Permalinks are the permanent URLs of your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger uses to link to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change, hence it is called as a permalink.
There are basically three types of permalink
Default permalinks – It looks like:
where N is the Post ID number. It works on all server environments, but it doesn’t look as nice as some of the other options.
- Mod_rewrite – Using mod_rewrite or also called as Lighttpd you can produce much nicer permalink. There are many different formats, but the most common, and most versatile looks like
- PATHINFO –
These permalinks look very much like mod_rewrite permalinks but for one exception, they have /index.php inserted before them, like so:
Otherwise, they are the same as the “pretty” mod_rewrite permalinks and are similarly flexible. Anything that mod_rewrite permalinks can do, PATHINFO permalinks can do, with the help of that/index.php part.
In the Settings go to the Permalinks screen, you can choose one of the more common permalink structures or enter your own in the “Custom structure” field using the structure tag.
Remember don’t put your site URL in the permalinks fields. You only use one of the structure tags or a combination of tags.
To activate PATHINFO permalinks, start your permalink structure with index.php/.
Why permalinks in WordPress are important?
Basically, it’s through permalinks that the world identifies the individual pieces of content on your WordPress blog
- Anyone can easily understand the individual portion of your WordPress blog anywhere in the world.
- If another blogger wants to link to your content, then he only needs your permalink to do so.
- Permalink is very useful, as if you wish to share your blog on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc, then you use your permalink to do this.
- Google also wants permalink of your content for indexing.
- And also if you wish to show your content to your friend by an email, then you share your permalink to your friend inside the email.
The problem with permalinks in WordPress
It is the default permalink setting – the one that WordPress comes preinstalled with isn’t well optimized.
If you go to your wp-admin/Settings/Permalinks after installing WordPress, you’ll see this:
The default permalink structure is:
where “123” is the ID of a given post or page in the database.