Permalinks are what people enter into their browser address bar to view one of your pages. 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 changes the URL of your pages.

In this article, I would like to show you what permalink structures are open to you and explain the benefits of using clean URLs on your website.

The Default Permalink Structure

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

WordPress suggests five permalink structures. Alternatively, you can use your own custom structure.

five permalink structures

WordPress automatically enables the default permalink structure after you install WordPress.The default permalink structure is not user-friendly.It is better to refer a visitor to a URL such as http://www.yourwebsite.com/my-post/ than http://www.yourwebsite.com/?page_id=54367.

A Search Engine Friendly Permalink Structure

Apart from the default permalink structure, all of the permalink structures that WordPress offers are search engine friendly (though %post_id% does not utilize keywords).

In order to use these permalink structures, WordPress needs to modify your website’s htaccess file. WordPress might be able to do this automatically for you. 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.

When you choose one of the five common permalink structures that WordPress suggests, you will see the custom structure field change. Below,you can see  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

….

Pretty permalink structures need to include either the post name (%postname%) or the post ID (%post_id%).