A Guide To WordPress Permalinks, And Why You Should Never Use The Default Settings

Posted on April 28, 2014 by in Tips & Tricks | 162 comments

A Guide To WordPress Permalinks, And Why You Should Never Use The Default Settings

The URLs of the content you publish on your WordPress website are known as permalinks. Permalinks are what people enter into their browser address bar to view one of your pages (they are the permanent link to a single page). They are also what search engines and other websites use to link to your website. Due to this, they are very important.

You can change the structure of your permalinks at any time. However doing this will changee the URL of your pages. This can cause your search engine traffic and referral traffic to drop considerably as visitors are presented with 404 page errors instead of the page they want to view.

301 redirects can stop the impact of a change in permalink structure,; however, it is still better to configure your website with the permalink structure you want from the beginning.

There are a few options for what permalink structures WordPress has available, and each of them has its own benefits. No matter what, having clean URLs on your website is very important.

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The Default Permalink Structure

WordPress permalink settings can be found in the main settings menu of the WordPress admin area (i.e. https://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/options-permalink.php).

In the screenshot below, you can see the five custom permalink structures that WordPress displays as common settings.

WordPress automatically enables the Plain permalink structure after you install WordPress. The number used in the default permalink advises WordPress where the content can be found in your database. To be more specific, the number refers to the ID of the table row in the wp_posts table of your WordPress database (the table prefix for your website will be different if you changed it during the installation process). For example, http://www.yourwebsite.com/?p=50 would refer to the 50th row in your website’s wp_posts table and http://www.yourwebsite.com/?page_id=100 would refer to the 100th.

The default permalink structure is not user-friendly. It is better to refer a visitor to a URL such as http://www.yourwebsite.com/big-news-story/ than http://www.yourwebsite.com/?page_id=54367.

The part at the end of the permalink, i.e. ?p=123, is known as a query string. The question mark is a separator and the part that follows afterwards is the identifying data. In this case, we are identifying content from the database to display.

Despite many people suggesting otherwise, search engines such as Google can and do index URL’s that contain query strings (billions of indexed pages online are testament to this). However, search engines do prefer you to use “friendlier” URLs. And they’re ranked higher in results because of their semantic URL structure.

In their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, Google make it clear that a structured URL structure with keywords will make it easier for them to crawl your pages:

Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website can not only help you keep your site better organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, “friendlier” URLs for those that want to link to your content.

Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words. URLs like (1) can be confusing and unfriendly. Users would have a hard time reciting the URL from memory or creating a link to it. Also, users may believe that a portion of the URL is unnecessary, especially if the URL shows many unrecognizable parameters. They might leave off a part, breaking the link.

Some users might link to your page using the URL of that page as the anchor text. If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.

So to summarize Google’s points above :

  • URLs with a structured hierarchy will make it easier for them to crawl your pages
  • Visitors may cut off part of your URL when copying a link as the additional code might seem unnecessary
  • URLs that contain relevant keywords will help you rank better in search engines

Due to these reasons, it is better to use one a more search engine friendly permalink structure on your WordPress website.

A Search Engine Friendly Permalink Structure

Apart from the Plain permalink structure, all of the permalink structures that WordPress offers are search engine friendly (though %post_id% does not utilize keywords). These permalink structures are sometimes referred to as “Pretty Permalinks” or “Clean URLs.”

In order to use these permalink structures, WordPress needs to modify your website’s .htaccess file. WordPress will generally do this automatically. If it cannot, you need to add the code to your .htaccess file manually.

You can find a guide on how to do this on WordPress.org. If you find that guide difficult to follow, I recommend speaking to your web hosting company about this issue. They will be able to add the necessary code to your .htaccess file or make your .htaccess file writable so that WordPress can automatically change your permalink structure.

When you choose one of the five common permalink structures that WordPress suggests, you will see the custom structure field change. The different tags that you see listed in this field are known as structure tags. There are ten structure tags available to you.

  • %postname% – The post slug of your post
  • %post_id% – The unique ID of a post
  • %category% – The category a post was assigned to
  • %year% – The year the article was published
  • %monthnum% – The month the article was published
  • %day% – The day the article was published

You can also use the following tags (though very few websites do):

  • %hour% – The hour the article was published
  • %minute% – The minute the article was published
  • %second% – The second the article was published
  • %author% – The author name

When looking to use “Pretty Permalinks,” you must include either the post name (%postname%) or the post ID (%post_id%). The post slug refers to the last part of your permalink. It can be edited directly through the post editor. Keep in mind that the keywords you use in your post slug can influence your search engine rankings.

Technically, you could use a permalink structure such as month and name without using %postname% or %post_id% (i.e. /%year%/%monthnum%/). This would only function correctly if you published one article per month. If two articles were published in a given month, they would both have the same URL. The result is that all articles from that month would be published on the same URL, therefore you would be unable to actually view any post on its own.

