URLs are the addresses we use to visit a website or a specific page on a website. While their primary purpose is directing the user to a page, which will do the trick in any case, setting the right permalink structure for your website is somehow important. Because it will affect both the potential visitors’ and search engines’ behavior.
Visitors might not even want to click the link if it displays only the page ID, providing no information about the target page, and search engine bots might have problems while navigating and indexing your website. In this article, we will explain how to change the URL structure in WordPress websites.
The first thing to configure
First of all, setting the URL structure is one of the first steps you should be doing while developing a new WordPress website. Because things might get messy depending on your way of putting links on your pages.
If you are taking advantage of the WordPress link insert feature with selecting pages or posts, you are good to go; because they are linked based on page or post IDs, thus, changing the URL structure will not affect the links. However, if you are putting the links directly as URLs, you might need to fix all the internal links on your website. This is why it is the first thing to decide when you are developing a WordPress website.
Changing the URL structure in WordPress
Step 1: Go to Permalinks Settings
Changing the URL structure in WordPress is pretty easy. Simply navigate to Settings > Permalinks on your WordPress admin interface.
Step 2: Choose your new URL structure
In the Permalink Settings menu, you will see several pre-defined options as well as a “Custom Structure” option. The “Plain” setting simply uses the post IDs, like the “Numeric” option. There are two time-related options “Day and name” and “Month and name”; both can be good for simple blogging sites.
The “Post name” option is one of the most widely used URL structures because it is very simple and it also hints at the content of the page through its URL.
Creating a custom URL structure on WordPress
You may as well want to create your own URL structure depending on the content on your website and the visitors. In this case, you can use the custom structure option in Permalink Settings on WordPress websites. You can simply pick your preferred tags down below and order them freely to build your own URL structure. And, this is the only way to include the post author’s name in the URLs, if you want to include it. As an example, Cloud7.news uses the following structure:
Here, you can change the names for the category and tag bases. For example, if you change the Tag base with “news”, the link becomes www.cloud7.news/news/amd instead of www.cloud7.news/tags/amd for the AMD tag we use in the news.
Where is the permalink setting in WordPress?
Permalink Setting is in Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress admin interface.
What happens if I change my permalink structure?
If you are using internal links with simple copy-paste on your WordPress, those links will be broken. However, if you are using the “Link to existing content” option, your links will be safe; because those links are based on page/post IDs.
What is the best permalink structure for WordPress?
The best permalink structures for WordPress are the predefined “Post name” and Custom structure, using Category and Post name.
Does changing the permalink structure affect SEO?
Yes, it affects SEO since the search engine bots look for specific links repeatedly; they might decide that the links are broken. The best thing to do is decide on the URL structure before beginning the development of the website.
What is the difference between a URL and a permalink?
Permalink is an URL that is intended to stay forever to lead a specific content, post, or page.