What are Permalinks and How to Configure them in WordPress?

wordpress permalink settings options

Understanding the Permalinks

Permalink is the short name for “permanent link”. It is basically a web page URL with which a particular page on a website can be viewed. As you might have noted this page you are reading has the permalink URL that is appearing in the Address Bar of your internet browser.

WordPress by default uses the kind of permalinks that are not user friendly and won’t give a clue on what the page is about. To make it simple for you to understand below is the permalink that WordPress generated by default for this very page you are reading.

www.wphq.net/?p=52

Configuring the Permalinks

As Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gained popularity the WordPress development community realized the importance of having more meaningful permalinks for the posts and pages. Going to the Settings > Permalinks section in your WordPress administration dashboard gives you the options to configure permalinks for your website or blog. What you configure here is the portion of the URL that appears after the website’s name.

wordpress permalink settings options

As can be seen in above image, there are quite a few options available. The first option is the default on that we discussed above. Second and third options using “day and name” or “month and name” are commonly seen in blogs that are fairly old. It was required to start the permalink with numeric fields like month or date for performance reasons. Now that WordPress has addressed the performance issue, using just “post name” as permalink is a great choice too.

You can also use custom structure like below that suits certain websites better.

/%category%/%postname%/

Assuming your blog is about travel destinations and you categorize your posts by continent, the permalink of an example post can look like below which makes sense.

www.mytravelblog.com/category/asia/visit-to-great-wall-of-china/

So that is all about Permalinks in WordPress. Do let me know what your permalinks setting is and why do you think it is best for your blog. Feel free to post any questions via the comments below.

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