Permalinks are permanent or semi-permanent hyperlinks that point to a specific webpage. They are useful in allowing you to keep track of where each post appears on your site, as they will not change unless you edit them manually. Changing permalinks is unusual, yet not impossible since they are the exact URLs to a page on your website. You’ll need to be careful with this process.
What Happens When You Change Permalinks?
When you change your permalink setting, it will alter all of the links contained within your posts and pages to point to the new location. However, this does not affect any comments or trackbacks on those posts or pages.
Your current page is: https://yourdomain.com/store/condiments/mayo
You decide that you no longer want the category in the URL structure and change your WordPress settings.
Your new URL would be https://yourdomain.com/store/mayo.
Without a redirect, your old URL will now show a 404 (oops page cannot be found) page instead of the intended page.
How To Redirect a Permalink
The easiest way to prevent broken permalinks is with the Yoast Premium Plugin. It will redirect your old URL to the new one, so you don’t lose any traffic. Otherwise, if you are comfortable with code editing and file transfers, WordPress provides .htaccess boilerplate code to do the same thing.
When you change a single permalink with Yoast, it will create a warning at the top of your WordPress dashboard asking if you would like to redirect the page. You will then be given an option of where to redirect the page.
You can also change WordPress settings so that you will be automatically redirected. To do this, go to your Yoast settings page and scroll down until you see the permalink section. Check the box for redirecting old URLs and it will tell you where to redirect them if necessary.
You can also choose an alternative post or page (such as a 404 page) that you would like visitors to be redirected to.
Be sure to click save changes after this is done.
Yoast also has a premium upgrade, which allows you to redirect all of your old pages (including the new permalink page as well as archive and category pages). This option can be found under the setting menu in WordPress.
If you have any further questions about changing permalinks or need help with your website, contact Ballen Brands at 702-917-0755.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.