So you’ve setup a brand new WordPress blog and you’re ready to go content crazy. Congratulations! But before you go buck wild, take a step back to ensure all of your settings have been finely tuned.
In particular, jump into your dashboard and navigate to the settings tab, then click on Permalinks. You’ll be presented with 5 options: default, day and name, month and name, numeric, post name, and custom structure. Default and numeric are pretty much useless and should be tossed out the window. I, along with most bloggers and SEO professionals, prefer the month and name option.
Some bloggers add a custom permalink structure that includes the category name, which is a huge mistake, and I’ll tell you why…
First of all, having the post date and post name in the URL is important. Once you add the date, post name and category, URLs tend to get very long. Extremely long URLs are a spammy red flag.
Second, what if as your blog evolves you decide to take a different direction or modify the categories. If you have 100 posts in a particular category and change the category name, all of the URLs will change. Yes, you could always direct visitors to updated URLs, but it’s still horrible for SEO. Pages that have built strength over time will be wiped clean only to reside on a juvenile URL. Bad, bad, bad.
The next time you’re creating a WordPress blog, get a good start by selecting the right permalink structure.