In other words, you need to use either %postname% or %post_id% to ensure that the URLs of posts and pages are unique.

What is the Best WordPress Permalink Structure?

The ten permalink structure tags that are available theoretically allow you to create a large number of unique permalink structures. They’re not all useful, however. (Who uses hours, minutes, adn seconds in a URL?) In practice, most WordPress websites use of the following permalink structures:

  • Post Name (/%postname%/ -> www.yourwebsite.com/big-news/) – Post name is very popular with WordPress owners because it generates short memorable URLs. I use it on my personal blog. It may not suitable for websites that publish multiple times per day on the same topic. It could become difficult to come up with unique post slugs. For example, a tech blog might use the post slug /iphone-8/ for their first iPhone 8 news story; however they could not use that post slug ever again. So it had better be an amazing cornerstone article.
  • Category and Name (/%category%/%postname%/ -> www.yourwebsite.com/sports/big-news/) – Category and name is the permalink structure that the Elegant Themes blog uses. It creates a hierarchical structure of content on your website and ensures that visitors know what kind of post they are viewing. It also doesn’t hurt that it stuffs the most keywords into your URL than any other option; which (apparently) is great from an SEO point of view.
  • Full Date and Name (/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ -> www.yourwebsite.com/2014/05/01/big-news/) – High traffic news websites can publish dozens of articles per day. That is why most websites with a high posting frequency use the day and name permalink structure. It ensures their page URLs contain the year, month, and day, that an article was published. So you can absolutely use /iphone-8/ on a daily basis, just not more than once a day.
  • Year, Month, and Name (/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/ -> www.yourwebsite.com/2014/05/big-news/) – Year, Month, and Name is another popular choice. It generates URLs that are two characters shorter than day and name.

The post name and category and name permalink structures are also popular because they do not specify the date an article was published within the URL. If you publish evergreen content (or content that never goes out of date or is still be relevant for many years), you don’t want to use dates in your URL. However, many website owners take advantage of this and completely remove the publication date from all their articles, which can be frustrating as a reader as you do not know whether the information on the page is still valid. (For example, SEO Trends to Watch This Year that was published in 2013 and not updated is probably a waste of your time, but the publish date may be nowhere to be found).

The Best WordPress Permalink Structure

If you search for “best WordPress permalink structure,” you will find many people stating that post name is the best permalink structure for WordPress. Few people actually back up this view with facts. With many bloggers, it appears to merely be their own personal preference.

In fact, that applies to most if not all of the popular URL structures. From an SEO point of view, I have seen nothing to suggest that any of the options mentioned previously have an advantage over the others. If one permalink structure was better for SEO, everyone would be using it. Google’s semantic ranking algorithm, however, does indicate you’ll want something with keywords in it, be it category or post name.

Years ago, I wrote an article about the best WordPress permalink structure, and then wrote a follow up article a year later.

My first article referred to an article on Weberz from 2009 that stated that many SEO experts give wrong advice regarding WordPress permalinks. Back then, with the issue with post name still causing performance issues (fixed in WP 3.3 in 2011, mind you), many people recommended started your permalink structure with a numeric field such as the year or post ID. However, people who were involved with optimizing search engines stressed that any performance issues were negligible anyway; therefore, it made more sense to use a permalink structure that was better for SEO.

These days, with the post name bug long behind us, there seems to be no performance issues linked with any common permalink structures. And to my knowledge, there is no SEO benefit of using one permalink over another. So the best WordPress permalink structure is really the one that suits your site the best. Except for Plain.

What WordPress Permalink Structure to Use?

I would recommend using the day and name option (/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/) if you have a news website that publishes multiple articles per day. It is what top blogs such as Engadget and Mashable use.

For everything else, I would use post name (/%postname%/) or category and name (/%category%/%postname%/).

I use post name myself with all of my websites. I am not an SEO expert, though the idea that inserting categories into your post URLs to boost rankings seems plausible, as it allows you to define more keywords in the URL.

Categories are not something I like to attach to a URL as it restricts you from ever modifying your categories. I have changed the names of my post categories two or three times over the last few years. If I had been using category and name as my permalink structure, all of my URLs would have been broken. I therefore prefer not to include category in permalinks as it gives me the option of moving posts to a different category or renaming a category at a later date.

Customizing the Category and Tag Base

At the bottom of the permalink settings page you will see optional settings for your category base and tag base. The default values for these fields are category and tag.

With the default settings, if you have a category on your website called WordPress, the URL of the WordPress category archives would be http://www.yourwebsite.com/category/wordpress/. Likewise, if you have a tag called Themes, the tag archive URL for that tag would be http://www.yourwebsite.com/tag/themes/.

