Skip links

The Complete Guide to WordPress Permalinks: What They Are and How to Use Them

Introduction to WordPress Permalinks

What are WordPress Permalinks?

Permalinks in WordPress are your blog post’s lasting URLs. As permanent URLs, they can often contain parameters such as a url query, which enhances the dynamism of the website through database-driven CMSs. They are also an important part of the web address system that allows your site visitors to directly access specific content on your platform. Not just typical URLs, WordPress permalinks can be customised according to your website needs and attractiveness, effectively shaping your URL structures to be more user-friendly. This can be achieved via modifying the default setting in the URL Options/Regex drop-down. If the term ‘pretty permalinks’ is unknown to you, it essentially refers to intuitive and easily readable web addresses. WordPress, especially when used with an Apache server, uses a set of rewrite rules to translate the URLs your visitors enter into parameters it can use to run a query against the database for the most appropriate content. As you set up your WordPress site for the first time, establishing pretty permalinks can reshape your URLs into being more understandable and efficient.

Importance of WordPress Permalinks

WordPress Permalinks serve as the digital lifeline of your content. They act as the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and lists of other weblog postings, according to the WordPress official codex. With options like plain permalinks and the feature to turn on wordpress permalinks pretty, they’re significant for backlinking, sharing your posts, and enhancing your domain name’s presence on search engines. Like how plain permalinks utilize your post’s ID (also known as a slug) – this proves essential in your social media marketing strategy for better tracking. Notably, a usable website requires a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Moreover, they enhance user experience and SEO. WordPress also brings permalink customization to another level with its Rewrite API, providing various ways to change your permalink structure. Therefore, configuring your desired permalink structure or applying customizations as per the plugin’s instructions can make a significant difference. And don’t worry about changing your permalink structure, WordPress will automatically set up redirects to the new URLs.

Delving Into Different Types of WordPress Permalinks

Ugly” Permalinks

An “Ugly” Permalink is typified by a URL that makes use of Post ID. This example speaks volumes, “”. These are the default for WordPress. Unattractive and not SEO-friendly, it’s like walking with the crowd but losing your touch of uniqueness.

“Almost Pretty” Permalinks

“Almost Pretty” Permalinks offer somewhat more readability, getting one step closer to the pretty. Working with query strings, though, gives them away as not reaching the “pretty” mark yet. They’re “almost there”, but not yet.

“Pretty” Permalinks

“Pretty” Permalinks are the belle of the ball. They shine with readability, making it easy for both humans and search engines to understand. Here’s a look, Now, that’s a much better first impression! It’s as if, with this, your page is ready to walk the red carpet of search engine results.

The Elements Inside a Permalink

Permalinks, Slugs, and Links

When it comes to permalinks, not every component is the same. Permalinks, serving as your entire URL, are sometimes modified based on custom field values or through the slug field in the ‘Document’ settings. On the flip side, slugs, which are the category url structure or category slug, form a unique bit in the URL identifying your page or post. It’s the same attribute you tweak when creating a new category or tag. Links, as we know, are clickable elements on a web page that lead users to a different page or resource. Though slightly distinct, permalinks, slugs, and links intelligently weave together to establish a well-structured category URL, forming a solid SEO framework.

Difference Between Permalinks, Slugs, and Links

Understanding the difference between permalinks, slugs, and links can feel daunting. So let’s clear the air! A permalink – the full URL to your post or page. In short, the only constant guiding light in the dark alleys of your website. A slug – the bit of the URL that stands out, identifying a particular post or page. And a link – a clickable text or image that takes you across pages, resources, or even websites! Remember, all three elements, while different, work hand in glove to build your website’s visibility and accessibility.

How Permalinks are Created in WordPress

Automatic Creation of WordPress Permalinks

Breathe easy, WordPress has an autopilot for permalinks! How does this happen? By leveraging a brilliant functionality built within its server, the automatic template for permalinks creation comes to life. Once your website is launched, WordPress assists by suggesting SEO-optimized permalinks for your fresh posts and pages. This is particularly useful in creating database-friendly URLs that synchronize seamlessly, serving as direct parameters to fetch data within the database structure. A nifty tool that is undeniably a time and worry saver, for sure!

