How to change the permalink in wordpress

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How to Change Permalinks in WordPress Without Hurting SEO

Par / WordPress SEO jeremy holcombe

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A URL is how the online community sees your site. A good URL can make or break a page sometimes. Normally, when you create a new WordPress website, the default permalinks are not optimal, which is why most developers change them.

Another thing to consider is how to change permalinks in WordPress without hurting your overall SEO structure.

Remember, once you publish a post or page, Google and other search engines cache and index the URL (permalink). Also, if you choose to change the URL on a page or publication in WordPress, you can break that indexing.

Changing your permalink structure after the fact can be devastating to your website’s SEO if not handled correctly. This is because it can lead to 404 errors.

Let’s dive into this topic and discuss it a bit. If you need to update your permalinks, then you’ve come to the right place.

Hide the table of contents

What is a permanent link?

Are permalinks important?

Why change permalinks in WordPress?

How to Properly Edit Permalinks for Published Content in WordPress

Step 1: Back up your website

Step 2: Set up permanent 301 redirects

Step 3: Change your permalinks


Final Thoughts

What is a permalink?

Un enlace permanent es una URL (direction web) única para cualquier página web en Internet.

Los enlaces permanentes hacen que sea mucho más fácil buscar, encontrar y vincular a páginas web específicas. Esta sola razón hace que la estructura de enlaces permanentes sea importante.

El nombre en realidad proviene de dos palabras juntas, “permanente” y “enlace”. Esencialmente, estás diciendo que cuando se publica una página o publicación, la URL creada se convierte en el “enlace permanente”, que es uno que nunca debe cambiar.

Si realmente desea desglosarlo aún más, un enlace permanente es solo el nombre elegante de una URL que las personas usan para acceder a sitios web y páginas web que desean encontrar y ver. Es el enlace que la gente usa para hacer clic dentro del texto oa través de imágenes y botones.

¿Son importantes los enlaces permanentes?


Sus enlaces permanentes son de hecho muy importantes por varias razones. En primer lugar, son importantes para el SEO de tu sitio web . En segundo lugar, son importantes para la navegación , la identificación de páginas y el uso compartido. Todas estas cosas son más fáciles para los visitantes de su sitio web si tiene una buena estructura de enlaces permanentes.

Piense en una buena estructura de enlaces permanentes de esta manera:

It is like dialing a specific phone extension to get to a specific person when you’re calling a big company. Solid permalinks make this possible on a website.

A bad permalink structure or different permalinks everywhere coming from your site would be like being routed through the main phone number every time.

There are certain instances when you would use a permalink. Of course, when you are building a page or post, you want to make sure the permalink is custom and that it matches what you want.

However, you would also use permalinks in situations like:

  • When linking to a specific post or page.
  • Creating deep links for affiliate marketing purposes.
  • Sharing on social media.

Also, consider how some permalinks have the date a blog post was published. As a result, some people may not visit your content if they deem it to be “too old.” Many online users like content fresh and current.

Why Change Permalinks in WordPress?

If you are about to tackle the process of changing permalinks in WordPress, then there is probably a good reason. More often than not, website owners change their permalinks because they do not like the original structure that was put into place.

Maybe you want to take out the date in your current URL or add tags like categories or other structural settings. You may be changing permalinks because your site is moving, or getting a new domain name. Even changing your protocol from HTTP to HTTPS required you to deal with 301 redirects and permalinks.

Other reasons for doing this include things like:

  • Your old post and page structures are not user-friendly.
  • Maybe your existing permalink structure has no SEO advantages.
  • You are trying to rebrand your website.

Whatever the reason may be, let’s take a look at how to successfully perform a WordPress change of URL and keep your SEO intact.

How to Properly Change Permalinks for Published Content in WordPress

Now that you have a good idea of what permalinks are and how important they can be to your website and SEO, let’s take a look at how to edit a permalink in WordPress without destroying your current links and SEO structure.

So, there are actually a couple of ways to do this. You will need quite a bit of database and cPanel knowledge to perform this all manually. Luckily, that’s not required. Everything can be completed by using the right combination of plugins.

There are three main steps you need to perform in order to change permalinks in WordPress successfully without hurting your SEO.

  1. Backup your website (just in case)
  2. Create Permanent 301 Redirects
  3. Change Your Permalink Structure

Let’s go over these together. I will talk about each step a little and link you to the relevant tutorials that will take you through each process. There are also a couple of other plugin suggestions for you if you are interested.

Step 1: Backup Your Website

Backing up your website is something you should do whenever you are making any sort of big changes. Even though your web host probably makes backups, it is still a good idea to backup your WordPress website yourself. You can do this manually or use a plugin, the choice is yours.

You won’t actually be using the backup for anything in the process, but you will have the files and database in place and ready if something goes terribly wrong while changing your permalinks.

If so, you simply add backup website files and the database into place and you can start from the beginning.

Step 2: Setup Permanent 301 Redirects

Our second step is to set up the Redirection plugin. This allows you to automatically set up 301 redirects to correct 404 error pages when changing the permalink structure.

Ultimately, this step will allow you to change the permalinks structure without breaking links. Thus, it’s the most important step.

Install the Redirection plugin and activate it for use. Upon activation, you should see a message at the top asking you to complete the Redirection setup. Click on the link.

click the link Click on the link

This will give you a quick overview of how the plugin works and what it can do. Click on the “Start Setup” button when you have read the page.