Changing these fields allows you to change the URLs that are used for archives. For example, you could change the category base to cat and the tag base to topic. In our example, this would generate the archive URLs http://www.yourwebsite.com/cat/wordpress/ and http://www.yourwebsite.com/topic/themes/.

Final Thoughts

Your permalink structure dictates how your website URLs are constructed. As such, it is something that you should review before you launch your website.

From an SEO and performance point of view, there does not seem to be any major benefits to choosing one permalink structure over another. Therefore, it really comes down to your own preference.

Remember, it is in your best interest to keep the same permalink structure active for the life of your site. If you do decide to change for any reason, use a redirection plugin such as Redirection to ensure that you do not lose any traffic. It doesn’t matter how pretty your permalinks are if all your visitors ever see is a 404 page.

If you have any questions or comments or suggestions about the best WordPress permalink structure, toss them in the comments! We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Article thumbnail image by Tack Tack / shutterstock.com

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  1. I was using the default permalinks until I realized how messy they looked. Seeing a bunch of numbers and dashes retweeted does not look very nice. Good thing I prettied them up with post names.

    I have quite a few old (and now broken) links posted out there but most of them are old enough no one clicks them anyway.

    • Check for 404 page errors on Google Webmaster Tools to be sure. If you find some errors, you can set up a 301 redirect for them so that you don’t lose any traffic 🙂

    • Thanks willi, Very informative and usefull.Thanks.

  2. Thanks for another good article, Kevin.

  3. Thanks for such a well detailed article kevin, really learned a lot 🙂

  4. Nice post
    Keep tutorials like that up! You guys rock!

  5. Wow, what a great article! The level of research and information is terrific. Good advice that people shouldn’t just suddenly change their structure or they will end up with broken links on their site. Also, if you change the structure of your permalinks, you will loose your Likes | +1’s | Tweet’s etc. I know these are hard to earn, so most wouldn’t want to see them go missing!

    • Thanks Eileen for the advice, I didn’t knew that I can lose all my shares/likes and +1’s… I have about 200+ articles on my blog and I want to change the structure to /category/postname from /year/month/day/postname…

  6. Very informative and usefull.Thanks.

  7. And how do you put a termination .html?

    • I think a plugin do this, rendering the html of your file.

  8. Hi Kevin
    Your posts are fast becoming collectors items – another great one here.

    I use …%postname% – The post slug of your post

    On more than one occasion I’ve had to change the title of a post, the good thing is that it doesn’t mess with the URL once the post has been published.

    • I do that myself. If I am unsure about the title of a post, I will just make sure the post slug is ok and then change the title later 🙂

  9. Hi Kevin,

    Great read! One quick question- is the 5th option and the custom /%postname%/ both the same?

    • Yes. WordPress changes the content of the custom structure as you move through the different options. They are both identical 🙂

  10. Thank you very much Kevin for clarifying between the /%postname%/ and /%category%//%postname%/. However, some says its better to use /%category%//%postname%/ permalink structure when setting a social/community website with Buddypress, how true is this?

    • I have tested BuddyPress but never used it for a live website. So I wouldn’t know the reason for that 🙂

      • Wise answer. I will stick to postname structure then…Thanks.

  11. Good advice here. I always use Postname for small business websites who don’t really use the blogging functionality of WordPress.

    For any site that uses a blog, I stick to Category/Postname, just like Elegant Themes 😀

    I just want to throw this into the mix, should we all use “www.” on our sites or not?

    My default WordPress installs never use www by default, for example http://example.com

    Should we always change this to http://www.example.com

    Would love to hear all your thoughts.

    • From an SEO point of view, it does not matter. However, I have always used www because that is what all major internet websites use 🙂

    • It has no SEO score impact. I wouldn’t give it another thought.

  12. Thank you for the article Kevin, I found it most helpful. I have a question for you, too. I’m currently building a new version of my website and this may include me using a different permalink structure than for the old version. How do I exactly prevent people who click the old link somewhere to get a 404 error in an easy way? Please note I’m building the entire website again from scratch, one post or product at a time. I did see your plug-in suggestion but I’m not sure if it’ll work for my new version. Any advise would be much appreciated.

    • Yeah the plugin suggestion should work.

      If you just have a few links, you could just do some basic 301 redirects. If you have a lot, you should use something that completely redirects the old permalink structure to the new one.

      The plugin I suggested should correct everything and ensure there are no 404 errors.

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly, I appreciate it a lot. Can’t wait to finish my new website using the DIVI theme!

        • No problem. Best of luck with your website.

