The Importance of Permalinks

11th July 2014

This is just a quick piece, written off the back of an assessment I did earlier in the week of someone’s current WordPress setup. One of the points I made was to do with permalinks, which are the permanent URLs to your posts. When you first set up your WordPress website, the default format of your URLs looks something like this:

http://example.com/?p=N

What’s wrong with that I hear you ask, surely it’ll get the user to the right place? Well, it will, but it’s not ideal for these two key reasons:

  1. It doesn’t mean anything to the user, it’s just a bunch of numbers and letters which don’t related to the content of the post.
  2. It doesn’t mean a great deal to search engines either, or offer up anything to help index your site.

The answer is to take a short trip into your permalink settings from the WordPress dashboard (Settings > Permalinks) and set up a custom structure. Often the preset ‘Post name’ option will suffice, but if you also want to add categories, tags, dates etc you can do that too. Once you’ve chosen your structure simply hit the blue ‘Save Changes’ button and hey presto, you’ve got URLs that are going to work much harder for you.

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