So, WordPress 2.3.2 came out tonight, and the site has already been updated. But, it did remind me to write about WordPress permalink structure.
WordPress has great permalink structuring, but you can make it even better. You can customize it to your needs, and what you’re site is using WordPress for.
Right now, ChristopherPrice.net uses the “default optimal” structure for permalinks. Articles are URL’ed as /year/month/day/article-title.
This is a good structure for browsing the site. You can delete the article title and see a list of the articles made in a particular year, month, day, etc. However, if you’re gunning for top ranking on a web search engine, it isn’t the best for several reasons. However, I went with the default like many do when they roll out WordPress initially… WordPress knows best. And, they did… it is the best structure for the average WordPress blog.
Now, here’s the deal with search engines. They like keywords. They also like things to be neatly in one place. They hate subdomains and they hate confusion. The date-based structure WordPress uses by default is acceptable, because many articles are going to be in the same/similar place. But, it’s not keyword-rich. A better structure would be /category/article-title.html (as it stuffs the category’s keyword and only the article title… along with a .html to ensure people know that it’s an actual web page (no confusion about if there’s a trailing / at the end of the URL).
But, this isn’t always the best title either. For example, PhoneNews.com usually has to put the category title in the article. For example “Sprint launches its 1,000th phone”. That then becomes /sprint/sprint-launches-its-1000th-phone.html
Two Sprint’s. Not good. Even Sprint knows that having a Sprint and Nextel wasn’t a good decision… we’re not going to make the same mistake in the URL world.
So, PhoneNews.com is going to use a different structure… drumroll please! /article-title-number.html (Yes, it’s just that simple).
The reason for this is two-fold. One, it puts all the articles in one place, at the root of PhoneNews.com. Second, it ensures the keywords are what search engines read, and gives them priority over someone else using the same keywords. The article’s number is added at the end for diagnostic purposes (being at the end it is usually skipped over by search engines).
This actually didn’t work in earlier versions of WordPress. It broke things like browsing by date or category.
Now, if you’re inexperienced, I don’t suggest doing this. There are many guides online to manipulate WordPress permalink structures, I’m just pointing out the new structure we’ll be using over at PhoneNews.com.
Okay, if you are WordPress savvy, the specific structure is /%postname%-%post_id%.html
Oh, and ChristopherPrice.net now reflects those changes… but the old backlinks will still work thanks to some robust WordPress plugins.