Permalink refers to the URL (Web Address) of your WordPress posts; keep in mind that it plays a vital role in SEO and the performance of your website in Search Engine results; hence, it is critical that you configure and optimize them properly.
Default Permalinks in WordPress -The default permalinks that are enabled when you install WordPress are question mark with a “p” refers to post id and lots of numbers obviously you can access the posts on your WordPress blog using them, but in terms of SEO and search engine performance they are always Poor permalinks therefore it’s good to change them.
There are different types of options available for the permalinks and it’s upon you to choose the appropriate one after considering different things, personally, I prefer to use the “postname” but there are bloggers and users who use date and other things in order to better organize their content or due to various other reasons.
Types of Permalinks Available In WordPress
1.Default: This will be the poorest in terms of SEO.
2.Day and Name: It will show the date of publishing and after that the title in the URL, It easily tells your user when the post was published.
3.Month and Name: It will show the month, year and the title in URL.
4.Numeric: It will number all your articles, not so good for SEO.
5.Postname: Recommended, the URL just includes the title.
6.Custom URL: You can opt for a custom URL, by mixing some shortcodes.
Why do you need to manage permalinks?
By default, WordPress permalinks for your posts are set as: http://blogname/?p=123. These types of permalinks are now used by search engines, because the first thing that a search engine crawls from your website is a link to a particular web page or post. So, if your permalink contains useless numbers instead of your focus keyword, then it would be useless for the search engine to acknowledge the target keyword from your link. Permalinks are one of the strategies to increase keyword density naturally and boost your rank in SERPs for a particular keyword.
For example, if your target keyword in your post is “blog sites”, then a permalink like this: http://blogname/top-free-blog-sites would make more sense than a default permalink set in WordPress, which is like this: http://blogname/?p=322. So, for better search engine optimized posts, you really need to manage your permalinks. A short and keyword targeted permalink is not only SEO friendly but also easy to share on various social media sites.
Which is the Best Permalink Structure For WordPress
It’s Important for anyone to Choose an SEO friendly Permalinks, if he/she wants to rank better in search engine results, whenever you are choosing Permalinks for your WordPress blog remember the following things:
1.Never use the default “postid” permalinks.
2.Using Category name in the link can cause Duplicate content as the same content will be accessible from two category URLs, if the article is posted in two different categories.
3.Sometimes bloggers prefer to recycle old articles and bring them in the Homepage, which means if you are using Day, month or in Year in Permalinks will not be suitable for you.
4.Most of the bloggers prefer the “Postname” permalinks.
How to Change Permalinks in WordPress
- Open your WordPress Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings and after that to Permalinks.
3.Here you will see the option to set permalinks, chose the best one obviously not the default permalinks, however, the Post Name permalinks is the suggested permalinks for SEO.
Permalinks for Category and Tag:
On the same page of the WordPress permalinks setting, you will see two more fields. One is for Category base and one for Tag base. These two are optional, but they might be very important for some blogs with many niches. For example, there is a blog which covers reviews of ebooks. So all reviews are categorized into different categories. For example, spiritual ebooks are reviewed in the spiritual category, so all posts under the spiritual category can be listed on a single spiritual category page. For this reason, the permalink to this category would be like this:
The word “category” in the above permalink is category basis. You can enter the category base of your choice to manipulate permalinks for various categories. For instance, in this case, if we set a new category called “review-topic”, then your permalink will become http://blogname/review-topic/spiritual/
You can also set custom tag bases like category bases. Both of these are optional, but they are important for a professional navigation menu on your site, especially if you have many topics covered in different categories.
Different Types Of WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure
Here I have listed different types of permalink structures for your WordPress blog with their pros and cons. So, it will be very easy for you to decide on your custom permalink structure for your growing blog.
(1) Default WordPress Permalink Structure
By default, WordPress offers permalinks like:
In this format, every post will be recognized by its post id, which will provide no idea to the readers or search engines about what the post is about.
Having no keywords in permalinks will hurt your blog’s SEO. So, it is not good to use it and it is not SEO friendly.
Most beginner bloggers start a WordPress blog and write a good blog post, but forget to change the default WordPress permalink structure to a seo-friendly custom permalink structure and miss out on optimization of WordPress custom permalinks for seo.
