Permalink is the digital address of your content which people enter into their browser to view any content in your website. Simply it is the URL of the content you publish on your WordPress website. Search engines and other websites also use permalink to find your website. When you are building and setting up a website, defining your URL structure is an important aspect to consider. Permalinks can be a vital part of SEO practice and every website owners should have some idea of permalinks. In WordPress permalinks are set by default. But the default permalink is set to plain which shows some random numbers in the URL which is not human and SEO friendly. So how to create custom permalinks in WordPress?
There are three basic types of permalink available according to official WordPress Codex.
1. “Ugly” Permalinks: This is the default option in WordPress and looks like http://www.example.com/?p=25. This format is hard to read and use since it has more numbers rather than words. So it is given the name “ugly”.
2. “Pretty” Permalinks: These are the familiar looking links since they contain the individual post. Majority of modern sites use this kind of permalink. In this case, the domain name is followed by a clean string of identifiers, for example, http://example.com/2016/12/30/post-name
3. “Almost Pretty” Permalinks: They are the improved version of pretty permalinks. The only difference is that they have /index.php inserted in the link followed by specific identifiers relating to a post. Also called PATHINFO permalinks. This permalink looks something like this:
In theory, the URL to each post should be permanent, and never change. Hence the name permalink is the abbreviation of Permanent Link. However WordPress gives you the ability to create custom permalinks. Custom permalink is the URL structure applied to a particular categories or tags in WordPress that do not affect the rest of the URL structure. Creation of custom permalinks is done in order to fit the marketing strategies or improve SEO or just for simplicity.
Why change permalink to custom permalink ?
The default permalink structure is not user-friendly. It is easy to refer a website with readable and user-friendly URL. Some of the more common reasons for you to create custom permalink are as follows:
- For better Search Engine optimization: URL with structured hierarchy is liked by search engines for crawling. In Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, Google suggests to use a structured URL with proper keywords since it will be easier for them to crawl your pages.
- Prevent Duplicating Content: Duplication of a link is a problem which can be solved with customization of links in the system. You can include date or unique name of the post to prevent from this problem.
- For making Permalink user friendly: URL of Website with readable and easy permalink can get more inbound links. Visitor can easily refer your site and good permalink is also a sign of professionalism.
How to Create Custom Permalinks in WordPress
You can change the permalink of a page using permalink setting page. To access the settings for permalinks:
1. Log in to your dashboard. Go to the “Settings” in your WordPress Dashboard and find Permalink in the sub menu.
2. This opens the permalink setting page.
3. Select the structure of URL you want to use. You can also create a custom structure.
4. Finally click the “Save Changes” button.
Using Tags in Custom Structure
In the permalink settings page, “Custom Structure” option allows you to set up a more detailed addresses by using tag. The tags that you can use include:
Just select the “Custom Structure” radio button. After the domain’s address, you can enter any tag with a “/” in between.
Creating custom permalink
Generally in WordPress changing the permalink means changing the slug of the page or post. Here are the ways to change the slug of page, post, category and tag.
Changing the Slug of Posts or Pages
A slug is the SEO friendly name of a post, page, category or tag in WordPress. Slug provides an easy way to identify your content. When you create a new post or page, an automatic slug is inserted by WordPress. While changing the slug, selection of proper keywords is very important.
To change the slug of page or post follow the following steps:
1. Navigate to post or page edit page.
2. Click the edit button next to the permalink.
3. Change the slug to the proper keyword that can be easily addressed by the users in the search engines.
Changing Slug of Categories and Tags
To change the slug of category and tags follow these steps:
1. From admin dashboard, navigate your path to Post > Categories.
2. This opens the category page, hover your mouse over to the category name that you want to edit. When hovered over, few links will be displayed as shown in image.
3. In the newly seen links click Quick Edit button that will open the quick edit box with title of the category and URL slug.
4. Change the slug to any keyword you desire and click update button.
Using similar steps you can also change the slug of your tags. You can also use plugins like Custom Permalinks to set custom permalinks to page, post, categories, tags and custom taxonomies.
One more thing we should talk about is redirects. When you change URL of already published post, you have to set up redirects. If your blog is popular and if you have many inbound links, your users will get broken links with changed URL. So you must setup the redirect to prevent broken links to your site. You can use redirection plugin such as Redirection to ensure that you do not lose any traffic.
We hope the article gives you idea about permalink and its customization. Now, using these techniques you can easily create custom permalink.
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