Permalinks SettingsOne of the first settings youâ€™ll want to change on your new WordPress site is the permalinks.
Permalinks are the direct, permanent links to any content on your site. Itâ€™s what other websites will use to link to your content.By default, WordPress creates permalinks that are less than useful. They have question marks and lots of numbers that are completely meaningless to the average user. They look like this:
That garbled mess isnâ€™t helpful to anybody, including search engines. These links obviously workâ€” that number is the ID of the content and they get people where they need to go. But they donâ€™t tell the reader â€“ or search engines â€“ very much, hence they arenâ€™t very useful. A simple improvement is to make your permalinks user friendly. Useful permalinks look like this:
That makes your links a lot more useful. It improves the aesthetics, usability and forwardcompatibility of the links. Itâ€™s not only good for humans looking at links, but it can also help your search engine ranking. Having real words in the URL, especially keywords for your content, is a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
These improved, user- and search-engine-friendly permalinks are sometimes called pretty permalinks. And itâ€™s easy to use them in WordPress.
Setting Your Permalinks
From the WordPress Dashboard go to Settings > Permalinks to change your permalink settings.
The â€˜Post nameâ€™ setting will give you a simple URL like this:
Just select â€˜Post nameâ€™. Youâ€™ll see the new format appear in the Custom Structure field. Remember to â€˜Save Changesâ€™ at the bottom. There are plenty of other permalink options you can use there, but in general simpler is better.
These settings are especially handy if you are developing your site and are not ready for search engines and people to find it. Simply select the appropriate radio button and Save Changes.
Note â€“ if you select â€œAsk search engines not to index this siteâ€ make sure you change this setting before you officially â€œgo liveâ€ with your site. Otherwise you will remain a virtual secret.
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