Look at below two URL’s, which one is easy to read, send and relate to?
Permalinks are the permanent URL’s to your website pages/posts. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change – Hence permalinks. It is very important to change your permalinks from default settings(second option from above two URL’s) to make sure your website is friendly with search engines.
Settings → Permalinks, screen on your wordpress dashboard
WordPress gives you 6 options to choose from including default(with radio button), but you can customize from 10 different structure tags, also you can combine multiple structure tags according to your requirements.
Please note: Do not put your site URL in the permalinks fields. You can only put structure tag either one or combination of few.
So let me show you what permalinks structure tags are open to you and explain benefits of using clean URL’s on your website.
There are 10 structure tags in total:
- %postname% – The post slug of your post
- %post_id% – The unique Id of a post
- %category% – The category a post was assigned to
- %year% – The year the article was published
- %monthnum% – The month the article was published
- %day% – The day the article was published
There are four more(used by only few people)
- %hour% – The hour the article was published
- %minute% – The minute the article was published
- %second% – The second the article was published
- %author% – The author name
Make sure to end your structure with either %post_id% or %postname% if you are combining structure tag in custom field.
It is advised changing permalinks often can cause your search engine traffic and referral traffic to drop considerably as visitors are presented with 404 page errors instead of the page they wanted to view. So try to edit it at the beginning and stick to it.
Benefits of using custom permalinks:
Search Engine optimization (SEO) – Though using default permalinks will not have any adverse affect on the seo, but using post name in the URL will definitely give boost to SEO. Search engines will use these keywords in their algorithm for positioning in their search engine results.
Compatibility – if you ever migrate from one CMS platform to other(WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) having a solid permalink structure can be easily replicated should you ever migrate.
Sharing – URL with pretty permalinks are always readable and looks nice, and convey an immediate context for the content.
So which one is best permalink option and which one you should go with?
%postname% – This is most popular choice among most of the website users, as it is pretty clean and gives post slug after URL (example – http://www.entrepreneurbookmark.com/entrepreneur-resources/).
%Category% and %Name% – It creates a hierarchical structure of content on your website. Its is good from SEO perspective as it’s a good combination of category and Name(/%category%/%postname%/ = /mobile/iphone 6S update/).
Custom – Below is an example of two structure tag combination:
/%category%/%postname%/ – always use slash in the start and end, also in between all structure tags.
Have a nice day ahead!