Having an optimal URL structure for your website straight from the beginning is very important, both because it will attract more readers and because it will be really difficult to change it afterwards.
An optimal URL structure will not use numbers or strange characters on the permalinks, it will be short and describe the content of the page.
Here is an example of a poor URL structure:
Here is an example of an efficient URL structure:
An optimal URL structure will be more user friendly and it will also improve your search engine rankings. Most search engines, in fact, give a high weight for keywords present on the URL structure.
WordPress users can set an optimal URL structure by going into the Control Panel, then Options, then Permalinks. After you check the “Custom”Ã‚ structure and insert “/%postname%/”Ã‚ as a custom structure. This will make your permalinks display the post title right after the domain name.
Damn Printeron says
Oh God I really need to fix my permalinks!
I’ve been working my way through your excellent “Blog Setup: 40 Practical Tips” and have found myself a bit stuck here. Is there any way to alter the category URLs, themselves? For example, right now my category URLs are – MYSITE.com/?cat=16 when I’d like it to be – MYSITE.com/anarchy
I’ve been wondering about the permalink structure for a while now, there re lots of different opinions on the subject. One of my blogs, which has a PR7 uses the dafault permalink structure simply because I didn’t know any better when I started and after reaching a PR7 I was afraid that changing the structure would affect the PR. I haven’t tried any plugins yet, do they really do the job in keeping the PR?
It does not affect them at all.
How does this change affect individual pages like About and Contact, which aren’t posts?
Blog of directtv
very nice blog
Anybody know how to do that with blogger?
Dawud Miracleon says
It’s a pain simply because it makes my URLs more complex if I put a post in multiple categories. Let’s say I write a post and place it in three categories. WordPress chooses one of the categories ( usually in alphabetical order, I think) to use as the permalink. So if I try to link using the other two categories, the link is broken. This may seem minor, but it’s a bit of a pain for me. If I would have known this before hand, I wouldn’t have used category in the permalink.
I made the mistake of using %categoy%/%postname% with my permalink. Dont do this. It makes linking more difficult, especially if you place posts in multiple categories.
Dawud Miracleon says
I made the mistake of using %categoy%/%postname% with my permalink. Don’t do this. It makes linking more difficult, especially if you place posts in multiple categories.
I’m a bit late to respond myself, I wish I saw this post earlier.
Time stamp in the URL by default is the unnecessary bit of information, that visitor has to process. If information is in fact time sensitive, it could be incorporated as in my example above.
OK now I got the question, and I guess there is no definite answer, since different countries label dates differently. The clearer one in my opinion is year/month/day/.
Daniel that`s why I`m asking the question
Fanatyk, as far as I know having dates on the permalink structure makes no difference at all for search engines.
You should always have a date in your permalinks as this is important for search engines. its one of the reasons google loves blogs because of the date stamp.
How google knows that the row of numbers is date stamp? It may looks variously: year/month/day, day-month-year, dd_mm_yy etc. etc. So which one is the best?
Yep, adding a unique identifier is important. If you don’t, then it would be possible to have the same “clean url” assigned to multiple blog posts.
I personally don’t feel that changing your urls to /%postname%/ really helps that much with SEO. Using a date or category/postname permalink would do just as well.
You should always have a date in your permalinks as this is important for search engines. it’s one of the reasons google loves blogs because of the date stamp.
Josh Schumacheron says
I was searching for some information on a topic that has been changing a lot lately. I realized how much the year/month/post-title structure helps give users a sense how relevant a post would be on a highly time sensitive topic when scanning search results.
I use /%category%/%postname%/. This way, when people see URI /sport/football/holland-russia_07feb2007/, they know its about football, but when they see /politics/munchen_theses/, they know its about politics, not about FC Bayern.
Philip, yes you can change the permalink structure while retaining the older posts, but you will need to implement some complex 301 redirects to keep them working and retain the backlinks.
Jennifer, personally I would change even a little improvement on my search engine ranking for the restraint of not naming my posts with the same name. By it is a matter of opinion, since I do not think that adding the date to the permalink structure would have any huge impact.
I`m using %postname%.html but… what is your opinion which is better: /%postname%/ or /%postname%.html ?
Philip Liuon says
Two things I’d like to mention:
Plain Jane Momon says
I always appreciate blogs which include the date in the URL. That way I can tell from scanning google results which are the most recent posts, or from the time period I need.
I agree with Maki. You could have multiple posts with the same name. I use year/month/post-title. This also acts as a sort of self-documenting system, where the user can view the timeframe of the post simply by checking the URL.
Maki, If I am not wrong the only problem you can encounter from having a permalink structure with domain.com/post-title/ is related to posts with the same name. That is if you use this structure you can not have 2 posts with the same name, while if you have a numeric factor like date you would be able to have 2 posts with the same name because their dates would be different.
I use /%category%/%postname%/ because all my categories are keywords and they are also automatically listed in Technorati as tags.