WordPress Blog’s Permalink: Understand, Structure and Tweak It!

Tweaking and Understanding Permalinks in WordPress Blog Permalinks is a crucial element in getting huge load of WordPress blog traffic as it can regarded as the main pillar of Search Engine Optimization.

By having permalinks with proper and suitable structure base on your WordPress blog’s focus, it will help your WordPress blog to get the proper attentions by the search engines which can be regarded as the main traffic source especially for a new and still-in-developing-stage WordPress blog.

Proper permalink structure helps WordPress blog or particular article of our blog to get better ranking in the search engine results for example through Google because along the keywords in the blog or article themselves, the keywords that you have integrate into the permalink will also be part of the factor that search engines consider in providing the search results.

Here I give you the example:

Effect of permalinks on search engine's results

Effect of permalinks on search engine's results

If you see the above screenshot on Google’s search result on ‘top blogging tips‘, Daily Blog Tips is ranked first on the key phrase which have almost 2 million search results. If you further analyse above image, you will find that most of the places that are being highlighted are in the title and the url of the WordPress blog’s article i.e. the permalinks.

This element can be the major factor why the article gets the 1st place for the search results – the permalinks has the high density of keywords as compared to articles with the same content but with different title and permalink structure.

Change Your WordPress blog’s Permalinks

In order to tweak the structure of your permalinks, first you have to go the Permalinks Settings page (Settings>Permalinks) and will find below screenshot.

Permalinks setting page

Permalinks setting page

In this page, WordPress let you to decide on how you would like your new permalinks structure to appear through 3 standard options – Day and Name, Month and Name and Numeric. If you found that the options do not suit you or your WordPress blog, you can tweak the permalinks structure.

If you decide to use the custom section, below tags can help you to tweak your WordPress blog further.

The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004
Month of the year, for example 05
Day of the month, for example 28
Hour of the day, for example 15
Minute of the hour, for example 43
Second of the minute, for example 33
A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomesthis-is-a-great-post in the URI (see Using only %postname%). Starting Permalinks with %postname% is strongly not recommended for performance reasons..
The unique ID # of the post, for example 423
A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI. Starting Permalinks with %category% is strongly not recommended for performance reasons.
A sanitized version of the tag name (tag slug field on New/Edit Tag panel). Starting Permalinks with %tag% is strongly not recommended for performance reasons.
A sanitized version of the author name.

You have  to start the custom section box with a slash (/) and follow by the above tags that you decide to integrate into your permalinks. For example, if you want to have the category of your article to be in front of its title in the permalinks, you have to type in the custom section box – /%category%/%postname%

When you have finalize your permalinks structure and hit the Save Changes button, you will probably get message

“If your .htaccess file were writable……”.

This is the crucial part as if you do not create the .htaccess file which your WordPress requires, your WordPress blog’s permalinks will be shown as broken links and cannot be viewed. However, this process is actually is plain simple.

First, you have to open Notepad program which most of computers have (Program> Accessories> Notepad) and paste below code which is given at the end of Permalinks Setting page.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Then, you just need to hit Save As…  and save the file under .htaccess title but you have to change the type of file to All Files instead of Text Documents (.txt)

Change WordPress blog permalinks' structure

Save the file under .htaccess title and change the type of file

After you save it, the .htaccess file need to be uploaded into your WordPress blog’s root directory – folder that has wp-admin folder, wp content folder and few others under it. When the file has been completely uploaded, refresh your Permalinks Setting page to let the tweaking get into effect.

Your optimized WordPress blog will then completely set up and you will now have proper WordPress blog’s permalinks structure.

That’s all! Pretty easy right? Feel free to throw any questions regarding this topic and I will try my best to find the best solution. By the way, share your experience on how permalinks structure’s tweaking help to boost your blog traffic.


4 Responses to WordPress Blog’s Permalink: Understand, Structure and Tweak It!

  1. ariff says:

    I guess permalinks structure helps a lot in SERP. Period!

    There’s no need all those months and year. Only makes the url too long.

  2. Mike says:

    I have always been afraid to mess with the htaccess file since i don’t really know what it is. I don’t want to mess up my entire site. Is that possible?

  3. ariff says:

    Just make a backup copy of it before playing with the .htaccess and you’ll be fine

  4. Mike says:

    ok thanks, ill try it.

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