What is a permalink? A permalink is most important for any webpage. Every webpage published on www (World Wide Web) has a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator) which helps in finding that webpage from millions of pages after it is published on the Internet. Have you ever wondered how they differ or are unique from each other among the billions of URLs on the Internet? Besides, how can a search engine define what information those pages are about?
Actually, a URL is the address of that page and at the same time, it is expected that as long as this page is published on the Internet, it will remain the same. This URL is sometimes called a permalink.
Still yet, are you confused? Don’t worry, in this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about Permalinks. So, read this article completely and know well what is Permalink.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What is a permalink in WordPress?
Permalink refers to the URL that a website uses for a blog post, web page, or other content. This is a permanent link to any webpage, hence it is called a permalink. A permalink usually consists of two parts. One part of this includes a domain name and the other part is added after the domain name and is called a slug. Permalinks are auto-generated by WordPress CMS (content management system).
In fact, the actual parts of the URL are appended after the domain name and can include a date or a category, the title of a webpage, or all of them. A permalink makes the URL easier to understand what is on that webpage.
Types of permalinks
Mainly, two types of Permalinks there are.
Permalinks are always unique URLs that are set for each post and page. Here are the two types of permalinks given as examples:
- example.com/wp-content/litespeed/js/b9fdade7a37c0d77d342c446764ce2.js?ver=64ce2 (Dynamic)
Generally, static URLs are indexed faster than dynamic URLs and rank better in search engine results as compared to dynamic. And the most important thing is that a static URL make often uses keywords that explain what about the page is and which help to understand its purpose better for both the search engines and the visitors. Also, it is good from an SEO perspective.
How many types of Permalinks are there in WordPress?
There are three common types of permalinks in WordPress and these are as follows:
- Plain Permalinks:- This type of Permalink is the default in WordPress and is also called the Ugly Permalink because its looks like this. It includes a unique page ID number instead of a tag or keyword. This type of permalink is not user-friendly and not optimized for search engines as well. Here is given an example of such a type of Permalink:
- Almost Pretty Permalinks:- WordPress provides another option that is known as “Almost Pretty permalinks”. These types of permalinks include /index.php as prefixed before the slug which WordPress generates by itself through htaccess file. Here is given as an example how it looks like:
Except for having this /index.php included, the remaining are similar to Pretty Permalinks.
- Pretty Permalinks:- It is more SEO-friendly and attractive as compared to others. Pretty Permalinks are easily readable by both the search engine and humans as they carried the page intention. Here how it looks like:
A Pretty Permalink usually contains several words such as the title of the page, post category, day, month, year, tag, etc. that make it easier to understand about the page is.
WordPress Permalink Structure
In WordPress, there are six varieties of permalink structures and you can select one of them. Here is given an image by which you may understand better about the six several permalink structures that WordPress provides.
- Plain: This Permalink structure generates automatically by WordPress and looks Ugly and un-optimized for search engines.
- Day and name: This includes a year/month/date format followed by a post name.
- Month and name: This setting of the Permalink structure includes a year/month format followed by a post name.
- Numeric: This setting uses the ID of the post from the database.
- Post name: This includes only the name of the post.
- Custom Structure: It facilitates users to define their own custom URL structure using the tags available in WordPress.
However, WordPress has also provided users with the facility to create a custom permalink. With this option, users can structure a custom permalink that will be more SEO-friendly. In this way, you can put such keywords in your Permalinks which are good from an SEO point of view and can also help your page to rank better in search results.
What should be the right WordPress Permalink structure?
One of the best ideas is to create your own custom permalink structure, following the search engine criteria. Here is a correct permalink structure example for your better understanding:
Should consider these best practices below while making a custom permalink structure.
- Limit permalinks to a fixed length. And Google gets it right up to 75 characters.
- Make permalinks as short as possible.
- Avoid using irrelevant words in permalinks.
- Avoid using stop words like at, in, of, before, and who, etc. as much as possible while creating permalinks.
- Separate each word in a permalink with a hyphen (-) and never use an underscore (_).
- Never use numbers (1,2,3) and special characters (!,#,%,$) in permalinks.
How to do WordPress permalink settings?
After finalizing your desired permalink structure, now is the time to choose the option you want to implement throughout your WordPress website. For this, you have to follow the steps given below.
Open your WordPress dashboard, then go to Settings > Permalinks. Here you will see six types of options that WordPress offers you. Now, you can choose the permalink structure that you have decided on. You can select option number 5 i.e. “Post Name” which is mostly used and is also considered correct from an SEO perspective. Apart from this, if you want, you can enter your own permalink structure using “custom structure”.
Caution:- Please keep in mind that, If you are going to set a new permalink structure in an existing WordPress website you will face occurring an error which is known as 404 error. In such a case search engines will not find anymore your older webpage and this new URL will define as a new page. If your older URL is shared on any social media platform then that page will no more there now.
Choosing the right permalink structure is one of the first priorities while making a new WordPress site. Therefore, choosing Pretty or almost pretty permalinks is useful because it is readable both for search engines and humans. Thus it provides useful information such as the date, category, or title of the page, etc. These permalinks are highly customizable and also good from the SEO perspective.
For instance, if you are changing the existing structure for your blog posts, the old URLs will create issues with 404 errors, and all URLs need to be 301 redirections to new URLs. Preferably, I suggesting not changing them if they are ranked better on search engines, or any webpage has shared to your posts as backlinks.
From the SEO perspective, it’s best not to use the default permalink settings. Instead of it use “pretty permalink structure” that is human readable.
It’s very important to keep in mind what say’s Google’s guides on permalink settings.
But, still, if you have decided to change your existing permalink structure, then you have to do it carefully. And to do that securely, you can get the help of a redirections tool.
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