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1: Permalinks

Running Time:  3:48

When you set up your site one of the first things you’ll want to do is set up your Permalinks. That way your site will have meaningful text within all of your web addresses. This will be good for your users and it will help the master we all serve – Google – understand what your site is about.

My video shows you how permalinks work in a WP site.

But a word of caution. Changing the link structure of your site can have dramatic consequences as noted in “A Simple Guide to Changing Your Permalinks Without Breaking Your WordPress Website”.

Transcript Of This Video

As we get into links, which is what this module is all about, I want to start off with a very important topic, and that’s permalinks. It’s something that people sometimes neglect or overlook or get confused about, and it’s not really that difficult, so let’s get it out of the way. One of the things I always check when I set up a WordPress site for the first time are the permalinks. Sometimes, not always, but you want to make sure about this when you’re first starting to create your site you’ll notice these URLs that are really funky. That is, they don’t really tell you anything. They give you the domain name and then a bunch of code, and at the very end it will say “Page_id=” and in this case, “43.” What that is telling you is that every time you create a page or a post, in this case, this is a page, WordPress will create a unique number assigned to that page post. That’s one of the ways which WordPress works its magic. The bottom line is that’s not a very useful or pretty permalink, or link, or URL or web address, or however you want to call it. We need to fix that, and there’s also SEO implications involved here. So if you want your pages to rank high in the search engine result pages, like Google, that would not be very helpful to Google or to your users for that matter. It’s pretty easy to adjust, and what I did was I just went into the “Admin” and under “Settings” there’s a little section called “Permalinks.”

You can do this at any time while you’re developing your site, but it’s really best to do it in the very beginning for lots of reasons. It may be that when you install WordPress by default, you’ll get the plain permalink, and that’s what we were seeing over here. That is, it doesn’t really tell you a lot of information. In fact, it just gives you page ID information. Not very good. Here are some other options too, if you want the day and time to be in the URL of your pages or post you could use this, and these other options here which I don’t really find very useful. Here’s what I find the most useful. I always click on “Post name,” and you do notice down here this area was populated with some information. Now because of the uniqueness of the way I have set up my WordPress site, and by “Uniqueness” I mean I am not using a web host, I am creating by this site I my own computer. I don’t want it to say “/index.PHP/” all I want it to say in my URL– I’m just going to get rid of this. Now, in most cases, if you’re using a web host, you will never even see that index.PHP business. What you would see is something like this, “/%postname%/” This is going to represent the post or page name that I have assigned to the page, so I’m just going to go and leave it just like this.

I’m going to save my change and now if I go back to the “Harvest” page and I refresh this, now you’ll see that the title of the page “Harvest” is in my URL. If I had a longer title, like “Harvesting in the Spring,” it would say “harvesting_in_the_spring.” It’s a much more user-friendly URL. So best practice, right away when you set up your website, go over to “Settings” and then “Permalinks” and make this adjustment so that you have a custom URL just the way I have it over here and you’ll be good.

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