Change Your WordPress Permalink Structure Without Breaking The Internet
One of the things I’ve wanted to do lately is go timeless.
What I mean by that is getting rid of the date in my WordPress permalink structure. The problem with doing this kind of thing after you’ve started your blog is that it breaks links. And by that, I mean all of them. The internal ones, the search engine ones, and all the links you’ve gotten from other blogs and websites.
Let’s Start At The Beginning
A commonly used permalink structure looks something like this:
I want to get rid of the date and make it into this:
That’s very simple to do. All you have to do is log into your WordPress Admin panel, go to Options > Permalinks and change the structure from:
Easy, right. Until you break the internet.
Here’s What Breaks
- Every hard-coded link in your posts to other posts you’ve written. Poof … gone!
- All your search engine results. Bu-bye Google!
- All the deep link love you ever got from anyone else to your great words of wit and wisdom. Nice knowing ya!
Luckily, There’s A Solution …
All you need to do is download Dean Lee’s Permalinks Migration Plugin. Upload and activate the plugin. Go to the Options page and select the PermalinksMigration page and type in your current permalink structure. Then go to the Permalinks page and type in your new permalink structure.
The plugin uses a 301 Redirect to get everyone to the right page. Eventually, the search engines will change your links to the new structure, and all your internal links and external backlinks are fine.
It’s that simple.
What’s A Good Structure And Why?
Alright, you might be thinking ‘who cares?‘. And honestly it probably doesn’t matter unless you really want to build timeless content. Timeless content is the stuff that’s still relevant a year or 10 years from now.
It just looks better if it’s not dated in the link. Then, no matter when someone finds your post, they don’t automatically think it’s outdated and they judge the content for what it’s really worth.
It also keeps your link structure simple and simple is good.
Some people advocate using myblog.com/category/postname as a convention. Not a bad idea, but I’ve decided to go with myblog.com/postname. This gives me the easy option to revise my category structure in the future without breaking the links.
So even if you didn’t start out being “timeless”, no worries. You can still get there.
Without breaking the internet.