aiming to boost your site’s SEO performance.

What are Permalinks?

Permalinks are the web addresses used to link to your content. They are made permanent (hence the name) and unchanging to ensure a consistent and reliable web structure.

WordPress offers a range of options for permalink structures, allowing for customization based on the needs of your website.

Why Change WordPress Permalinks?

1 – SEO Benefits: SEO-friendly URLs are crucial for better ranking in search engines. Permalinks containing keywords and clear structure are more accessible for search engines to crawl and understand.

2 – User Experience: Clear and descriptive URLs provide a better user experience. They inform the user about the page’s content before they click the link.

3 – Content Management: Organized permalink structures make categorizing and managing content on your WordPress site more accessible.

How to Change WordPress Permalinks

Step 1: Accessing WordPress Dashboard

Log in to your WordPress site’s dashboard using your admin credentials. This is the control center for all your website’s operations.

Step 2: Navigating to Permalink Settings

On the left sidebar, click ‘Settings’ and then select ‘Permalinks’. This will take you to the page where you can alter your permalink settings.

Step 3: Understanding Permalink Options

WordPress offers several permalink structures:

  • Default: Not recommended due to its non-descriptive nature.
  • Day and Name: Useful for news websites where the post date is essential.
  • Month and Name: Similar to Day and Name but less specific.
  • Numeric: Simple but not very informative.
  • Post Name: Ideal for SEO, as it can include keywords from your post titles.
  • Custom Structure: Allows for tailored structures using specific tags.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Permalink Structure

For optimal SEO, ‘Post Name’ is widely recommended. It keeps URLs short and relevant and includes the post title or keywords.

Step 5: Customizing Permalinks

Suppose you select ‘Custom Structure’ and use tags to create a format. For instance, including category, you can use /%category%/%postname%/.

Step 6: Saving Changes

After selecting your desired structure, click ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom of the page. WordPress will then update your site’s permalink structure.

Advanced Tips for Changing WordPress Permalinks

1 – Creating Custom Redirects: If you change permalinks on an established site, set up 301 redirects to prevent 404 errors and retain SEO rankings.

2 – Editing the .htaccess File: In some cases, especially with custom structures, you may need to adjust the .htaccess file manually. Be cautious and always back up this file before making changes.

3 – Regular Maintenance: Check your site for broken links post-permalink change. Tools like Google Webmaster can help identify crawl errors.

SEO Optimization with Permalinks

Incorporating Keywords: Including relevant keywords in your permalinks can significantly boost your SEO. Ensure these are reflective of the page content.

Keeping URLs Short and Simple: Shorter URLs are easier to read and are more likely to be shared. They are also easier for search engines to process.

Using Hyphens Over Underscores: Search engines prefer hyphens as they are seen as space. Underscores are not recognized, which can affect your page’s readability by search engines.

Avoiding Date-Based Permalinks for Evergreen Content: If your content is not time-sensitive, avoid using dates in your URLs, as it can make the content seem outdated.

Conclusion

Changing WordPress permalinks is a powerful way to enhance your website’s SEO and user experience. By choosing the right permalink structure and implementing the changes carefully, you can ensure your site is optimized for both search engines and users.

Remember to handle redirects correctly to maintain your SEO ranking and provide a seamless user experience.

With these insights and strategies, you’re now equipped to change WordPress permalinks to align with best SEO practices, ensuring your website stands out in the ever-competitive digital landscape.

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