  13. Thanks for sharing this Kevin! I used to adopt the category-postname permalink structure for one of my blogs, but would bump into 404 errors from time to time. I’ve finally switched to the default year-month-postname structure. It’s been smooth sailing since.

    • Glad to hear it Stef. Best of luck with your blog 🙂

  14. It’s helpful, thanks.

  15. Hey Kevin,
    I learned the hard way quite sometime ago and to keep it simple I use %post_id% and %postname% on my blogs. %postname% is the best way to go but just in case you have a duplicate title and slug name the %post_id% takes care of that.


    Great article!

    • I do the post ID and post name as well. It guarantees’ the url will be unique. I’d rather not use the year because the posts become stale very quickly then. And I think it’s OK to have a number in the url rather than pundits who think they should stuff seo key words in every cranny of a url.

    • I rarely run into the post name duplication problem, though if you post frequently, using ID is a good idea. Plus it still generates nice clean URLs.

  16. Very helpful article Kevin, I used default permalink setting of WordPress.

    • Have you not considered using pretty permalinks?

  17. Thank you for a great article Kenny! I can now say that I finally understand permalink use =) I definitely feel a lot more comfortable and confident in my decision to use one over the other!
    Thanks so much ~

    • Sorry about the name Kevin!!! I can’t believe I did that – I really need to get some rest! lol

      • haha They killed Kenny 🙂

        Glad you found the article useful Frieda.

  18. I use /%pagename%/ in websites that don’t have posts… Can you advise on this. What’s your opinion? It seems to be working perfectly.

  19. Awesome Kevin! Many thanks!
    BTY, do you know the plugin name used here for “Subscribe to Our Newsletter”? they look cool!

    • I designed our subscribe popups myself 🙂 They aren’t available as plugin, but if there is enough interest we may turn them into something more official someday.

      • +1, much interested 😀

        • Another +1 interested, Nick. 🙂


  20. I love the newsletters and articles like this. For years I used the Category and Name structure, but then I realized it gave me problems with SEO and duplicate content, when I used a Theme from Elegant themes, since I also used a category for the featured news feed on my frontpage. After that I have stopped using category in links.

  21. i personally prefer %post-title% structures, on some sites i am using .html addition, both settings works perfectly for me.

    Anyway thanks for this detailed article.

  22. I believe that keywords within an article/category URL impact a site’s overall SEO score, and certainly an article’s visibility to search engines. To that end, straying from the WP default makes perfect sense to me.

    Good article, Kevin.


    • You’re welcome Tim. Glad you enjoyed it.

  23. Permalinks is one of the first things I fixed when I started using WordPress. Its great to read the reason why and the impact it has if you don’t. Thanks Kevin great article.

  24. Great article Kevin. Never really knew why the link had to be changed.

  25. Thanks for the very comprehensive post. This blog is my hands-down favorite. I open every email you send, and read almost every post.

  26. Hi Kevin,

    Great permalinks article. I love your writing style as you manage to both explain things in a non-techie way for newer readers but at the same time your articles are meaty enough for the more experience reader.

    I also use the /%pagename%/ structure as it keeps the URL looking clean.

    Great tip BTW about how setting the right URL first then allows you to play around with the article title. I’ve actually done this a few times but never really took notice that that was what I was doing at the time. 🙂

    Keep up the great work


  27. I like to keep my URLs as short as possible so will always use the %post-name% option.

  28. Permalink is very vital for WordPress based website. Thanks for great guide.

  29. If you are using Word Press and Woocommerce, I would suggest this URL structure:


    In an e-commerce environment, categories play an important role, both for SEO reasons and User experience reasons. If you don’t use categories in the Url, you will confuse search engine and custumer. Especially when having a lot of products belonging to different categories…….

  30. Learned lots of new things about permalinks this morning. Thank you Kevin, your articles are always well thought out and packed with information.

  31. Great tip, I see so many webmasters use non descriptive URLs. When I set up URL for a post I use just main KW and try not to look spammy with too many words in permalink. It can really help with rankings if you also include variation of the main KW or synonyms in URL.

    Your suggestion to include category name before post name in URL is great 🙂

    • No you will need to redirect using 301s.I would find a plugin to help you with this. If you do not have many links, you could manually add the 301 redirects to your .htaccess file.

  32. Thank you so much for clarifying our understanding about permalinks. Perfect article. I changed to /%category%/%postname%/ and custom base to dot (.). Everything else is fine. But the “Older Entries” link at the bottom of the page is broken. Earlier it was ../category/child-safety/page/2/ and now it is showing ../child-safety/page/2/ but page gives the error: The requested URL “…/child-safety/page/2/” cannot be found or is not available. Please check the spelling or try again later. Can I correct it?

    • I recreated the category tip noted in my article and my older entries link is working correctly. This suggests that the there is something wrong in your configuration somewhere. It is difficult to say what without looking at it myself.

