Prevent janky website permalinks

What the heck are permalinks?

In geek speak, permalinks are links to a specific website page or blog post.

Another way to describe it is that the permalink is the URL you want people to enter into their browser in order for them to read your latest article. It’s the address for your content. The permalink is what you put in your Instagram account when you say “link in bio”.

Why do permalinks matter?

If you want your site to be user-friendly + SEO-friendly, then you’ll want to give some attention to your permalinks. Having a “plain English” URL for your content not only helps your visitors remember the link but it also helps search engines understand your page content — especially if there are keywords in your permalink.

So what does all of that mean? Let’s say you wanted to start podcasting + sharing the show notes on your site. When you are closing out your podcast audio, you’ll likely say something like “the show notes can be found at ____” and list the link.

Which would be easier for your listeners to remember — tinyblueorange.com/episode1 OR tinyblueorange.com/?p=973649?

You may be laughing, but the reality is that the second link is the default permalink structure for all WordPress sites + the same structure that I see #bossbabe after #bossbabe using on her site.

Set your permalinks to help your business + customers

WordPress permalink settings for site usability + SEO // tiny blue orange

The best news of all? This shit is so easy to fix you’ll want to send me kisses + cookies after you’re done making the changes.

Main URLs

To change your page + post links from the janky default, head to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. On that screen you’ll see some radio button options that you can pick from + a custom structure option for full customization.

If you want, feel free to customize, but most bosses can rock the Month and name option or the Post name option + be totally set for the rest of their site’s existence. (Use the month and name choice if you publish a lot of content or if the date information is important to your posts.)

The tinyblueorange.com custom structure (shown above) is /%postname%/ — which simply means the post name is at the end of the URL.

Optional URLs

Once you save the above changes, you’re all set to find some cookies to tiny blue orange headquarters.

But if you really want to level up your permalink structure, give a little bit of attention to the optional items at the bottom of this page. You can add a custom label to your categories + your tags if these are things you use on a regular basis.

An example is for those peeps that write case studies instead of blog posts. You may have a slew of categories for your types of case studies, in which case you’d want to enter case-study or case-studies into the Category base text field. Since these are URLs, no spaces or weird characters are allowed.

Remember, you want great permalinks because you want to make things easier for your visitors.

And that’s it — seriously. Keeping yourself away from the janky permalink club is a simple matter of picking one option out of a short list + hitting the big blue “save changes” button. Talk about an easy todo to tackle! But if the mere mention of the word permalink had you feeling more than un-excited, make sure you have a nerd in your corner to help with these types of tasks, whether that’s tiny blue orange or someone else. (Notice how awesome that permalink is for memorizing?!)

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