Have you ever wondered which WordPress permalink structure is the most SEO-friendly? New users frequently ask us this question. That’s because the default WordPress URL structure wasn’t exactly SEO-friendly in the past. That is, however, no longer the case. We’ll go through how to alter your WordPress permalinks and how to make them SEO-friendly in this article.
What is a URL that is SEO-friendly?
Before we go into WordPress permalinks, it’s crucial to understand what an SEO Friendly URL is.
SEO Friendly URLs include terms that describe the article and are simple to read for both people and search engines. They also help you rank better in search engine results.
An example of an SEO-friendly URL is as follows:
So, what does a URL that isn’t SEO-friendly look like?
WordPress now uses the post name in the URL by default, which is the best URL structure for SEO.
So why do newbies still come to us for advice on the ideal permalink structure?
That’s because, in the past, WordPress didn’t employ permalinks or nice URLs. The non-SEO-friendly sample we gave earlier used to be the default.
In the WordPress admin section, you can quickly check your permalink settings.
Explanation of the Permalink Settings Page
Permalinks are the name given to links in WordPress (short for permanent links). The terms permalink structure and URL structure are frequently interchanged.
The first step is to go to your WordPress admin area and go to the Permalinks settings page.
Simply go to the admin menu and click on Settings, then Permalinks.
As you can see, there are a variety of options.
Using the supplied tags, create your own URL structure.
Let’s take a look at these alternatives and how they can help users and SEO.
The first option, plain, was previously the default WordPress URL structure. This isn’t a good solution for SEO.
Because it contains the post name, the day and name option is somewhat SEO-friendly. When using dates, however, the URL becomes too long. But, more crucially, even if you routinely update your content, it will appear outdated after a while. The month and name choice, likewise, runs the danger of being out of date.
If you’re a news organization, though, you’ll want the dates in your URL to demonstrate how recent the content is and to improve the user experience.
Those two structures, in our opinion, are only suitable for news sites. It is not recommended for business websites that want to develop evergreen content.
Because it is brief and attractive, the post name choice is the most SEO-friendly.
If you have a larger publication, a bespoke structure that is likewise SEO friendly can be used.
We utilize a special permalink structure at WPExpertPro that includes a category name in addition to the article name in the URL. It is ideal for us because our site is vast and contains thousands of articles. A similar URL format can be seen in larger publications.
You’ll need to use specific tags in the custom structure box to use a custom URL structure. For instance, we might use:
Take note of how each tag is wrapped around a percent sign. The trailing slashes / before, after, and between the tags should also be noted.
Using Available Tags to Create a Custom URL Structure
We recommend using the settings shown above for the best results. You can either use the WPExpertPro URL format or use the article name as your URL structure.
Tags, on the other hand, can be used to make a variety of additional combinations. Here’s a list of tags you can use to make your own unique URL structure:
- %year% — The year of the post, in four digits, for example, 2016.
- %monthnum% – Month of the year, for example, 05
- %day%– Day of the month, for example, 28
- %hour% – Hour of the day, for example, 15
- %minute% – Minute of the day, for example, 15 percent minute
- %secound% – Second of the minute, for example, 43
- %postname% – Minute of the hour, for example, 43
After you’ve chosen your permalink structure, don’t forget to click the save changes button.
When you save your modifications, WordPress will automatically update your site’s.htaccess file, and your site will begin using the new URL structure right away.
Important Reminder for Established Sites
Please don’t update your permalink structure if your site has been up for longer than 6 months.
You are not required to utilize the same structure as we used.
If you change your permalink structure on an existing site, you risk losing all of your social media shares and risk losing your SEO rating.
Hire an expert to put up suitable redirects if you need to update your permalink structure. Your social sharing numbers on the pages will still be lost.
Only one exception exists to this rule. If your site uses plain URLs, you should alter the URL format for improved SEO, regardless of how old it is. Yes, you’ll lose social share numbers, but the advantages far exceed this.
We hope you found this post useful in creating an SEO-friendly URL structure for your WordPress blog.