  33. Thank you for your reply. I placed everything back as it was. But now after getting your reply, I will try this dot tip again. Many thanks.

  34. Have you written an article on ‘WP Media’ organization tips and/or organization of images in ‘Uploads folder’ and subfolders? I see many people are searching for it including me. I find it difficult to search an images if kept all in one Upload folder or divided in dated folders. I want to use your tips for a new site I am creating as well as for old sites, already created. Thanks in advance.

    • I have always just used date archives so this is not a subject I have delved into. Is your plan to categorise images using keywords?

      • Yes. And, I will have lot many images. So, I want to know what is the best way to name and organize images in WP. Some say put all images in Uploads folder and they are easy to find. Is it? It looks too messy to put them all in one place. I will go with date archives. Any cons in that? Thank you.

  35. Hi Kevin –
    Great info. I’m setting up a new site on a sub-domain to replace my existing WP site (I’m a novice with good help). I’m noticing on the existing site that it was set up with the permalink structure as Custom, with the entire URL plus %postname% in the custom field box. That seems to go against what I’ve read about never entering the main URL in that box. Any thoughts on this? I’m planning on using the “post name” option under Common settings, and this differs from what was used on the old site.

    • You do not enter your website url into the permalink field. That will cause the links to be messed up.

      Delete the URL so that only %postname% remains. 🙂

  36. Thanks for this great post!

    I have a question: is it possible to have both the default permalinks and the new one I choose to work at the same time?

    The reason is I have a moderately successful blog which have been using the default permalinks since the beginning. What happens to these old post’s permalinks if I change the permalinks structure today?

    Thanks for your help!

    • No. You can have only one permalink structure.

      The URL of your older posts will change if you modify the permalink structure. You will therefore have to set up a 301 redirect for them.

  37. Nice post Kevin. Very helpful.

    I used to use “Day and Name” setting before and now I’ve shifted to “Post name”. I do see some page not found errors. I am just a WP-beginner. I tired the redirect tool from Yoast, but after pasting the code in my .htaccess file in cpanel, I get the error, “Google Chrome could not find the page”. Now, I removed the code from .htaccess and I see “The page you are looking for cannot be found”. It has been two days but I am lost with no solution.


    Any suggestion is appreciated.


  38. Hello,

    thanks for this great article – i have seen a couple suggestions from other sources to use something like /%postname%/%post_id% or viceversa. I can see the benefit to generate infinite postnames.
    I was just wondering if that would make any sense compared to using %postname% alone if you are not having that much posts (yet) – kind of ‘just to be safe forever’.
    Or would it be good to use %postname%-5post_id% like i learned from the comments above?
    What do you guys think?


    • If you don’t post often, then you will never run into any problems with only using post name.

  39. No clue why, but a long time ago I used the Yoast redirection tool to move from “day and name” to the “Postname” style. However, running an article-based site, I’ve reached a point where there are multiple posts a day.

    Do you have any suggestions about going from “Postname” to “Day and Name” as cleanly as possible. It being a magazine style site, I think the “Day and name” format will be the best going forward, or even a category + postname format.

  40. Would it be possible to use a custom structure based off of other database fields? For example I have a directory site that currently uses company/%postname% Can I create some custom ones that I grab from the database like company/%state%/%city%/%postname%

    • Not that I know off. Perhaps this would be possible using some modding.

      You could assign one of those fields as a category and simply change the post slug etc. But I don’t think you could do it automatically without some custom work.

  41. kevin that was great article.. keep doing great work. 🙂

  42. Just a beginner question, if wordpress allows to change the permalinks for the pages, then what is the use of custom redirect url??
    still we will have duplicate content. ??

    Looking forward!

    • I am not sure what you mean. What are you trying to achieve with the redirect?

  43. Hi there….I must say your article is will written…. Good info… I have a website and wanted to change the permalink… When I change them all my pages gone with 404 error…pls help

    • You need to set up redirects for all your older URLs. You can do this for each URL. Alternatively, you could design a permalink that redirected the post to the new post slug.

      • I just got the same error, how can I “redirect” my older URL’s where should I do this? Please help

  44. i was using postname for my http://www.braindirector.com and then i switched to category/post title.
    From my experience, it works great in terms of SEO. however i still want to use post title only just because i like it. Should i?

