Create Custom Permalinks in WordPress

One of the simplest ways to define a permalink is to regard it as the actual digital address of the content on your website. It allows search engines to link to your content and helps others find your web pages. The address itself is, as the name says, a permanent link, and it should not be changed. All that aside, WordPress gives you the ability to create custom permalinks in order to fit marketing strategies. Doing so can even improve search engine optimization. If this seems appealing to you, we would advise that you keep on reading, as we will explain just how you can create custom permalinks in WordPress.

Understanding a custom permalink in WordPress

As explain in different wording, a permalink is a permanent URL of your individual blog posts, pages, and other archive pages on your WordPress site. And a custom permalink is a URL structure applied to a specific page in WordPress that does not affect the rest of your URL structure. Now, it is important to understand that once created, these links retain their structure regardless of what content you put into the webpage. So, it would be best that you handle any changes before your website becomes too popular. You really don’t want too many inbound links that become broken because you have altered the address layout.

A great thing about WordPress is that it comes with an SEO friendly URL structure, allowing both humans and search engines to understand it easily. Instead of the previous: https://yourwebsite.com/index.php?p=7783, you can now have an URL that looks like this: https://yourwebiste.com/moving-tips-for-beginners/

Scrabble letter tiles spelling out 'SEO'.
It is always wise to have SEO in mind when sorting your WordPress site.

WordPress provides you with multiple options to choose from. The way to view them is by going to the Settings > Permalinks page. Aside from changing the main permalink structure, WordPress also allows you to customize the individual URLs of posts, pages, categories, tags, and other areas of your website. Certain WordPress plugins can help you create completely custom permalinks for specific sections of your website that override the default WordPress settings.

Create completely custom permalinks in WordPress

WordPress itself will allow you to customize permalinks to a certain extent. So, if you want to create a completely custom permalink, you will have to use a plugin. Install and activate the Custom Permalinks plugin. Upon activation, you will have to edit the post where you want to create a custom permalink. Instead of editing the permalink field at the top, you will be able to find the option to create a custom permalink below the editor.

In a similar fashion, you will also be able to create custom permalinks for categories. Just go to Posts > Categories page and click on the edit link below the category that you wish to change. On the category details page, you will be able to find the option to create a custom permalink for that particular category. You can go so far as to create a URL without the category base prefix. It is easy to manage and disable all your custom permalinks by clicking on the ‘Custom Permalinks’ menu on the admin sidebar. Simply select the custom permalinks you wish to delete and then click on the Bulk Actions menu in order to select the ‘Delete permalinks’ option. Once you click on the ‘Apply’ button, the plugin will remove those custom permalinks. The permalink that you deleted will be replaced by your default WordPress permalink scheme.

This is the road towards creating completely custom permalinks in WordPress. However, if you want to just want to customize your existing WordPress permalinks ever so slightly, take a look at these methods.

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You can choose to create brand new custom permalinks in WordPress, or change just certain aspects of the existing ones.

Changing the WordPress permalink structure

In order to change the whole URL generation scheme for your website, go to Settings > Permalinks page. Once there, you would select a URL structure for your individual post. You can also use the tags you see offered down bellow, that ought to help you create a custom structure for your WordPress URLs. When you are satisfied with the new look, make sure to click on the Save Changes button in order to store your changes.

We highly recommend that you use a URL structure that includes the post name in the URL. This will make your URLs more SEO friendly and meaningful. Keep in mind though, while it is advisable that you change to an SEO friendly permalinks for all new WordPress blogs and website, you might not want to meddle with the ones that are already getting traffic from search engines. Changing these permalinks can affect your SEO rankings in a way that is not beneficial.

Changing the category and tag URL prefix in WordPress

By default, WordPress utilizes /category/ as the base for your category URLs and /tag/ for the tags pages. We will use an example to illustrate:

https://yourwebsite.com/category/local-move/

https://yourwebsite.com/tag/relocation/

Know that you can change these base prefixes from the Settings > Permalinks page to virtually anything you like. For example:

https://yourwebiste.com/topics/local-move/ – for category pages

https://yourwebsite.com/hashtag/relocation/ – for tag pages

The way to change individual WordPress post or page URL

When you have the permalink structure setup, WordPress will use that as a template for all links on your site. However, you can use the option to modify the URL slug aka keywords inside the URL structure for individual posts, pages, and custom post types. You are able to customize the slug part of the URL from the post edit screen inside the WordPress content editor. To do so, simply edit the post, page, or custom post type and click on the title field. You will see a Permalink field appearing on top of it. Click on the Edit button next to it, and then change the URL slug to a custom permalink. When you are finished, click on the Save button to store the new permalink.

A person clicking on a computer mouse
Don’t forget to click that Save button, as all that effort can easily go to waste.

As you can see, in order to create custom permalinks in WordPress, you are only to follow but a simple guide. And, if you want to alter just certain parts of it, this article should have proven to be just the assistance you need.

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