By Princess Jones

I recommend WordPress for small businesses all of the time. I think it has the flexibility and strength necessary for tiny operations to big companies alike. It grows with your business.

And one of the first things I tell my clients to do with a new WordPress installation is to change the permalinks settings to something that can help you rather than hinder you.

Why Should You Change Your Permalink Structure?

When you first set up a WordPress installation, permalinks are defaulted to the “plain” link. This is just your URL with the database ID of the post. Here’s an example:

As you can see, this doesn’t tell you anything about what you might find on that page of the site. Also, it’s pretty bad for search engine optimization purposes. Your URL is yet another place for your keywords to tell a search engine what your post is about. In turn, search engines will guide visitors to your page.

permalinksHow to Set Permalinks

Start by logging into your WordPress installation. On the left side of the screen, click “Settings” and choose “Permalinks” from the menu. On the next screen, you have six options to choose from. (They are all better than the default “plain” option.). Select the one you want. Click “Save Changes.”

Although the choice is yours, I’d advise against using anything with the date in it. If goal is to make evergreen content, the date in the URL ruins that illusion. “Post name” is probably the most practical choice for most situations.

Also, changing permalinks is easier to do when you first create a WordPress site than it is months or year down the road. The reason is that all of your link URLs will change, killing links you may have out in the world. You can counteract that with some 301 redirects, which you can set up manually or with a plugin to do it for you, like Simple 301 Redirects.