  45. Hey! Your article was the first I found that directly addresses the issue I have with the wordpress permalinks. Granted, I am very inexperienced with the technicalities of websites and already considered successfully installing wordpress and wamp server by the aid of a youtube tutorial a major achievement. Now, everything I find that remotely looks like an internet address is localhost/’thenameofmydatabase (localhost/nameofdatabase.com. I can enter this on my computer and it directs me to the page where I can customize my wordpress site but I have no idea what exactly one would have to enter into the address bar to see my blog, or where I can find that information, or how I can turn it into something along the lines of http://www.myblog.wordpress.com for example? I would so so so appreciate your help. Thank you 🙂

  46. Thank you very much for this article Kevi. I least I now know what permalinks are.

    The problem I have is that I have created categories that need to be added to different menu items in the menu bar (I don’t know any other way of linking posts from my main page to the menu bar) and can’t find a word to rename the category base that suits all the categories I have created (As I want them to go to different sections in the menu tab). Does that make sense?

    If anyone can help me, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you, Maria

  47. Good afternoon, Kevin. How r u? I have just opened my own site and I have some problems with my posts appearance. They look incorrectly. I think the problem is in permalinks or smth. Could you please help me on that matter?

  48. Hi Kevin, great explanation. I am currently using /%category%//%postname%/ for my permalinks but i find it troublesome in that when I create a new post, WP picks which category it’s going to use in the URL instead of the one I want to use.

    For example, I have a new post which falls under the “writing” category and also “guest post” category. I want to select both, but WP insists on using “guest-post” in the url, when I really want it to use “writing” as it’s more relevant to the content.

    Do i have to just drop guest post or is there a way to force the post to use the category that i want it to use?

  49. Hi,

    Thanks for the great article. I have set up a WordPress site and the default permalinks were automatically activated.

    However when I try to change for the custom structure e.g. /%category%/%postname%/ the website no longer functions and says there is a ‘Redirect Loop’. I then have to switch back to the default permalink again to make it work. Would you know why this happens and how I can use the custom structure without a redirect loop?


  50. I am on my second-ever WP site construction project for a client. I am 70, so this is all quite new to me. I want to highlight an address in some text at the top of the page and link it to the Google Map at the bottom. I have been using MotoPress but I can cut and paste short code with some guidance. Is this something for permalinks? Where could I go to get an answer to this. Google just gets me linking a picture to a URL/page. Not what I want. Thanks

  51. I would like to change a URL xyz.com/dpt_services/.. to xyz.com/service/…

    Any help would e appreciated.

  52. After reading this useful resource guide, I have decided to go with Post Name permalink structure on my WordPress blogs. Thanks kevin for this detailed guide 🙂 .

  53. what about if i add “.html” after %postname% ? is it will recognize as broken links ? is it will affect my SEO on page value ?

  54. Hi Kevin,

    I hope you can help me – I’ve accidentally {without much thought} changed my permalink structure. I’ve downloaded Simple 301 Redirects and I’m wondering how I find my old link urls to redirect them?

  55. hello sir please suggest me what permalinks should i use..my website is related to coupons and offers for various ecommerce websites,…

    • @AMan you can use short permalink /%postname%/ or /%postname%.html bot are best.

  56. Hello Kevin:

    I have a website designed, added word press after with the blog. I am very happy with my website but it’s not coming up anywhere on google. I now understand the importance of search optimization and making sure everything is filled out properly. Not sure if my permalink is even set up to maximize word press along with proper plug ins, and the technical aspect of things scares the daylight out of me. Afraid to touch anything in case I mess something up. .. Would you be able to take a look at it and see what it needs to get it out there or can you recommend some one who is an expert at word press like your self…Would really appreciate your help.
    my blog address is …

    Thank you for your attention 🙂

  57. Thanks for the article! I have been desperately trying to find a solution to my blog problem. I recently added a blog page to the WordPress site I am working on but the new blog post doesn’t show up when you select the blog page from the menu. I get the “this is somewhat embarrassing” message when I click on the blog menu item. Does this sound like a Permalink issue? I have tried /%category%/%postname%/ and %postname% . Any insight would be greatly appreciated

  58. Hi! Thanks for a great article. I had been using Post Name for permalinks, but recently installed a theme that requires I change to Default Permalinks. I change it and save it. But every time I log back into my site, it has switched back to Post Name. Is there a reason I can’t get it to change/save??

  59. hello,

    i am Divi user and i wanted to change portfolio slug ‘project’ into something in my language. But when i change
    ‘slug’ => ‘project’, into ‘slug’ => ‘produkty’,
    all my porfolio posts are broken.

    How to change that? Please help.

    • You should go to the websites support, I am sure they will be able to help you there.

    • Did you find the way to change it?

  60. You mentioned that adding the category would give you access to more keywords in your url and I believe you are right on that.

    So using the category + post name, can be an advantage when it comes to SEO vs post name only as your permalink, that’s how I see it based on what you wrote and on experience.