(2) Day And Name WordPress Permalinks Structure
This permalink structure will look like:
This will arrange the posts according to the date and then the name of the post. This may be considered a good permalink structure. This is the most widely used WordPress permalink structure.
As this permalink includes the date in it, PHP does not have to scan the whole WordPress directory, it will scan only the particular date and show the required post quickly when a search query is made. This reduces the blog loading time, which is good for SEO.
But I will not suggest you use this type of permalink structure. As this permalink structure includes date, month, and year, it occupies text area in the url and dilutes the url heavily.
There is no issue if your domain name is short, but if your domain name is long, you will lose your keyword competition by adding keywords in the last permalinks. Because Google only displays the first 70 characters of the URL in search results.
Another thing I don’t like about this structure is that it tells your reader how old your blog post is! Therefore, you will lose some readers only because of your permalink structure. You will get better SEO benefits by using other recommended custom permalink structures.
Different Custom Permalinks Structure
(3) Month And Name WordPress Permalinks Structure
This is what the WordPress permalink structure will look like:
This permalink structure resembles the above permalink structure except for the date part. This month’s WordPress permalink structure is better than the above name and permalink structure.
Its pros and cons are the same as above, except it is less diluted than above due to the date deletion.
(4) Numeric WordPress Permalinks Structure
This is what the WordPress permalink structure will look like:
This will display the article directly from the archive pack. So, it will increase your blog loading time.
But as it includes only post ids, you will lose your keyword inclusion advantage and hurt your seo.
I do not recommend this type of permalink structure.
(5) WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure
You can customize permalinks according to your needs. You will find different kinds of customized WordPress permalink structures for different WordPress blogs. Below I have listed the most widely used custom permalink structure for WordPress blogs:
This custom permalink structure will look like:
Including a category in the URL is good SEO practice. It helps you to rank higher for your category keywords. But as I told you before, if your domain name contains more characters, avoid using this custom permalink structure.
If you want to use this structure, be sure to choose a category name that is short and meaningful.
This custom permalink structure will look like:
This custom permalink structure is seo friendly, contains keywords, no date included, and fulfils the requirements for the Google news blog (url must include a unique number). So this is a good wordpress permalink structure. If you want to use this structure, be sure to choose a category name that is short and meaningful.
But the issue with this type of URL is that starting a permalink with the category, author, tag or post name fields is not good for performance. It makes your blog a little slow. Because WordPress will have to run more queries to show this post. I do not recommend it.
Read what Amit Agarwal thinks about this type of custom permalink.
This type of WordPress custom permalink structure will look like:
It has more pros and fewer cons than the above type of permalink structure. The best thing about this permalink structure is that it includes the post name (keyword), is SEO friendly, and the biggest thing is that it fulfills all the requirements for Google news blog.
I recommend this WordPress permalink structure for those who want to start a Google news blog.
This type of custom permalink structure will look like:
This custom permalink structure is the best for keyword optimization. And it gives priority in search engine rankings. This structure is very SEO friendly, no date included, and makes permalinks short and simple.
Post name custom permalinks are short, simple and have nothing in them which will affect your search engine optimization.
Which Is The Best Custom Permalink Structure?
According to the research I have done, the [%postname%/] type of custom permalink is the best WordPress custom permalink structure.
And if you have a short and meaningful category, [%category%/%postname%/] type custom permalinks are the second choice to use. Read what Joost de Valk says about this custom permalink structure.
But if you are preparing a blog for a Google news blog, the most preferred permalink structure is the [%postname%/%post_id%/] type.
Which Type Of Custom Permalinks Do You Prefer?
OK, Now it’s your turn. Let me know what is flowing in your mind. Which is the best WordPress custom permalink structure according to you and how has it affected your blog traffic? If you have any queries regarding the WordPress custom permalink structure, do let me know via comment.
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I know permalinks are not the only factor in getting better SEO friendly websites, but it is something like a free salad with lunch. Every professional post is written by targeting a specific keyword that represents their brand or topic. So, permalinks are a natural way to increase keyword density for a specific keyword in your post.