Initial setting Start setup

The basic setup section is the most important because of the first option. It allows the plugin to monitor permalink changes to your website and it will automatically set up the redirects. Thus your website’s links will work without having to make any manual changes.

Check the first checkbox.

check the box Check the box

Select any of the other options you feel are helpful and click on the “Continue Setup” button.

Configuration continue Continue-Configuration

The plugin will now test the connection to the REST API. This is how the plugin communicates with WordPress. You can see the results of the test next to the REST API option.

As long as it says working, you are good to go.

Note: You may also see “Working but some issues” and that is okay. You can check the summary to try and resolve the problems. Check the plugin’s FAQ to find a solution to the issue.

Click on the “Finish Setup” button.

The plugin should automatically set up 301 redirects when we change the permalinks in the next step.

Step 3: Change Your Permalinks

With the Redirection plugin in place, you are ready to change your permalink structure.

WordPress offers a number of different custom permalink options within the WordPress admin dashboard. Thus, you won’t need a plugin for this step. However, it is worth mentioning that there are a variety of plugins available that can do the job as well.

To access the built-in method, click on Settings and select the Permalinks option located on the left-hand admin panel.

Click settings and then click permalinks Click on settings then on permalinks

This will take you to the custom permalink setup that WordPress offers. From here, you can adjust and set your website permalinks to exactly what you want them to show.

Change permanent link on WordPress Edit permalinks in WordPress

Unfortunately, WordPress does not pick an SEO-friendly permalink structure by default. And if you didn’t catch it early enough, it could be a major factor in why your website is not ranking well.

There are multiple structures to choose from and you even have the option to create your own custom permalink structure. But, if you’re looking for the best, which I know you are, Yoast SEO recommends using a custom structure of “/%category%/%postname%/” but the choice is up to you.

Once you have changed the permalink structure, click on the “Save Changes” button. This will force WordPress to update the permalinks structure of your website.

Garder changes to change permalinks in WordPress Save Changes to Edit Permalinks in WordPress

The redirection plugin should now create redirects for all of your pages. If you are still experiencing problems, check out the troubleshooting section below.

Congratulations on changing your permalink structure, without damaging your website’s SEO.

Warning: Changing your permalinks settings can seriously impact your search engine visibility. It should almost never be done on a live website. If it is, consider submitting a new sitemap to Google ASAP.


If the Redirection plugin has not automatically set up redirections, then you are going to need to make an adjustment.

This means you need to set up a manual redirection. Unfortunately, the exact text of redirection depends on what permalink structure you are coming from and what permalink structure you are going to.

Thus, the exact code will be different for everyone.

Luckily, Redirection has an excellent guide for how to create redirections based on patterns, which is exactly what a permalink structure change is.

For instance, if you were changing from date/post-title permalink structure to a /post-name structure, the Source URL would be “^/(\d*)/(\d*)/(\d*)/([A-Za-z0-9-]*)” and the Target URL would be “/$4“:

Redirection Add Add a redirect

Note: Even if you were making this exact change, the above redirection might not work correctly based on the type of date you had before. After all, there are numerous ways to display the date in URLs.

However, odds are you will need a different redirection.

Thus you are going to need to use the Redirection plugin expressions guide to figure out how to do this for your specific case.

Final Thoughts

As long as you follow the steps above as they are given, you should be able to successfully change permalinks in WordPress and keep all of your SEO structure and rankings intact.

This isn’t something you should do often, so make sure you are satisfied with your new permalink structure.

Did this process work for you? What other tools or plugins did you use? Do you prefer to complete the entire process manually?

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How do I change the permalink structure?

A permalink – short for ‘permanent link’ – is the full URL for a page on a website. It could include your domain name, plus a slug (the part of the URL that follows the domain name). As we explain in this article on permalinks, it’s very important to make sure your permalinks are SEO-friendly. But how do you change the permalink structure? That’s what we’ll explore in this article!

Please be careful with changing your permalinks if your site has been around for a while. Changing your permalinks if you already have a lot of content can lead to issues such as 404 errors.

Related articles

  • Why you should change your WordPress permalink structure
  • The perfect WordPress SEO permalink structure
  • What is a permalink?
  • What is a slug?

Why you should change the permalink structure

As I explained in this article on how you should change the structure of WordPress permanent liens, we strongly recommend that you use only /%postname%/ for the structure of your site. If you’re using the default permalink configuration ( ), we’ll display a notice recommending changing the structure.

wpseo_general_dashboard_notifications_permalink-600x95 How to Change the Permalink Structure in WordPress

  1. Launch a session on the WordPress website.

    When you are logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Click on ‘Setup’.

    On the left side, you will see a menu. Dans ce menu, click on ‘Configuration’.

  3. Click on ‘Permanent Enlaces’.

    The ‘Settings’ menu will expand giving you additional options. Cliquez sur ‘Permalinks’.Configuring Permalinks

  4. Select ‘Publication Name’. 


  5. Click on ‘Save changes’.
  6. Use this tool to generate the correct code.
  7. Add the code you generated in the previous step to your site’s .htaccess file.

    Not sure how to edit the .htaccess file? We have a ‘How To’ guide available ici.

Related Posts

Advanced crawl settings: Cleaning the permalink My sitemap returns a 404 error, what should I do? Yoast XML Sitemaps on NGINX Servers

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