  61. Thanks for the Great Post and i have to know about WordPress Permalink for Google New.

  62. Why the “tag” prefix is missing from my blog? i’m getting this: myweb.com/tag-slug instead of this: myweb.com/tag/tag-slug

  63. Great information! Thanks for the article. Appreciated!

  64. Hey there. Great post. On this site, you guys have it as sitename.com/blog/category/post-name How do you get the /blog/ part to stay when switching to a single post from the sitename.com/blog page?

  65. Thank you for a great article.Just a question about a CMS i am working.

    content example,
    100 pages on “games” section
    60 pages on “ideas” section
    200 pages on “tutorials” section
    150 pages on “web” section.

    I would like to use %post…. based permalink and be able to show my permalink as a directory with forward slash and the post name.

    domain.com/ideas/post name
    domain.com/tutorials/post name

    can i do this without any plugin ? Please help cause I do not want to use category based permalink.

  66. Great sharing =) Personally like the %postname% permalink as it works great with shorter URL and make it clear for visitor to know what addresses they’re visiting.

  67. Hallo
    i tried to change the permalinks from Default to %postname%/, but the links don’t work. Even if i check the permalink in a page i can see that it has a postname but if i click the button “view page” i come to a page with 404 error and in the address bar of the browser there’s the correct postname.
    How can i solve it?

  68. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for such a nice article.

    I just began on WordPress and been having trouble figuring out solution for removing Category Base from the URLs, and ultimately found myself here.

    My requirement is that I want several tabs on the menu bar that direct users to various posts that fall under different topics (like Science, Entertainment etc.). I figured I can achieve this through ‘Category’ option. However, my URLs keep throwing at me this ‘/category/’ string in the URLs, which I don’t really want.

    I liked the your suggested way of no plugins, i.e. using /%category%/%postname%/ in the custom permalink along with ‘.’ in the category base option. This does the trick (removes /category/ from URL), however, no posts won’t show up when I select a category from the menu. I remove the period and save the settings, the posts come right back up under the category menus.

    Could you kindly help fix this? Is there something I am missing? Do I have to change anything else?

    Thanks in advance!

    Nik L

  69. I came across your article as I was searching for a solution to my permalink problem. I am trying to change them to the post name option, but when I do some of my blog post links do not work and cannot be found. Some work just fine….Any thoughts on what is happening or how I fix it? Thanks so much!

  70. Hello Kevin Sir,

    On my blog, I can get the “Tag Base” structure. When I am trying to search any tag it leads to “404 Not Found Page”. So, can you please help me to find out the TAG URL?

  71. Hi, I just saw this article. Very helpful. But I wanted to leave a question in your comment section because I need some help 🙂

    On our site, we’ve changed the permalink structure to postname, but google analytics still sees the pages (and displays the data) based on the page-ID. I know this is hurting our search mojo as well. But I can’t imagine why this is happening. Do you have any insights?

    Thanks in advance!

  72. Thank you Kevin, for the great article. I never knew the importance of permalinks before reading this article.

  73. I use /category/post-id because my blog talks about various aspects of being a member of the trans community. Many of the topics will remain relevant, so there is no need for me to date anything.

  74. I use /category/post-id because my blog talks about various aspects of being a member of the trans community. Many of the topics will remain relevant, so there is no need for me to date anything.

  75. Hey,
    I’m using ?p=XX thing and I use to include a ‘POST # YY’ to title of every post.
    I don’t know if it is supposed to be or not, but the XX and YY aren’t the same.

    I wish to have them same. For eg., if someone wants to open POST # 74, they should simply type chandism.com/?p=74
    But by default, I’m getting unordered id number on my post.

    Please help.
    Thank you

  76. Hi Kevin – Great article on permalinks! I have a question. I ran an Inspyder spelling and link check on my site and for each of the pages a link error was generated like the following:

    Redirect URL: http://www.mysite.com/?p=77
    Link Error: 301 – Permanently Redirected (Moved)
    Destination: http://www.mysite.com/about/
    Referrer: http://www.mysite.com/about/

    I have the Permalinks set to “Post Name”. and I think I set that before I created any of the pages. Is this Link Error expected? Is there something I should fix? Will these errors adversely impact our SEO?

    Any thoughts you have on this would be much appreciated.


  77. hi kevin
    this is nice post, but do you know how to change parmalink on joomla?
    thank you

  78. That was a great post indeed.. Very detailed explanation.. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  79. Nice post. The problem that i have unfortunately is i need link /blog/ at blog and the easyway is the permanent links. Works nice but it put also /blog/ in portfolio, it seems portfolio see like post. Another easy way is to make one page and all pages childs of this but is not the prettiest way. Νot yet found the answer.

  80. Thanks for the Post.

    Kind Regards

  81. I believe to have an issue with one of the permalinks on my website. Recently, WPBeginner helped transfer my wordpress.com blog to a wordpress.org blog. My website host is InMotion Hosting.

