If you are new to blogging it may confuse you that what is a permalink and What is a permalink structure? How to use it for SEO? etc.
I’m writing this post to make all these things clear to you. So that you can understand the things and use it in your favor.
What is a permalink?
Permalink is a unique URL of any web page. The full form of permalink is “permanent link”.
The domain name of this blog is “SharpBlogger.com”.
The URL of this blog is “http://SharpBlogger.com”.
The URL of a post or page is something like “http://domain.com/post-name”.
For example, the URL of this post is “http://SharpBlogger.com/what-is-a-permalink“. And it is the permalink of this post.
You can see the permalink of any web page in your browser’s address bar.
Permalink is typically consisted of two things – Domain URL and Slug. Everything after the domain URL is called Slug.
Permalink of two posts or pages can’t be same. Every post or page has its own permalink. It’s unique.
See the example of permalink from two posts of this blog –
The URL of the domain is same for both posts but the slugs are different.
It is something like a corporate telephone number. In a corporate company, they have a common telephone number. If you want to talk to a specific person you have to dial an extension after the telephone number.
What is a permalink structure?
A permalink structure is a basic format a blogging platform uses to create a permalink for a post or page.
If you are using WordPress blogging platform, you have the flexibility to choose different permalink structure.
WordPress offers following types of permalink structure –
- Plain (http://domain.com/?p=123)
- Day and Name (http://domain.com/yyyy/mm/dd/sample-post/)
- Month and Name (http://domain.com/yyyy/mm/sample-post/)
- Numeric (http://domain.com/archives/123)
- Post name (http://domain.cim/sample-post/)
- Custom structure
For example, if you choose “Post name” as your permalink structure then WordPress will automatically create a permalink based on the title of the post or page.
I set “http://SharpBlogger.com/%postname%/” as the permalink structure for this blog. So when I create a new post or page, WordPress automatically creates a permalink for the post or page based on this structure.
Suppose, the title of this post is “what is a permalink”. Then WordPress will create a permalink automatically based on the permalink structure I chose. The permalink should be “http://SharpBlogger.com/what-is-a-permalink”
You can edit the permalink for a post or page in WordPress post or page editor. Just click on the “Edit” button next to permalink and underneath the post title to edit the permalink of a post or page.
Caution: Don’t change the permalink of a published post or page. If you do, It will create broken links and harm your blog’s SEO.
How to choose a permalink structure in WordPress?
If you are just launching your blog, you can choose a permalink structure from WordPress dashboard.
To choose a permalink structure, login to your WordPress dashboard and got to setting > permalink.
On the screen that appears, select the radio button of a permalink structure and save the change.
Caution: If your blog is online for some time, don’t change the permalink structure. If you need to change it for some reasons, I recommend getting help from professional.
Which permalink structure should you choose?
Keep in mind that a permalink structure will help your blog in term of SEO.
So choosing a proper permalink structure is very important. I’ll describe little about different permalink structure of WordPress below. So that you can understand which permalink structure is suitable for your blog.
Plain: Don’t choose the Plain permalink structure for your blog. It is just bad for SEO. Because it uses numbers in permalink as the ID of a post or page. But, search engine understands words, not numbers.
This is the default permalink structure of WordPress. After installing WordPress you should change this permalink structure.
In fact, You should tweak some settings in WordPress after installing WordPress on your server for the first time. I published a post a few days ago about this. You can read that by clicking on the following link.
Day and name: If your blog has multi-authors and if you publish several posts in a day, then this permalink structure is suitable for you. This permalink structure also usable for the blog which has duplicate post titles.
Month and name: If your blog is a single author blog but publish several posts In a day then this permalink structure is good for you.
Numeric: This permalink structure is not good for SEO. Because it only contains numbers. And as I told before, search engine understands words not numbers.
Post Name: This is the recommended permalink structure for most blogs. And it is good for SEO. If you are not worried about having duplicate post titles on your blog then this permalink structure is simply the best.
Custom structure: If you want a custom permalink structure for your blog then you can choose this option.
For example, someone may want to include a category name in the permalink. Then, he can choose this permalink structure. In that case, you need to manually create your own permalink structure.
If you want to include a category name in your permalink structure then you will need to write in the box as – “/%category%/%postname%/”.
Some Tips on permalink
- It is recommended that slug of a permalink should contain four, five words.
- A permalink of a post doesn’t need to be same as the post title. You can edit the permalink in WordPress post or page editor. Just click on the “Edit” button next to automatically created permalink below the post title. (Caution: Once you published a post or page, don’t change the permalink of that post or page).
Related post: Beginner Guide to Write Post in WordPress
- Permalink should be search-engine friendly and human-friendly.
Your blog’s permalink structure should be properly set before launching your blog online. If you want to change your blog’s permalink structure for some reasons after blogging for some time, you should take expert advice.
However, I found a good article about changing the permalink structure. You can read it here.
Which permalink structure do you prefer most and why? Please share in the comment below.