Whether you’re an eCommerce user or a blogger, each of your posts or pages will have a special URL called a permalink. In this article, we’ll be looking at what WordPress permalinks are and how to make them SEO friendly.

What is a Permalink?

According to Wikipedia, a permalink “is a URL that is intended to remain unchanged for many years into the future, yielding a hyperlink that is less susceptible to link rot. Permalinks are URL links to each of your blog entries, along with lists of categories and other blog posts.

Each page on your website will have a unique permalink, including articles, pages, archive pages, and other pages like the 404 page. For instance, your home page will be located at yourwebsite.com, while your blog will be located at yourwebsite.com/blog.

People will use a permalink to connect to your content or to include a link to your WordPress site in an email. In order to be shared and used for a long time, permalinks were created.

Default Structure of WordPress Permalinks

Your website is first located on your domain (and, in certain circumstances, subdomain). The route, which identifies the page’s location, follows it.

The slug, which completes your URL, is crucial for SEO since it instructs search engines how to index your website. It is also a crucial component of your permalink. The term “permanent” means that each element builds a link to a certain page on your website that is unlikely to alter.

Types of WordPress Permalinks

Plain/Ugly Permalinks

The Ugly Permalink, often known as the default Plain Permalink, has the following appearance:


251 is the specific ID of the post or page in the database, and p is the parameter. This setting is pre-installed with WordPress. Every server environment can use it. Both its usability and search engine optimization are poor.

As you can see, this type of URL provides no information that a reader would find beneficial. WordPress users prefer URLs that are simple to read and remember. Similarly, you should never pass up the chance to use your link structure to highlight your keywords to search engines.

Pretty Permalinks

Pretty Permalinks are appealing and SEO-friendly. They typically include a number of words, such as the post or page title, post category, tag name, etc. To make your information readable by search engines, utilize keywords in the URL.


Pretty WordPress permalink slugs are usually lengthy enough to contain the targeted keywords but short enough to be memorable for people and avoid overwhelming search engines with many extraneous text. In the example above, that is a good slug. It explains to readers what the content is about while also providing “beautiful permalinks” for search engines, which could be the term you’re aiming for.

Permalinks and Slugs

The complete URL to a post is called the permalink. The last component of the permalink, the slug, is particular to that post. For instance, take this link


The whole URL (in this case “www.buildup-academy.com/contact-us”) is the WordPress permalink. The slug is the part after the main site URL(in this case “contact-us”)

Based on the post’s title, an automatic generator will create that slug for you. Additionally, you have the option of manually creating a slug for a post.

Choosing your WordPress Permalink Structure

Go to Settings > Permalinks Screen on the WordPress dashboard. You can select one of the predefined permalink structures or write your own using the structure tags in the “Custom structure” section. The options available include:

  • Default: This is the Ugly Permalink setting. If you want the most SEO value, avoid this default setting. E.g. https:yourwebsite.com/?p=123
  • Day and Name: This uses a year/month/date format followed by your post name. If you wish to distinguish between posts with the same name but different dates, you should use this strategy. For e.g. https:yourwebsite.com/ 2020/06/01/my-post/.
  • Month and name: This uses a year/month format followed by your post name. If you write a monthly column, this is a fantastic choice. 2020/06/my-post/.
  • Numeric: Numeric is the option for you if you’re archiving posts numerically so that you can look back and see earlier posts. Like the plain option, this uses the post ID and isn’t very user-friendly. For e.g. https:yourwebsite.com/234/
  • Post Name: This one uses the name of your post. For e.g. https:yourwebsite.com/my-post/.
  • Custom Structure: Using the structure tags offered by WordPress, you can construct your own unique URL structure in this field.

Creating Custom WordPress Permalink Structures

You can make your own unique permalinks using the WordPress permalink structure tags shown below. You can alter your permalinks using these tags.

  • %year% – the year of post-publication (four digits).
  • %monthnum% – the month of publication (two digits).
  • %day% – the day of publication (two digits).
  • %hour% – the hour of publication (two digits).
  • %minute% – the minute of publication (two digits).
  • %second% – the second of publication (two digits).
  • %post_id% – the post unique ID (integer).
  • %postname% – the post slug (i.e. the sanitized string representing the title of the post).
  • %category% – the category slug.
  • %author% – the author slug.

So you can create custom WordPress permalink structures by checking the radio button for Custom Structure and typing your desired structure using any of the tags above. Here are some examples of SEO-friendly permalink structures you can use:

/%category%/%postname%/ – e.g. https://yourwebsite.com/sports/best-jerseys-this-season

/%year%/%postname%/ – e.g. https://yourwebsite.com/2022/best-jerseys-this-season

/%author%/%postname%/ – e.g. https://yourwebsite.com/johndoe/best-jerseys-this-season

Tips for SEO-friendly WordPress permalink structure for small businesses.

Include Keywords in Slug

The search terms people enter in a search engine’s search box are known as keywords. Your chances of ranking highly for specific keywords enhance if you use those terms in your permalinks, which gives search engines a strong hint about the content of a page. It also provides users with a strong indication of what to anticipate by visiting the specific page.

Remove Stop Words

Remove stop words from your permalink, such as at, before, and which. These terms don’t aid search engines in comprehending the subject matter of your content.

Edit Default Permalink

WordPress will automatically generate a permalink for your draft article. However, it could be overly wordy and lengthy. In order to incorporate your SEO keywords, update the permalink.

Use Hyphens

Use hyphens to divide the words in your permalink so that search engines can better understand your website. Change https://yourwebsite.com/sports/bestjerseysthisseason to https://yourwebsite.com/sports/best-jerseys-this-season. This will ensure that keywords included in your permalinks stand out for search engines. In the former link, the whole slug is seen as one word, which will in turn be bad for SEO and ranking.

WordPress Permalinks Conclusion

You don’t need to know how to code to develop a custom WordPress permalink structure. Choose a  structure instead that corresponds to the objectives of your website. The user experience and SEO should be prioritized while constructing permalinks. They are essentially the key to ensuring that your material is discovered by the target audience.

I hope you learnt more about permalinks than you knew before opening this article. If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments!


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