Manual Creation of WordPress Permalinks

Want more control over your permalinks? No problem. Unleash the potency of customization and visit the WordPress backend. Follow the breadcrumb trail: Settings >> Permalinks. Here, you can optimize your slugs for SEO; on the Permalink settings screen, make your selection from the list under Common Settings. The settings you’ll be adjusting are the building blocks for your individual weblog posts and blog posts. Consider your edits carefully and tailor them exactly to your needs. After navigating the editing screen and making your preferred customizations, click on the “Update” button to save your alterations. Remember, the potential is in your hands; use it wisely to create SEO-friendly URLs for your weblog posts or blog posts.

Choosing the Right Permalink Structure for Your Site

Month and Name

The ‘Month and Name’ permalink structure brings the best of both worlds, fusing date with the post name. Here’s a peek – Ideal for blogs published frequently and when information is time-relevant, your users and SEO can enjoy the benefits from this setup.

Day and Name

For those publishing multiple times a day, meet your match, the ‘Day and Name’ permalink structure. It flaunts the year, month, day, and post name, like While great for news or magazine sites, tread carefully. The age of the post is on display which can sometimes, intimidate users. Don’t let it affect your site’s relevance.

Post Name

In the popularity contest, ‘Post Name’ permalink structure takes the cake! It uses the sanitized version of your post title – Simple, elegant, and clean, it’s a win-win for both your users and SEO! Ideal for your blog or a website that doesn’t publish content multiple times a day.


Numeric permalink structure uses post IDs for the URLs, like It’s short, sweet but not too substantive. It lacks the pizzazz of SEO-friendly text. This isn’t the most advantageous choice but, hey, it’s still an option.

Custom Structure

Did none of the previous structures charm you? No worries! With WordPress, you can tailor your permalink structure exactly how you like and even modify your website’s taxonomy for greater control. You can use structure tags or a combination of tags to create your URL cocktail. In fact, you can even change the slugs for your custom taxonomies without having to rely on separate plugins. It’s all about experimenting, balancing user readability, and optimizing the SEO of your wp site. However, keep in mind, power is responsibility. You should be cautious to avoid disrupting your website’s navigation or causing conflicting rewrite rules. Make the best of this flexibility, but remember to flush the rewrite rules by visiting the WordPress Permalinks settings page when necessary! Thus, creating a custom structure will surely enhance your user experience and boost your SEO appeal.

Advanced Permalink Strategies for Specific Use Cases

Creating Custom Permalinks

Creating custom permalinks in WordPress isn’t as daunting as it sounds. All you need is the right redirection plugin or custom development skills. Plugins like Advanced Permalinks or Redirection can do the job effectively, both of which have been created by John Godley of Automattic. This powerful combination of tools helps you set unique URLs for your post, categories, or tags, accommodating your brand and structure. If you’re using the Redirection plugin, make sure to enable Regex functions first to handle wildcard asterisks. Just make sure you neatly set up redirects using Yoast SEO Premium Redirect Manager or the free Redirection plugin so old URLs aren’t left hanging. After all, no strand of your digital footprint should be left unnoticed!

Permalinks Not Working After Registering a Post Type

It can happen. You register a new post type, and permalinks decide to act up. Don’t sweat it! Your best bet is to refresh your permalink settings by simply opening the Settings > Permalinks screen. Remember, you don’t need to make changes or save again. Consider it a polite nudge to WordPress, letting it know something’s changed. Don’t let permalinks give you a hard time. Handle them like a pro!

SEO and Permalinks

SEO-Friendly Permalinks

SEO-friendly permalinks are the showstoppers of WordPress. Unlike the long, overly complex, and, quite honestly, ugly WordPress permalinks default configuration, utilizing SEO practices to optimize them creates a win-win situation for both visitors and search engines. How? By clearly aligning the URL to the page content and integrating those crucial target keywords to boost your SEO rankings. Search engines need to understand your pages to rank them higher, and visitors need to comprehend the URL to be enticed to click on your link.

Optimizing these elements is a crowning point of SEO best practices. Ensure your titles, meta descriptions, headings, and most importantly, permalinks, are all harmonized to increase your site’s visibility on search engine results pages and maintain your SEO rankings. This ensemble of elements is the symphony of effective search engine optimization, devised to draw more web traffic to your site! Make mastering the art of avoiding ugly WordPress permalinks a pillar of your search engine optimization strategy and witness your web traffic go through the roof!

