I decided to take the big plunge and change my permalink structure to something that search engines such as Google see as a “pretty permalink.” Before I go into more technical issues, if you notice something that doesn’t work or redirects to a error page, please let me know so I can correct it. Thank you!
What is a permalink?
In the least technical sense possible, a permalink is the permanent URL of the blog post, page, category, etc, that will never change. And it makes it easy to link to a post.
Okay, then what is a “pretty” permalink?
Previously, my blog posts were formatted like this:
Not very descriptive, right? Now, the same post with a “pretty permalink” structure looks like this:
You’ll notice it still has the 12056 listed, which is fine (and how I wanted it) since it is the unique post identification number, but now you can actually see the post title within the URL. Not only is it “pretty” but it will also help with search engine rankings since the main keywords are in the URL itself. And just to prove a point, here is another example. Take a look at this:
Yeah. I have no idea what page ID 11209 is either. But now I do since it has changed to this:
Oooo I have a WordPress blog and I want to do this too!
Great! I was worried at first because I have over 10,000 posts so I decided to be the guinea pig. This is a foolproof way to get your links changed. First, visit this link to decide what permalink structure you want to use (in my case, I used
/%post_id%/%postname%/). Next, I advise having the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin installed so you can correct the invalid links within any posts, if necessary. Finally, just follow these steps:
- Login to your hosting account to access the file directory
- In the root folder for your blog, find the .htaccess file and delete it
- Visit your WordPress admin then go to Settings -> Permalinks, change your permalink structure, and save
- There’s no need to create a new .htaccess file since WordPress creates one for you
Enjoy your pretty permalinks!