WordPress Wednesdays: Pretty Permalinks

This WordPress Wednesdays entry is a re-post from Matthew’s old blog as we resurrect them here at GeekRev.

Back again for another WordPress Wednesdays tip, this time it’s an easy change that goes a long way and adds heaps of SEO to your WordPress site. Something I have always had an issue with in WordPress was the default setting on the permalinks page. What the heck are Permalinks?

Permalinks can easily be explained as the words, letters and/or symbols after the domain name.

ie: www.geekrev.com/this-is-a-permalink

So by default WordPress ships with permalinks being a fugly URL that ends in “?p=123″ or something crazy like that. Thank God it’s easily remedied. This is a must setting for ALL of you admins running WordPress based sites. Why do you ask..well it’s so important for your SEO needs and ranks as a to do on all SEO experts lists when launching a new site.

Have yet to make this easy change? Get on it ASAP! Here is how.

Navigate to your “Settings” drop down on the admin side of your website and find the pane as seen below.

Once there you will see these settings on your control panel.


Make sure you select “Custom Structure” and I personally think /%postname%/ is the way to go. There are tons of differing opinions but this is your best option in my eyes.

While doing this from the launch of your site is easy, switching it in the midst of things could hurt your search rankings a tad. Well there is a great plugin that I have used on many sites that does the job for you. It’s called Redirection. This plugin claims to do the following for you:

Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

I must say that it does it’s job well and points the search engine directly to the new, updated structure of permalinks, eventually leading directly to the new structure of your post. If you do this earlier on, you could probably use this plugin for maybe  a month or two after your permalinks structure change and then get rid of it. By that time Google and all of the other search engines would of moved their links to your new links.

That’s it for today, this is must do in my opinion!!

18 Replies to “WordPress Wednesdays: Pretty Permalinks”

  1. I made this change a month after starting to blog and noticed incoming traffic to my site jump almost immediately.

    This is definitely a must do for bloggers!

  2. I just migrated to WP from Typepad recently. I moved over 700 posts. Can I make this change without any trouble?

    btw, because I’m on WP now, I really like your faithfulness to the WP Wednesday posts.

    1. Thanks Scott!!

      Yes you can without much issues, I know for sure you can and should change this ASAP AND use the Redirection plugin I have written about. It really is easy. Make the change and install/activate the plugin and you are good to go.

  3. Thanks man! I just decided I wanted to change my permalink structure to /%postname%/ yesterday before I saw this post. I realized that it was going to be a bit of an undertaking since my blog has been around for a couple years. I’ll try that plugin.

    Thanks again!

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