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How to Customize Permalinks on Your WordPress Blog

A custom permalink structure in WordPress is one that lets you define which variables you want to see in your permalinks by using the tags shown in the following table.

Custom Permalinks
Permalink Tag Results
%year% 4-digit year (such as 2013)
%monthnum% 2-digit month (such as 02 for February)
%day% 2-digit day (such as 30)
%hour% 2-digit hour of the day (such as 15 for 3:00 p.m.)
%minute% 2-digit minute (such as 45)
%second% 2-digit second (such as 10)
%postname% Text — usually, the post name — separated by hyphens (such as making-pretty-permalinks)
%post_id% The unique numerical ID of the post (such as 344)
%category% The text of the category name that you filed the post in (such as books-i-read)
%author% The text of the post author’s name (such as lisa-sabin-wilson)

If you want your permalink to show the year, month, day, category, and post name, select the Custom Structure radio button in the Permalink Settings page and type the following tags in the Custom Structure text box:

/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%category%/%postname%/

Under this permalink format, the link for a post made on October 31, 2013, called WordPress For Dummies and filed in the Books I Read category, would look like this:

http://yourdomain.com/2013/10/31/books-i-read/wordpress-for-dummies/

Be sure to include the slashes (/) before tags, between tags, and at the very end of the string of tags. This format ensures that WordPress creates correct, working permalinks by using the correct rewrite rules located in the .htaccess file for your site.

Changing the structure of your permalinks in the future affects the permalinks for all the posts on your blog — new and old. Keep this fact in mind if you ever decide to change the permalink structure. An especially important reason: Search engines (such as Google and Yahoo!) index the posts on your site by their permalinks, so changing the permalink structure makes all those indexed links obsolete.

One nifty feature of WordPress is that it remembers when you change your permalink structure and automatically writes an internal redirect from the old permalink structure to the new one.

Don’t forget to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the Permalink Settings page; otherwise your permalink changes aren’t saved!

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