Setting up the permalinks structure is one of the first things I do after installing WordPress.
It takes less than 5 minutes but setting up correct permalinks structure can improve your blog rankings.
Permalinks is something that plays a huge role in the search engine rankings. I’m currently using %postname% permalinks structure, which works very well.
Previously I was using /%category%/%postname%, which isn’t a bad choice either. Though, it’s better to stick with the postname structure which works well for just any type of blog.
By default, your WordPress gives you 5 choices to choose from. In this post I’m going to explain the different permalink structures available to you.
What are Permalinks?
Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to link to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence permalink. (source)
In the WordPress, there are 5 permalinks structure available and a custom structure field.
- Default: /%post_id%
- Day & name: /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/
- Month & name: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/
- Numeric: /archives/%post_id%
- Post name: /%postname%/
Permalinks for Scaling & Performance
If you’re just getting started with WordPress, then it’s better to have the correct permalinks structure. I know it may be hard for the first time there seem to be far too many options, but most of them are better than others. Here are few tips for selecting the best permalinks structure.
- Never use the default %postid% structure. The postid structure yield a URL something like this – http://www.wpkube.com/?p=135. WordPress can quickly process the postid structure but it doesn’t carry any SEO benefits.
- Never start your permalink structure with the category, tag, author, or postname fields. The structure which begins with %category%, %tag% or %author% require more server resources.
- It’s better to start your permalink structure with a numeric field, such as the year or post ID. Ex – /%year%/%postname%/ OR /%post_id%/%postname%/
From what I have seen, /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ and /%postname%/ are the two most popular permalinks structure. Popular blogs like Mashable & ProBlogger are using the long url structures with year, month & day. From an SEO point of view, the %postname% structure works very well and is being used by blogs like CopyBlogger.
The /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ structure is mostly used by the news related blogs or the blogs which publish 3-4 posts a day.
So if you’re starting a niche blog, then I’d surely suggest you to go with a %postname% structure or if you want to run a big news site, then go with the “Day & name” structure.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the best permalink structure. Which permalink structure you are using for your WordPress blog? Please let us know in the comments below.