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WordPress Permalink Settings

What are Permalinks?

Permalinks are actually permanent links to your blog posts. Using permalink another webmaster can refer to your article on your site, you are sending permalinks by email to your newsletter subscribers. Because other websites may link to your post, its URL shouldn't change but be permanent.

WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives. Custom URL structures can improve the readability and usability of your links.

Ugly and Pretty Permalinks

Ugly permalinks are those dynamic URLs that are filled with incomprehensible parameters:


The above URL does not say much about the page it is pointing to.

In contrast, here is a well-structured, pretty permalink which tells you exactly what you'll find on that page if you click the link:


WordPress Permalink Structures

To enter Permalink Settings screen click Setting > Permalinks:

wordpress permalinks

wordpress permalinks

There are six available options:

  • Plain: This is ugly permalink
  • Day and name: This uses a year/month/date format followed by your post's name – perfect for a news site.
  • Month and name: This is the same as option two but without the day information – suitable for archives.
  • Numeric: Almost ugly permalink using post ID
  • Post name: This one uses the name of your post – the most used option.
  • Custom Structure: You are allowed to define your own structure using structure tags.

Structure Tags

You can use these tags to customize your permalinks.

You do not put your site URL in the permalinks fields. You only use one of the structure tags, or a combination of tags:

wordpress permalinks

Make sure to include either %post_id% or %postname% so that each permalink points to an individual post.

%year% The year of the post, four digits, for example 2017

%monthnum% Month of the year, for example 08

%day% Day of the month, for example 12

%hour% Hour of the day, for example 12

%minute% Minute of the hour, for example 24

%second% Second of the minute, for example 36

%post_id% The unique ID # of the post, for example 123

%postname% A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So Buy Smartphone Batteries becomes buy-smartphone-batteries in the URI.

%category% A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.

%author% A sanitized version of the author name.

The Category and Tag Base

You may enter custom bases for your category and tag URLs here.

wordpress permalinks

wordpress permalinks

For example, using /cat_base/ as your category base would make your category links like:



If you leave these blank the defaults will be used:



What is the Best Permalink Structure?

The post name is the most important part of the URL. And if you are using only name without categories or tags you are free to re-structure your site any way you like because your URLs are independent and safe.

Keep URLs as simple as possible and make them intelligible to humans.

Use 4-5 descriptive nouns in the post slug.

Omit the stop words - such as and, or, but, of, the ...

Always edit the permalinks when adding new post:

wordpress permalinks

wordpress permalinks

Do not forget – these must be permanent links (permalinks). Once you set it up that's it.

Don't change permalink structure

By changing your permalink structure on an established site, you will lose all of your social media share count, all links from other sites will get 404 Not Found Error and your existing SEO ranking will surely drop.

Click the Save Changes button to ensure any changes you have made to your Settings are saved to your database.

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