Permalinks, Slugs, and SEO

Permalinks, slugs, and SEO are arguably the three musketeers of WordPress. While permalinks, or category URLs, are at the core of your category URL structure, playing a vital role in SEO practices and shareability, slugs, or category slugs, pin-point that specific content chunk. SEO, then, is your guiding force as you tread through the digital territory, optimizing these elements to make your content more accessible and discoverable. Remember, a beautifully orchestrated synchronization of these components can unlock your page visibility, elevate your rank and efficacy in navigational links, and, most importantly, inflate your conversion rates. Let’s not underestimate the importance of plain, no-nonsense optimization. So, ensure you’re well-equipped, have a strategy in place for your site’s functionality, and are ready to claim victory in the SEO arena.

Changing Permalinks in WordPress

How to Change Permalinks in WooCommerce

Need a tweak to your WooCommerce permalinks? You’re in luck, we have prepared a ‘tutorial’ to guide you! You’re just a few clicks away from success. Primarily, direct your attention to Settings > Permalinks and take a gander at the Product Permalinks section, your prime destination. Here, WordPress offers a variety of options for your product permalinks—ranging from the succinct’/product/’ to the more sophisticated ‘/shop/’, ‘/shop/category/’, or even a custom base; the choice is in your hands. Remember, on September 13, 2022, as Jason Cosper elucidated in his article, always make sure to click the ‘Save Changes’ button post your decision. This action notifies WordPress that you’re prepared and ready to excel!

How to Change Permalink Settings for Archive Pages

Changing permalink settings for your archive pages can be as easybreezy as summer. Edit the category archive settings or the ‘tag’ base in the Permalinks settings screen under Settings >> Permalinks to adjust the format of your URL structures. Remember, managerial changes to permalink settings for individual archive pages can have implications for old links; they may direct to your 404 page if accessed with the old format. Your WordPress platform also allows you to modify the slug for individual categories, tags, or custom taxonomies. It gives you the ability to customize the pretty permalink format by setting one or more structure tags. It’s a potent SEO tool that enhances results and user-friendliness. So, yes, with WordPress, you wield the power. Use it wisely and at your discretion!

How to Change WordPress Permalinks With a Plugin

A plugin massage to your WordPress permalinks might be needed for the extra touch! Following this tutorial, plugins like Yoast SEO and Permalink Manager Lite can help manage permalinks, enhancing SEO. Adopting such SEO best practices can optimize your WordPress website, leading to better user experience. Post-activation, navigate to the plugin’s settings or options page, typically found under the “Settings” menu. Afterward, you can customize and configure according to your needs and then save the changes. Voila! Your permalinks are new and improved. Please note, a crucial aspect of this process is understanding that changing permalinks can affect the SEO status quo and existing URLs, so proper redirects should be in place. Handle with care!

Troubleshooting WordPress Permalinks

Permalinks Not Behaving the Way You Want Them To

When permalinks just won’t listen to you, troubleshooting may be needed. Start by verifying if you inputted the URL correctly. Very much like the rigorous process that news websites use for their time-specific content, navigate to Settings > Permalinks to ensure everything is in place. If you’re using a cache plugin, remember to clear your site’s cache, as it can meddle with link modifications, a challenge often faced by news websites. Additionally, always check if any manual changes to slugs require adjusting. There may be instances where temporarily deactivating plugins that manipulate post types or links may solve the problem. If all else fails, consider seeking assistance from WordPress support or friendly forums for help.

Common WordPress Permalinks Errors

There’s no escape from hiccups on the internet highway, and WordPress permalinks are no exception. To help users troubleshoot these snags, we’ve put together this essential tutorial.

Here is a list of common errors to watch out for:

  1. 404 Errors – This infamous ‘Not Found’ error can stem from an incorrect permalink structure. As explained by Jason Cosper, on September 13, 2022, one way to fix this issue is by resetting your permalinks. Simply navigate to Settings > Permalinks on your WordPress interface and click ‘Save Changes’. This action might rectify any structural mishaps.
  2. Redirection Loops – Ever found yourself on the dizzying merry-go-round of a URL continually redirecting? This wrench in the works might be due to incorrect redirect configurations or conflicts in your .htaccess file. Please check for any discrepancies and correct them for smooth navigation.
  3. Conflicts with Plugins or Themes – Yes, conflict can occur here too! To diagnose this issue, start by deactivating all plugins and switching to a default WordPress theme. Then, reactivate plugins one by one to identify the source of the conflict.

