WordPress is the most popular content management system on the planet. This is partly because its popularity fed its own PR campaign, and partly because its themes/templates may be highly search engine optimized. Whatever the reason that you have decided to use the CMS, you are able to use a thing called permalinks to optimize your WordPress blog.
They are another name for your URLs. When you buy a website domain, you buy something such as www.petsparkcars.com, and this is your home page. Your URLs are all of the pages that come off of that page, so you may have www.petsparkcars.com/cat-parking-a-mini-metro. That is a URL, and that name is what is known as your permalink in WordPress.
You do have full control over your permalinks with WordPress. There is a section called, “Permalink Settings” which shows you a number of options. These options are mostly the WordPress common settings, with the final one being the custom structure. You may control your structure by either clicking on one of the custom setting options (they are radio buttons), or by typing a custom structure setting in.
Your options will appear on the screen as:
Day and Name
Month and Name
They start with a general format, which means starting with your home page. It then adds in your post specific content. The reason that it puts in months and days, or sets them as numbers, is because WordPress is built to be a blog. As a result, this means that any content that is old is less valuable. It gives numeric iteration values or dates in order to show which posts are the newest. Where this works very well as a blog function, it is not very search engine friendly.
WordPress is known for its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) properties. You may make your WordPress blog more search engine friendly by using the custom structure within the permalinks section.
In the custom structure section, delete anything that is in the panel already, click its radio button, and enter this into the blank panel:
Doing this is going to set your URL default to the most search engine friendly setting. It will just show your domain name and your blog post name/title. This is very search engine friendly, so long as your blog post titles are also search engine friendly. For example, if your blog post title is “1001” or “App!! Stuff” then it is not going to be very search engine friendly. If it is something like the example given earlier, such as “cat parking a mini metro”, then your permalink is going to be search engine friendly:
This is because the URL is descriptive, so that the reader can figure out what the page is all about, and so can the reader.
It is sometimes possible to edit a URL after the effect
This is done by going into a post to edit it. Next to your permalink there may be a button that says “edit”. It is the same button that is available whenever you create a new blog post. It is there so that you can alter the permalink (URL) after the WordPress program has already auto-generated it. If you have set your WordPress to the custom settings shown above, then you do not need to do this. But, some people feel the need to go back and change old URLs.
Should you go back and change old URLs?
If your version of WordPress allows you to, then you may go back and change URLs. Or, you may have to delete the post and reinsert it (not an easy job and may confuse your post order). But, should you go back and change your old URLs? It is really up to you, but in the opinion of this writer, you should not!
It is going to confuse your blog post order if you remove blog posts and add in new ones with new permalinks. It is also going to create broken links, as people may have back linked to your blog post in the past. Changing URLs causes more problems than it solves. Plus, your future posts are going to be search engine friendly, so you should take that as a win and run with it. Changing your old posts is not going to attract enough attention to warrant the time you are going to spend on it.