- Speed: Having the post id in the permalink was necessary as WordPress slowed down if this wasn’t included.
- Google news: If one wanted to be indexed for inclusion in Google News search results then a number would need to be included in the post permalink.
The permalink structure I have used until recently has been
/%post_id%/%category%/%postname%/ so, for example, a post permalink would look something like https://organicweb.com.au/21571/mailchimp/list segmentation/. This structure used to be good for various technical and SEO reasons but nowadays having the post id (number) in the permalink isn’t necessary and looks confusing. I decided to move from the permalink structure of
How to change your WordPress post permalink structure
Changing the permalink structure in WordPress is very quick:
- Ensure you have a backup.
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- Click Settings then Permalinks.
- Under Common Settings select your preferred permalink structure.
- Click Save Changes.
Your new permalink structure will now be in effect. The issue however is that all links to posts, including in Google search results, will now result in the viewer seeing a 404 status error.
How to automatically redirect posts to the new permalinks
Fortunately there is a very simple means of redirecting your old post URLs to the new URLs automatically. Before changing your permalink structure as described above, install and activate the WordPress Postname Permalink Auto Redirect plugin. This plugin automatically redirects posts where the permalink structure has changed. I have tested this on my website (with several thousand posts) and it has worked perfectly.