Remember, patience is the key to troubleshooting. Be patient, and with the guidance of this tutorial, you’ll figure it out!

WordPress Permalinks and User Experience

Permalinks, Slugs, and UX

Permalinks, slugs, and UX share a symbiotic bond. They work together to form an essential part of a user’s browsing experience on your site. For instance, when a user receives an email with a link to your site or encounters one of your posts on Facebook, a clean and informative permalink can guide users smoothly along the site structure by offering a gist of what to expect. Similarly, a simplified slug, as seen in the URL, can provide a clear understanding of a particular page’s content. Together, they can let your users glide effortlessly through your website, be it through direct site exploration or via a third-party source like email and Facebook. In other words, they make up the DNA of your site’s structure and usability. Make them count!

Crafting Effective Permalinks

The art of crafting effective permalinks lies in the delicate balance of readability, SEO, and user engagement. This art is essentially a tutorial in SEO best practices, with the primary focus on simplicity, cleanliness, and keyword enrichment. Stray clear of stop words that might unnecessarily elongate your URL, an aspect explained by Jason Cosper in his article from September 13, 2022 on WordPress permalinks. Above all, ensure that your permalinks are optimized for maximum search engine visibility. By understanding and implementing these nuances, you’re not only paving the path for a rich, seamless user experience but also potentially improving your site’s SEO performance.

FAQs: Everything Else You Need to Know about WordPress Permalinks

What’s the best WordPress permalink structure for SEO?

The best WordPress permalink structure for SEO is often the ‘Post Name’ structure. It’s user-friendly, crisp, and captures your post’s title – an essential SEO component. However, if you’re considering changing your permalink structure, bear in mind that the process may be different for diverse types of content. WordPress thankfully makes this task easier—it automatically sets up redirects when you alter your permalink structure. Always remember, Google has a preference for URLs that are effortlessly understandable, readable, and keyword-rich. So, select your structure wisely, always keeping both users and SEO in mind. After all, what’s advantageous for users typically proves beneficial for SEO too!

What happens if I change my WordPress permalinks?

Change is good, but when you change your WordPress permalinks, tread carefully. The thing is, existing links could break, leading to the dreaded 404 error. While this can potentially harm your SEO, there are ways to prevent it. You’d need to set up redirects from the old posts to the new ones, ensuring search engines and visitors find your content at new locations. In simple terms, you’d be leaving breadcrumbs leading from the old URLs to the new ones. It’s all about the smooth transition!

How do I create a custom permalink in WordPress?

To pass the art of creating custom permalinks in WordPress, all you need is to log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. For advanced users and developers desiring more with permalink customization, WordPress has its Rewrite API in place (Jason Cosper, 2022). Then, here are the steps:

  1. Click on “Settings” and then “Permalinks”.
  2. In the Permalink Settings page, select “Custom Structure”.
  3. In the text field next to “Custom Structure”, input your desired structure using tags like %postname%, %year%, close-knitted with your website’s SEO requirements.
  4. After carefully configuring the permalink structure and making customizations as per the plugin’s instructions, hit the “Save Changes” button.

Voila! You’ve completed your permalink customization tutorial and successfully created your custom permalink. Now, your creativity can shine through your URL! You have also opened opportunities for further customization and optimization of your WordPress permalinks.

Wrapping Up

Key Takeaways

Before we wrap this up, let’s seize the crux of WordPress permalinks:

  1. Permalinks play a prominent role in the visibility of your content and their accessibility, an important aspect of SEO practices.
  2. The “Post Name” permalink structure is an SEO sweet spot, providing the perfect balance between readability and keyword integration for improved SEO rankings.
  3. Customizing permalinks is achievable via WordPress settings or plugins, but remembering to implement a 301 redirect is crucial to preserve your SEO rankings.
  4. Troubleshooting permalink problems might be as easy as refreshing your settings or deactivating conflicting plugins, ensuring that SEO best practices are upheld.
  5. The aesthetically pleasing “pretty” permalinks are not only engaging to the users, but are also a key to optimizing your SEO strategy for search engine optimization.

With these key takeaways, you’re fully equipped to expertly navigate the world of WordPress permalinks. Never underestimate the power of a well-structured permalink in improving your SEO practices!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more