Short and Easy Guide to Creating Custom Permalinks in WordPress

by Corey Philip
February 6, 2020

A permalink is a permanent URL or web address to a page or blog post on your WordPress site. It is usually what people see in their address bar as they browse through your blog. You can take a look at what’s in your address bar right now to see what this blog post’s permalink is! 

Usually, the default permalink of every WordPress page is “unreadable” because it contains random letters and numbers. The structures might seem a bit unfriendly to some of your potential visitors, making your website look unprofessional. The URL doesn’t look very appealing, right?

Why Permalinks are Important

Customizing permalinks makes website browsing easier, improving their overall experience on your site. They don’t have to memorize a bunch of numbers just to get back to that one blog post!

At a quick glance, they’ll also be able to learn a lot about whatever web page they’re on, from the date of the post to the category to the title itself. And with the title in your permalink, search engines will be better able to pick up your web pages and include them in search rankings. Thus, these custom permalinks are necessary for accomplishing the goal of getting more traffic to your website as they are easy to recall, informative, and SEO-friendly.

Avoid Sticking with Default Permalinks

You should think carefully when it comes to the permalinks for your website. Keep in mind that you need to use something significant to your website's content while avoiding flashy URLs with excessive characters. The address should always look clean and informative.

For example, if your website's content is about health and fitness, it should be something like this:

Instead of:

The latter looks unreadable and unprofessional and reads as complete gibberish. On the other hand, the former does three things:

  • Gives your visitors a hint about your web page’s content.
  • Lets Google know that your page provides information about health and fitness.
  • Makes the web page easier for everyone to find.

Change the Permalink Structure for Your WordPress Site

WordPress offers different structure tags that are optimized for search engines. Just go to your Wp-admin, then click Settings and find Permalinks. Once you are there, you will see the different structure tags you can choose from for your permalink. They are as follows:

  • Plain - This is the default permalink of your WordPress. It contains ID numbers that are automatically generated when you created the website.
  • Day and Name - If you use this, your web address will contain the date when it was published and show the post name.
  • Month and Name - It's the same as the Day and Name. The only difference is that it will only show the month and year and exclude the exact date of when the post was published.
  • Numeric - It also contains numbers generated by WordPress.
  • Post Name - no number, no dates. It just contains the posts' title, plain and simple!

Post Name is quite popular and highly suggested if you are having a difficult time creating your own custom permalink. If your content is about an event or occasion that happened on a specific date, then choose the option Day and Name.

You can go with the permalink structures that use dates if you plan on updating your blog posts from time to time. But if your content is general, you might want to use other tags that exclude the date. Why? 

Posts that are dated in the year 2017 will seem out-of-date or old in the year 2020 even if the content is still accurate.

You also have the option to create a completely custom permalink structure using different tags as shown in the previous video. Don’t forget to click Save Changes at the bottom when you’re done!

Change Your WordPress Site’s Tag and Category URL Prefix 

The default base for category URLs is /category/, with /tag/ as the default for tag pages. It looks a little like this:

Not feeling the defaults? Just like the permalink structure, you can also change these base prefixes in Wp-admin > Settings > Permalinks. Get creative while still keeping the URLs as concise as possible. 

Change the URL of Your WordPress Category or Tag

Now that you know how to change the tag and category base prefix, how will you change the URLs for those individual tags and categories?

Step by Step:


Browse to Posts then Categories.


Choose which one category you want to edit, hover over it and click the Edit link that appears beneath it.


Now that you’re on the category detail page, you can modify the category slug. Don't forget to click Update.


The same applies to tags, except you can update the URL in Posts > Tags.

Change the URL of an Individual WordPress Page or Post

If you’ve already selected your permalink structure, it will be applied to all links in your WordPress site. But sometimes, post names can be quite lengthy and look ridiculous if you use the whole thing in your URL! Don’t worry because you can change the URL slug of individual pages and posts.

The URL slug is the keywords used inside your URL’s structure that describe your content. You can modify it by editing your post. Click on the Title field. Permalink will appear above it, then click the Edit button beside it. Change the slug, click Save, and voila! Enjoy your new URL.

Things to Remember When Changing Permalinks

Keeping your permalinks SEO-friendly is always a good thing. But if you have several blog posts up before you decide to change the permalink that are getting relevant traffic, expect your SEO rankings to take a hit at the start.

We hope this blog post helped you customize the permalinks on your WordPress site! Check out our other WordPress tutorials, guides, and reviews by browsing through our blog.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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