How to Change Your WordPress Permalinks

In this article we are going to look into permalinks. The goal for this entry is to make your blog’s permalinks more readable and also improve search engine optimization on your site.

What is a permalink?

Permalink is short for ‘permanent link’. It is a URL that points at a specific blog post, category, or page.

There are a couple of different formats for permalinks:

“Ugly Permalinks”

This is the default in WordPress. It works on all different types of servers but is not human friendly.


In this example ‘N’ is the Post ID number.

“Pretty Permalinks”

With WordPress you can use mod_rewrite to create much nicer looking permalinks. There are many different formats.

Example 3:
Examele 2:

There are many different possibilities with permalinks. We will now show you how to edit them.

Permalink Common Settings

The WordPress developers have made updating your permalink structure very easy. First you need to login to your WordPress admin panel, then click on ‘Permalinks’ under the ‘Settings’ header on the left hand side. You should see this screen:

Permalink Settings

WordPress Permalink Settings

As you can see we have a few common settings to choose from or we can create a custom structure. If you have never did anything with this setting before your permalink structure should be set to the default aka “ugly” permalinks.

The setting you choose will depend on how long your want each of your post’s URL to be as well as what information you want displayed in the link.

If you want to easily tell when a post was published then ‘Day and name’ or ‘Month and name’ will be your best bet. Using these will allow you to look at the URL for the entry and quickly tell when the post was made.

The ‘Numeric’ option is basially a hybrid ‘ugly’ permalink that lets you modify the structure a little.

Now we come to ‘Custom Structure’. This is the one we use at WPZine. We prefer this one because it allows us to have a nice, clean URL.

To use this simply type /%postname%/ in the text field and click ‘Save Changes’ at the botton. You will now have URLs that look like this:

I use this option anytime I setup a WordPress site. For one, I generally don’t need to determine when a post was published based on the URL; and two I simply like the way it looks.

Permalink Optional Settings

The optional settings is where you can set a different title for ‘category’ and ‘tag’.

Permalink Options

Additional Permalink Options

If you want to call your tags or categories something different you can enter that here. For example some of you may prefer to call your categories topics or sections and your tags badges or IDs.

Get to work!

As you can see permalinks are highly customizable and easy to change. The best part is changing your permalinks from the default to a nicer looking structure makes your blog’s URLs more reasable by both humans and search engines.

We hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to leave a comment.

Also, don’t forget about the contest we are having for ‘Digging Into WordPress’.

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