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Configuring WordPress Permalinks

This article discusses WordPress permalinks and how they can be set for a website built using WordPress.

What are WordPress permalinks?

The default WordPress permalink structure for pages and posts typically looks like: http://example.com/=p123

Most users prefer to change the permalink structure of their website to make their URLs more SEO friendly. Changing the structure of these URLs can also make it easier for users to navigate a website and share URLs. This process is a quick and easy change that can be made inside of the WordPress administrator control panel.

NOTE: Changing the link structure for your WordPress installation will change the links of the site. Any direct links using the old link structure will no longer function once changes have been made.


WordPress permalink structure options

Listed below are the various options that you can use when setting permalinks for a website created in WordPress.

Default - Displays URLs using randomly generated numbers and letters.

Day and Name - Geared more towards a blog format. If you plan on using your WordPress website as a blog and would like to categorize your posts by date, this will automatically change your URL to reflect the day that the post was created, as well as the title. For example, if you have a post that was written on May 5, 2012, with the title set as "Birthday", it would change the URL to look like this: http://example.com/2012/5/10/birthday

Month and Name - The same structure as "Day and Name," minus the day in the URL. Using the "birthday" example above in "Day and Name," the URL would look like: http://example.com/2012/5/birthday

Numeric - This option structures your posts in numerical form. If you prefer not to use a title and would rather use a number, this option will allow you to do so. This option may come in handy if you are using specific "categories" and would like to use the post number of the category in the URL. For example, if you had three posts in a category labeled "travel," the URLs would show as:

  • http://example.com/travel/1
  • http://example.com/travel/2
  • http://example.com/travel/3

Post Name - One of the more popular options, as it will use the title of your post or website page for the URL name. For example, using the "birthday" example from "Day and Name," your URL would show as: http://example.com/birthday

Custom Structure - Allows you to completely customize how your URL will display. This is reserved for permalink structure tags only.

NOTE: DO NOT put the URL of your website in this text field, as it will break your WordPress site.

Here are a few common tags that can be used with the custom URL structure:

  • %year%
  • %day%
  • %category%
  • %post_id%
  • %postname%

For an example of how to use these tags, say that you have a post labeled "birthday" categorized under the "events" category. If you put the following /%category%/%postname% underneath the customer structure option, you will end up with the URL: http://example.com/events/birthday


 

Configuring permalinks in WordPress

To configure a permalink for a website built in WordPress:

  1. Log in to your WordPress administrator panel (http://example.com/wp-admin)
  2. Click Settings on the left side of the admin panel.
  3. Select Permalinks from the expanded list that appears below "Settings."



  4. Select the radio button for the permalink structure that you want to use from the list, then click Save Changes.

Your new permalinks will take effect instantly.

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