NOTE: Although we use and have been recommending the obviously best for HUMANS URL format, be aware that Waqas (who shared no URL or Twitter accounts so I can’t link to him or her) pointed us to this:
WordPress recommends AGAINST
clean permanlinks saying:
Starting Permalinks with %postname%
is strongly not recommended
for performance reasons.
For further information see the discussion in the comments of this post
and also this post and their answers in the comments at WpBeginner.
For reasons I don’t completely understand, the obvious best Permalink URL format is not a default in WordPress. Many blogs have dates in the URLs or other extraneous words that make your URLs too long and hard to remember.
A clean URL should have only your domain (and possibly /blog or a subdomain) and then a SHORTENED post name which ideally would be your target keyword phrase.
You can easily change a setting in WordPress so that you your future posts will automatically have cleaner URLs.
WARNING: Changing this setting is retroactive and will change the permalinks to all existing posts. We recommend you first install Platinum SEO and then make the change because that plugin will automatically redirect all your existing links. That alone makes it a great plugin to use as the default WordPress behavior that changes your permalink if you change your post title can introduce permanlink changes you may not have intended.
How to change the WordPress Permalink default:
- Log into your WordPress blog.
- At the very bottom of the left column find Settings and click on it.
- Click on Permalinks (under settings).
- Select the radio button for Custom Structure and paste /%postname%/ into the box.
- Click save changes.
Look for Permalink (just under your post title) when you write or edit posts or pages. WordPress will now automatically name your post YourDomain/the-name-of-the-post.
IMPORTANT: Click on Edit and shorten that name to your preferred page name, ideally your target keyword phrase and save it. You will end up with a post URL that looks like this: http://YourDomain.com/Your-Keyword-Phrase.
If you decide to change the title of the post WordPress will change your saved permalink and you will have to edit and save it again. Perhaps WordPress will give us an option to disable that behavior in the future (or maybe it already exists and someone will share it with me.
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WordPress does make changes all the time. Have you noticed that (starting with version 2.9?) you can now convert posts to pages and pages to posts? That is a great idea I wish was available when I was first learning to use WordPress.
It is also why I am publishing this now. When you do a conversion you may have to know how to make this change if you want to be able to edit the names of your posts when converting them from pages.
OPTIMIZING PAGE URLS:
- NiceBlogger SEO Blog (NiceBlogger) Optimizing URLS: Top 5 Problems and Base Techniques
- EMarketing Matador Local SEO Information (eMatador): Local SEO For Local Niche and Small Businesses