Pretty and Simple: Quick Guide to Initial Permalink Set-up for WordPress

MacBook image with a simple and clean website displayed on the screen

When you first set-up your WordPress based website/blog, there are a few things that need to be handled before diving into creating content, articles, and pages. I plan on going into that in TONS of detail in a later post, but today our focus is on permalink structure.

Rihanna "What?" GIFUm, Brit… what the HECK is a permalink?

A permalink is simply a unique URL that’s associated with the pages and posts on your website.

When you first set-up your WordPress website, by default, your permalink structure may look something like this:

http://yoursite.com/?p=123

This looks pretty meh and Google doesn’t like it very much.

To keeps things simple for both your website visitors and search engines, permalinks should be:

  • as short as possible
  • exclude “stop words” (“a”, “an”, “the”, etc.)
  • easy to spell
  • easy to remember
  • simple to type
  • and most importantly CONSISTENT.

It’s best to get this set-up before creating any pages or posts. To do so, in your WordPress Dashboard hover over Settings then click Permalinks. You’ll then get to a page that looks like this:

You’ll find a bunch of options for permalink structure. Let’s keep things simple since you’ve most likely just started your website/blog. Some suggestions for a simple permalink set-up would be:

  • yoursite.com/category/post-name
  • yoursite.com/postname (or %postname%)
  • yoursite.com/postname/numeric-ID

As you can see, I’ve gone with the “Post Name” option for my own website. Short and simple.

I plan on tackling subject in more detail in another post. That one will be geared towards folks who have had their WordPress website for a while and need permalink fixes across their entire website. Fun times, right?

BTW, these are the not-so-sexy things about setting up your WP-based website/blog, but if you handle them sooner than later, you’ll save yourself from some future frustrating website tasks.

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