WordPress Permalink Structure

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Since we want to create a well-structured web-site, we need to set WordPress up so that it creates SEO friendly URLs for your posts.  To do this, we need to edit the Permalink options.

Literally speaking, a permalink is link that doesn't change.  e.g. when you write an article for your website, it is given a URL.  This URL is what you will link to if you reference your article somewhere else on the web.  You certainly do not want the URL to change – it needs to be permanent.  Get the idea?

Permalinks are the permanent links to your articles.  In WordPress, we can configure how those will look.

To change the permalink structure for your site, click on the Settings menu, and select Permalinks:


You will be taken to the Permalink screen that gives you various options for permalink structure.  Here are the first 4 with examples of what your links will look like:





We are interested in the 5th type of permalink – Custom, because it allows us to define how we want the links to be organised.  There are a number of variables you can use to define your permalink structure:


The 4 digit year of the post
Month of the year
Day of the month
Hour of the day
Minute of the hour
Second of the minute
The name of the post (words separated by a dash)
The unique ID number of the post
The category of the post.
Author name.

You can combine these variables into a custom permalink structure.  Most of them are not very useful for an affiliate site.  What is useful to use is the %postname% and %category% variables.

Select , and enter the following:


Scroll down and save your changes.  You can ignore the optional settings at the bottom.  Now, your posts will look something like:


Where beagle is the name of the post, and dogs is the category you posted it in.

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7 thoughts on “WordPress Permalink Structure”

  1. Yes, good tip. It is something I’ll be covering in a later tutorial on making posts, but its useful to be aware of this.

  2. WordPress Guides

    A suggestion when using the postname in the permalink structure: If the title of the post is very long, creating a long trailing URL, you can shorten it to whatever you want by editing the permalink that is between the title and post toolbar.

  3. Help!

    When writing pages for Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and Terms I’ve run into an unusual problem.

    After writing my pages and ftp into my server as xxxdomainname.com/disclaimer, xxxdomainname.com/privacypoilcy, etc., I get 404 message when testing.

    The editable permalink structure reads as : http://xxxdomainname.com/disclaimer/ but, whenever I copy and paste the link from WP in my browser to test I get… http://xxxdomainname.com/disclaimerdisclaimer.

    I’ve tried a number of ways to solve the problem by renaming the file serverside to 1disclaimer and then editing the permalink and then going to the live page and clicking the link but still get 404 error message.

    Has anyone else had this problem?


  4. Terry
    Via email, I suggested that the trailing “/” might be a clue. Did you look into that?

  5. Hi Andy.

    I added the custom permalink but when I went to open the links I got an Internal Server Error: The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    I’ve had to restore the defaults. Any ideas please?

    Thanks in advance


  6. Sorry Andii, I dont know. Have you tried searching Google for the exact text of the error to see if others have had this problem?

  7. Thanks Andy 🙂

    It’s just a general server error, but i will take a look just in case something pops up. I’ve got the feeling there’s something not quite right about by custom made blog 🙁


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