Best WordPress Permalink structure

When you install WordPress, the default permalink structure you have is http://example.com/?p=123 . You can retain this structure if having the shortest URL possible is your priority. Else, you need to change this for better SEO.

The most used custom WordPress permalink structure is http://example.com/postname/ .

The permalink structure I use is http://example.com/year/month/postname/ . This is good for performance. Also, gives an idea to the user when the post was written. They can also trim the URL like http://example.com/year/month/ or http://example.com/year/ and see archives for that period.

If you write posts daily or write many posts a day like in news websites, then http://example.com/year/month/day/postname is a good structure.

If you want your posts to be timeless, do not include date information and just include the unique post id.

If you like your posts to be aggregated by Google News, use Google News SEO module for the WordPress SEO plugin. You don’t need to have a special permalink format for this. Earlier, you needed to have a unique number in the URL for this.

Some people are over obsessed with having category name in URL for SEO. But I have seen this affecting blog structure / incompatibility with some plugins. Better to avoid using category names in URL.

If you are considering to change the permalink structure but worried about losing traffic, Yoast’s permalink change tool should help you.

Recommended Reading:

WordPress SEO URL / permalinks considerations by Yoast

Comments

  1. Great assessment and spot on. I agree 100% that you need to include date references in your URL structure on bigger sites that are updated more frequently.

    The one problem with just using post id, like you mentioned is that users cannot navigate around the site by tweaking the urls in the address bar – the flat file structure, while good for seo (in many cases), does not allow for educated guesses when looking for specific content.

  2. Hi Bronson,

    Yes, permalink structure is only one of the factors in SEO. So, it is not good to be over obsessed with it. Usability should be considered too. I always guess navigate using the URL structure to find favorite content.

  3. Cool tip Ravi. I’ve been using the domain/post-name structure :)

    thankz for the advice. :)

    • Mayu, I was also using domain/post-name structure. Then faced issues as ularal.com grew . Now switched all sites to date based url.

  4. I agree that for bigger sites using time references in the URL are an advantage for sure.

    However, for smaller sites for which WordPress is used as a CMS and not as a blogging platform do you things a permalink structure of /%category%/%postname% is better or just /%postname% specially where a site does not have a blog or if the blog is there then there are limited number of posts under the blog?

    Thanks in advance.

    • For small sites with few blog posts /%postname% is good enough. If there are no blog posts and WP is used as a CMS with pages alone, then having category or date info in permalink doesn’t matter at all. Because, date and category info are given only for posts not for pages.

  5. I’m using WP as A CMS.
    I set a Static page as home.
    set Permalink Structure to: /%postname%/

    my pages address are like: mysite.com/page3
    my blog home is also mysite.com/blog

    The problem:
    I want individual blog post to be like this: mysite.com/blog/post5
    right now they are like this: mysite.com/post5

    how can I do so?

  6. The Best Permalink Structure I have found is

    For Personal Blogs :
    category/postname/post id

    In my experience Year / Month is not needed at the url

  7. thanks buddy… and many of wordpress using html sufix should i go with html sufix or / ???

    • Welcome, Techkol. If you are porting your html sites to WordPress, then you may want to retain the same URL. Otherwise, HTML suffix not needed.

  8. What number of posts does performance start to degrade without numeric URL ?

  9. From SEO point of view (tested by Ryan Diess) the best permalink structure is to have this post ID like: http://www.mydomain/ID/post-name

  10. I use permalink similar to the ones used here except for the post id. Ive thought about changing it but then, going out of google’s index would mean a lot of lost trafic. That is something I cant afford :(

  11. Ravi please accept my thanks and congratulations on the success of your
    recent work. I think your article is a great motivator for many students
    who need a little extra push. Our schools are doing a good job with
    limited resources, and they appreciate all the help we can give them.
    Thanks again for such uplifting coverage.

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