WordPress Permalinks 101

February 18, 2015 by Domainmonster.com | 0 comments


The biggest problem facing bloggers today is gaining online exposure in an increasingly saturated market. You can have the most engaging blog in the world, but simple mistakes in your WordPress settings can stop your creative genius being transmitted to the world.  Don’t worry though; here are some useful tips to help advertise your blog! Today we’ll be covering your blog’s use of permalinks.

The URL of the WordPress content which you publish is called a permalink.  Permalink structure dictates how well your website URL is constructed, meaning it directly affects the information visitors and customers enter into their browsers. They are also what search engines use to link other websites to yours, they are therefore vitally important when trying to gain significant online exposure.

You can change the structure of your permalinks at any time, however doing this alters the URL of your website, meaning search engine traffic can drop considerably and visitors can sometimes be presented with 404 page errors whilst the transition propagates. For this reason it’s best to post your blog posts with the correct permalink structure first time.

Your permalink settings can be found at /wp-admin/options-permalink.php where you can select to use WordPress’ common settings or create your own custom structure as outline below:


So how should you format your permalinks? Well there are 10 common structure tags you can use:

  • %postname%– The post name.
  • %post_id%– The post’s unique ID
  • %category%– The chosen post category
  • %year%– The year of publication
  • %monthnum%– The month of publication
  • %day%– The day of publication
  • %hour%– The hour of publication
  • %minute%– The minute of publication
  • %second%– The exact second of publication
  • %author%– And finally the name of the author.

The aim of the game is to create a unique permalink for each blog post so they reap the full benefits of search engine optimization.  You could theoretically just use the structure tags %monthnum%  or %year% , but this would only be effective is you were posting only one blog post per month or year. It’s therefore important to differentiate your posts with several tags to ensure visitors can find their way to your site.

The default permalink structure /?p=123 (also known as a query string) is assigned to your posts in WordPress by default, meaning visitors are likely to be deterred from visiting/finding your site if the URL is just a culmination of randomly assigned numbers.

The permalink format /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ for example would allow search engines to index your URL more specifically and also allow you to define more keywords, always helpful when trying to maximise your search engine exposure.

You can also enter customised structures for your post’s category and tag bases in the lower fields of the permalink page.  The default entries are just category and tag , so are therefore inexcusably bland if left alone  You can easily update these so your blogs can be categorised in custom archives.

For example:


Can be updated to show:


Creating a much friendlier URL.

With the basics covered, you should now know all about WordPress permalinks so you can start creating your own! Remember our friendly support team are always available if you need any help or advice.

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