The Very First Thing To Do When You Start A New WordPress Site

The very first thing you should do when you start a new WordPress website or blog is to change the permalink structure. You want to do this at the start of your website or blog, not months later because changing your permalinks after your website or blog is established breaks all your already existing external and internal links. Thus, if you change your permalink structure before you even have any links, you won’t have any trouble down the road.

A permalink is the URL of your pages and posts that you create. You see a URL in the browser search bar/top bar on every website you visit. For greater clarity, this is a URL:

a wordpress URL

By default, when you start a new WordPress website, WordPress sets your permalink structure to “Plain“. This means your slug, which is the text after the “www.domain.com/” are just numbers. Take a look at this example where the slug is “p=35” on a new post I just created when my permalink structure was set to plain:

Plain permalink structure wordpress

You don’t want a plain permalink structure. It is confusing to readers, it makes it hard for you to find pages/posts in your own WordPress dashboard and, most importantly, it hurts SEO. You want your slug to contain the keywords from the page/post you make. This makes it easier for you, your readers, and Google to understand what your page/post is about.

The best permalink structure is “Post Name“. Changing your permalink structure to Post Name changes all the slugs for pages/posts to be the title of your page/post. Now your keywords are in your URL. Take a look at what this looks like:

Post Name Permalinks structure wordpress

How To Change WordPress Permalink Structure

It’s easy to change your WordPress Permalink structure from default “Plain” to “Post Name”. Just navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on the Settings button.

Wordpress Settings in your dashboard

Inside Settings, click the Permalinks button.

permalink button in WordPress

Next, click the “Post Name” button. This will change your permalink structure from Plain to Post Name.

how to change wordpress permalink structure

And now you are done! You can navigate to any page that was already created on your website/blog (like a sample blog post that came with your theme) to see that the slug was changed to the post name. Alternatively, you can try and make a new post and hit publish to see that the slug is now the post’s name.

Good luck on your new website or blog!

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