    Looking at my WordPress stats, everything seems to be working fine, yet there is one link that presents visitors with a ‘page not found’ message. This is the ‘home page/archives’ page.

    I’m absolutely not someone with a lot of technical knowledge, but I believe that during the transfer, either WPBeginner or InMotion has created some temp URL’s. The link that is now connected to my ‘home page/ archives’ page on WordPress is namely:

    This should be something like: http://travellousworld.com

    I’ve no idea how to fix this issue. I’ve now set my permalink structure to ‘day and name’.

    Is there someone who can help me with this issue? I don’t find any luck with customer support of either WordPress as well as InMotion Hosting. Many thanks in advance.

  82. Hey, I have installed WordPress on a localhost. I followed the instructions mentioned above and modifying the .htacess file (changed the contents and gave it the name .htacess as the file didn’t have a name). Restarted the server (WAMP) however the 404 error is persistent if I use any permalink apart from the default.

  83. Really Good Blog Post!
    This helped me lot.
    But I want some more help.
    Actually I want my permalinks to be like for an example:-
    I have a shop/blog where i have to list products on categories based “clothing”, “footwear” and all like that.
    Now how can i do this:-
    1. example.com/clothing/t-shirt
    2. example.com/footwear/shoes
    all in one blog.
    I can really do that. But i dont know how to do so!
    Can you please help me!

    • Hi there Mohit! I’m not an expert but I think the best solution for that is to create subcategories inside your main categories. Example: Clothing (Main category) – t-shirt (Subcategory). You can do that in “Entries”, first create the main category (ex.: Clothing), after create the other category (t-shirt) and in the process tell WP it will be inside the main category “Clothing” 😉

  84. I recently transferred http://joshrachlis.wordpress.com to my new self-hosted blog, http://joshrachlis.today. I’ve done a couple of news posts since. And I realize that I had it on default for permalinks. So I change to name now, will that chance the previous posts, or do I have to go back and change every old one manually? And can that even be done?

    • God, the typos. I meant:

      I recently transferred http://joshrachlis.wordpress.com to my new self-hosted blog, http://joshrachlis.today. I’ve done a couple of news posts since. And I realize that I had it on Default for permalinks. So if I change to “Name” now, will that change the previous posts, or do I have to go back and change every old one manually? And can that even be done?

  85. Do I have to have the .htaccess file changed by my web host before I change the permalink structure?

    • The web host says that everything is already set up, so question is obsolete.

      I have set up my permalink blog name/post title and the URL shows correctly for blogs. However, on my pages the URL shows page83 for example. How do I make it show pages show title of the page?

  86. Hi,

    Thank you for this article. Helpful. I have an another question though. The number of 404 errors have increased on my site, http://www.recaptoday.com. When user google recaptoday.com, it shows them pages that are been deleted from the site which results in 404 err. Any suggestions?

  87. Hi, thanks for your post.
    Two question I have as follows:

    1.what’s the benefit to put www at the begining of the URL and put .html at the end of permalink in any kind of them or you suggested.

    2.what’s your idea about these permalinks:
    thanks a lot

  88. Awesome i can feel u did hard work to write this great job.
    Thank you so much for sharing your positive feedback with us!

  89. If I change the permalink settings in wordpress, will this affect my previous blog posts (ie. already published blog posts)? Looking to change from /blog/post-name/ to /blog/2015/10/20/sample-post/. Would this change the permalink for previously published posts? Or would it only apply to future posts?

  90. This is really awesome post and very informative

  91. Thanks for the article. I split the information on one of my pages into two new pages on two new templates. The permalink is attached to the old page, that I have posted (optin page) on quite a few posts and other places. I have to now use the new permalink (hence the name) and there is no way to change the permalink of the old page to one of the new pages….correct? Or is there a way. It would just mean that I would have to go back and change the link on all the old posts when I unpublish the old page. Or just start using the new one.

  92. Very good article and much needed to get my blog up and running. Thanks nice to see someone knows the correct way.

  93. Hello! Thank you very much for such a great article. I am a WP-Beginner and have a question:

    Can I change my permalink from site.com/%postname%/ to site.coom/%postname%.

    I do not like the slash after the post name.

    Is this ok?

    Thank you a lot in advance!

  94. Good advice on using permalink.


  95. Thanks for sharing this helpful post.

    My problem is that my blog posts shows mysite.com/category instead of mysite.com/postname on search result but shows the post name once you click on it. my question now is, how do i make the post name to appear on search result as well?

  96. Great article, I seen blog post using the date format and needed to see if there was any real benefit for this.

    I know google shows google news and was wondering choosing that date format permalink will help get your blog post ranking in the news feed also.

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