WordPress Permalink Format

Today I changed my WordPress permalink format to /posts/post_id

At first, I used the default date format /year/month/day/post_name but then decided that dates were not useful information in the URL.

Next I tried /category/post_name, but the URLs were just too long to look “pretty”. (And I thought that if I ever re-named a post, the URL would change. I learned that this is not necessarily the case, as the post_name in the URL is actually the “slug”, which does not change when the post name changes, but can be changed manually if desired).

Then I used /category/post_id, which seemed very good, until I realized that If I ever reorganize my categories, the permalinks will change, leading to bad links. As the blog grows, I can foresee the categories changing. For example, if one category gets many, many entries, it could make sense to divide it into sub-categories.

Finally (I hope its final!), I changed the permalink format to /posts/post_id, which I believe will actually result in permanent permalinks. The post_id will never change, even if the post’s date, name or category is changed. Having the word “posts” in the URL is a good idea, so there will be no confusion with the URL for your “pages” such as “About” which do not have any prefix in the URL (for example the URL for my “About” page is https://clockinfo.com/about, but a typical URL for a post is https://clockinfo.com/posts/18).

There is lots of debate over whether keywords in the URL help with search engine indexing. In my opinion, the content of a web page should matter to the search engine, not the URL, otherwise people could use all kinds of spam words in the URL to make a web page rank better. I will take my chance with short, simple permalinks and see what happens.

I hope now that I can leave my permalink format alone, so that the Google indexing will stabilize. If you think that I am making a big mistake (or agree with me), please comment!

(Note: don’t change your permalink format if your site has been active for a while unless you install a plugin to redirect old URLs to new URLs. This blog is just a few weeks old so I felt free to make changes.)

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