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URL structure in WP

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Today I am going to deal with a seemingly very simple and trivial topic when it comes to WordPress However, for some unknown reason I encountered that someone made a mistake in this area as well. After a fresh installation of WP we stand before a choice of a large number of structure combinations addressof these. Which one to choose and whether %postname% will always be premium solution?

I'll start by talking about which section panel WordPress we say:

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If you've used WP before, you probably know that you can create a really large number of combinations. You can find all the tags here:


Another important element is how WP builds addresses for native taxonomy:


tag_base and category_base are nothing else like Aliases given in the screengrab attached above. 

For pages and posts is done on a tag-matching basis:

1. First default link structure ?p=123 in terms of SEO and user is unacceptable - we can let it go completely. If you care about very short addresses use for example Btl.ly or created directly for this service plugs http://wordpress.org/plugins/bitly-shortlinks-multisite/. The same goes for addresses structured like this /archives/%post_id%

Example: https://www.seowordpress.pl/?p=434

2. /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ - such an elaborate structure would also seem to make no sense in application. A co interesting is used e.g. in the service techcrunch.com. In older WP installations (older than 3.3) this solution gave a significant acceleration of subpage loading - now this difference is already minimal.

Example: https://www.seowordpress.pl/2011/11/17/tytul-artykulu/

Please note that in order to be included in Google News You must have at least 3 numbers in the url. Therefore also /%year%/ is perfect for this purpose 

3.  /%category%/%postname%/ - works and users They are in a simple way to answer the question in which category the article is located, which is quite easy - it coincides nicely with the breadcrumb path. On the other hand websites in case a given post is assigned to several categories, WP will assign it to address a category name with a smaller ID.

Example: https://www.seowordpress.pl/nazwa-kategorii/tytul-artykulu

4. For standard blogs, the best solution is to use just /%postname%/ i.e. automatic creating address only from article title. The minus is for sure poor representation of your website structure - but you don't have to worry about adding an entry to many categories (you can do it without limitations).

Example: https://www.seowordpress.pl/tytul-artykulu/

For those who have problem with keeping addresses short using this structure I recommend: https://www.seowordpress.pl/jak-automatczynie-usuwac-krotkie-wyrazy-z-adresow-url/

What to do and what not to do?

Here's the word from Matt Cutts: 😉

Certainly. If you can make your title four- or five-words long - and it is pretty natural. If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit. The thing to be aware of is, ask yourself: "How does this look to a regular user?" - because if, at any time, somebody comes to your page or, maybe, a competitor does a search and finds 15 words all strung together like variants of the same word, then that does look like spam, and they often will send a spam report. Then somebody will go and check that out. So, I would not make it a big habit of having tons and tons of words stuffed in there, because there are plenty of places on a page where you can have relevant words and have them be helpful to users - and not have it come across as keyword stuffing.

Summarizing the above information, let us assume that the best solution is number 4. Finally, some advice:

  • Theoretically, the character limit for url addresses is 2000, but you should use no more than 70 characters.
  • Do not add the site name in addresses
  • Use the default hyphen "-" as a word separator
  • Do not use Polish and special characters
  • End .html addresses for static pages only - keep in mind that if you paginate comments next to an article, the addresses will be very uninteresting
  • Use the plug-in WP No Category Base if you want to get rid of the "/category/" alias from the category address.

After every url change remember about 301 redirects. For lazy people there is a plug Change Permalink Helperwhich automatically redirects old addresses to new ones based on IDs of posts, pages etc. You can read more about this redirection: https://www.seowordpress.pl/przekierowania-adresow-url-a-seo-2/ 

Wojciech Wladzinski

O Wojciech Wladzinski

I have been working in SEO industry since 2008. On a daily basis a senior SEO specialist in a company Seogroup. I create and optimize large websites as well as smaller ones. I'm especially fond of WordPress environment, which despite the popular opinion is not only a blogging platform.
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