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The Basics of Permalinks
Permalinks are permanent URLs for your posts, categories, pages and other postings. The importance of the link being “permanent” is so that your readers can find, share and revisit an article without the link ever changing.
WordPress has a default permalink structure that will automatically be used for your postings.
Default Structure Example:
In the default structure your domain would replace
mywebsite.com and your actual post ID would replace
12. However, the important thing to note is that
default permalink structure uses the Post ID.
You can change structure of all your permalinks by clicking the link "Change Permalinks" from the edit post page or by visiting Settings > Permalinks. Select the radio button for the desired Permalink structure under Common Settings. Other structures beyond the default with post ID include those organized by day and name, month and name, numeric, post name or you can create a custom permalink structure.
When creating your own Custom structure you’ll need to use
the correct structure tags, below is a list of
common structure tags and how they should be entered in the
custom field box. They can be used in conjunction with each other,
but sure to separate structure tags with a black slash when
entering in the Custom Structure text
Also note that the Custom Structure already enters your site name, you just need to enter in the Structure tags (noted in bold below).
Below is a list of common custom structure tags that can be used when creating a custom Permalink structure.
The year the post was published in will display.
The day that the post was published on will appear.
The unique WordPress Post ID will appear.
The post’s slug will display in the URL. WordPress automatically sets one if you do not set a custom one yourself. Example: %postname%
This will post the author’s slug, listed under
“Username” via Users > All
This will output the slug in the URL. If multiple categories are
assigned to one post, the lowest numbered category will
This will also output the associated slug.
Please note that depending on the structures you use, you'll need to be certain your post names, categories, pages have unique titles or slugs. For example, if you're using the post name as your permalink structure all of your posts need to have unique titles, that way two posts don't share the same permalink and create an error.
If you're new to permalinks or your site already contains loads of posts and pages, it might be wise to stick with the default permalink structure until you have a better understanding of the changes being made.
For more about WordPress Posting basics, please visit the WordPress Codex