Setup The WordPress Permalinks Settings

WordPress Permalink Settings

About This Lesson

In this lesson I’ll walk you through how to setup the WordPress permalinks settings and explain what these settings will do on your site.

Permalinks let you choose how the URLs of your pages or posts look.

So for instance this page’s URL is, wordpress-permalinks-settings

By the end of this lesson you’ll know how to,

  • Make your URLs more seo friendly
  • Change the structure of your URLs so they look nicer/are easier to remember
  • Change the category/tag base of your permalinks
  • I’ll also show you what you need to do, if you manually installed WordPress

Before doing this you’ll need to have installed WordPress.

You can do this one of two ways,

1) Install WordPress with SiteGround (The Quick & Easy Way)

2) Install WordPress manually

And you’ll need to have,

3) Understood what WordPress is & how it works

4) Learnt how to login to your WordPress site

5) Learnt how to navigate around WordPress

It’s also worth noting, this lesson, is a part of a series of lessons which show you how to setup WordPress. You can see the other lessons in this series by visiting the links below.

Action Steps

This lesson’s a short one, there’s only two main areas we need to go through,

  1. Common Settings
  2. Optional

However, if you installed WordPress manually, there’s one extra thing you need to do.

Course Navigation

How To Create A Website Course

This is Step 3 Part 6 – See the full course here!

How To Use WordPress Course

This is Step 3 Part 6 – See the full course here!

Read All About It

First of all, to get to the permalinks settings, you need to login to the admin area of your WordPress site.

Then on the left hand side, hover over the menu item Settings and click Permalinks.

WordPress Permalink Settings

There are only two settings to customize in the permalink settings, so let me quickly walk you through them.

Common Settings

Common Settings

WordPress give you a number of different ways to set how your URL’s look. I’ll explain the difference between them, then you can choose what’s best for you.

Post name

This uses whatever your post or page title is.

This is normally the setting I choose, simply because,

  • It’s easier for website visitors to type in their browsers
  • It’s more search engine friendly, as it makes it easier for search engines to identify what your post or page is about
  • It looks nicer

Quick Tip: Change the URL on individual pages or posts

You can also change the URL on each individual page or post, by simply clicking the edit button like below, then entering in what you want the URL to be.

Edit Post Permalink

“Day and name” or “Month and name”

If you choose one of these options, depending on the day or month that you publish your posts, WordPress will add these details into the URL.

So for instance this is an example of month and name,

You might choose these options if you’re creating a news type site, where having the date in the URL might be useful. (Although I personally would still go with just “Post name”, as having the date in your address could make your content look outdated in 2-3 years time).

It’s worth noting, this option only works on your posts. If you create a page, it’ll just display what you type in the title area of your page.

“Default” or “Numeric”

These are just awful and you should never choose them!

Quick Tip: If you try to save changes and get a message that says, “You should update your .htaccess now.” then it means you have one more step you need to complete before the changes are made. Click here to see what to do.


Next up is the “optional” setting.

Change Category Base In WordPress
This lets you change the category/tag base, that WordPress automatically adds to your categories or tags. (Learn more about categories and tags here).

What Do I Mean By This?

When you create a post and give it a category (which you have to do), WordPress will add a “base”, which goes before the category in the URL. By default this will be, “category” or, “tag” for tags.

So for instance, when I installed WordPress on CMG Testing, it created a default category called, Uncategorized. If you wanted to view all the posts that are in this category, you would go to

Notice how WordPress has added in the “category” base.

If you want to change this, so that instead of it saying category, or tag for your tags, simply input the text you want in these boxes.

So in the example below I’ve changed the category base to “topics”, which means my url would now be

Changing Category Base To Topics

As WordPress say, “if you leave these blank the defaults will be used.” Personally I normally leave this as it is.

If You Manually Installed WordPress

If when you try to save changes you get a message that says,

You should update your .htaccess now.

You should update your htaccess now

It means you’ll have to create a .htaccess file and upload it to your site. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to do.) The reason for this, as WordPress say on their site,

When you create or update a “pretty” permalink, WordPress will generate rewrite rules and attempt to insert them into the proper .htaccess file.

If you don’t already have this .htaccess file AND if it’s not in the folder WordPress needs it to be in, then WordPress won’t be able to “generate the rewrite rules”.

To learn how to add a .htaccess file to your site, see this extra lesson I created for you. (It’ll take you less than five minutes to do!)

And that’s it for the permalink settings.

Complete Setting Up WordPress

This lesson is a part of a series of lessons, which show you how to setup WordPress. You can see the other lessons in this series by visiting the links below.

Or if you want to save some time, check out my quick WordPress settings lesson.

Next Steps

When you’ve finished setting up WordPress, the next steps in creating your website and learning how to use WordPress, is to learn how WordPress posts and pages work, so you can then start creating the content that will make up your site!