One of the most overlooked parts of a WordPress setup is the permalinks. Tucked away in the general WordPress settings, most beginners will flick past permalinks in favour of selecting more recognisable setting options.
Permalinks make your post URL’s easier to read
When it comes to sharing links from your site, you want them to be memorable and easy on the eye. This is where the permalinks come in – they dictate how your URL’s will look.
This makes it easier for you (and visitors to your site) to remember the actual web address of specific blog posts. This, in turn, makes it easier to type into the address bar and access them. They also show up in the Google search results, so you want them to look… well, pretty!
The default WordPress permalink setting
In WordPress permalink settings you have six different options to choose from. The default setting is a messy one that is made up of your website domain address, letters, numbers and question marks i.e. “www.yourwebsite.com/?page_id=123”. Not exactly appealing or memorable, right?
This is why you should never stick to the default setting.
What is the best setting for your permalinks?
When it comes to picking a memorable URL for your WordPress site, the easiest one to use is “%postname%” as it’s so much easier to remember the name of a blog post.
This also helps you to remember to keep your titles short! However, if you do end up with a long title, all is not lost – as you can simply edit the title part of your permalink in the individual blog post.
Before you change your permalinks
Before you change your permalinks, you need to remember that it will change the existing links you have on all pages and posts. This means any existing links you’ve shared online will no longer work – this is why it’s so important to get it correct, right from the outset.
If you need to change them on a site that has existing content, you’ll therefore need to use either ‘redirection’ plugin or Yoast’s ‘redirection script’ after you’ve changed the permalinks. If in any doubt, pass it over to your IT or tech support (or give us a shout!).
How to change your permalinks
Changing your permalinks is really easy. Just go to ‘settings’ and select ‘permalinks’. You can then tick the selection you want and hit ‘save’.
Permalinks make your whole website easier to navigate and easier to share, so take a look at your permalinks and see if they’re doing a good job – and if not, look to change them.
Have you changed your permalinks on your WordPress site? Maybe you’ve been putting it off and need some advice or help? Why not share your thoughts and questions in the comments box below.
Image courtesy of georgejmclittle/Dollar Photo Club