Other Side Of Permalinks

January 27th, 2008

I recently wrote an article that explained how to configure permalinks in WordPress. In that article, I go over a few different reasons why you would want to use pretty permalinks instead of using the default linking structure. Well, Ted Clayton published an article that took the other side of the permalinks argument. Ted goes into detail on why and how WordPress uses the default linking structure and explains that it’s not as bad as some would make you think. It’s an excellent read and I thank Ted for bringing up the other side of the equation.

There is, in truth, a maze of trade-offs & counterpoints involved in selecting a strategy & tactics for making nicer, people-friendly URLs, for each & every website. Yes, many typical blog-sites will be able to adopt typical, easily-identified Permalink configurations. In the end, though, only you can do it right for your site.

Permalinks – The Big Picture




  1. Mr. Quotes (1 comments.) says:

    No doubt very well explained. Ugly urls are always are a major offense on every SEO’s list. Thanks for sharing.

  2. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    but everyone has their own definition of “ugly” though, but I do agree the permalink idea is very ugly. and should not be the default. I think the default should be /%postname%/ or /%date%/%postname%/ one of the two. most people use one of those two anyway, and anything other then that I can’t see making a bit of difference in the first place.

  3. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    I mean, if your going to use /p=123 then why not say
    index.php?p=123 at least that would look nicer, ya know what I mean?

  4. Don Melton (1 comments.) says:

    @bubazoo: The reason the “?p=123″ style is the WordPress default for a local or shared hosting installation of a WordPress tarball is that there is no guarantee your “.htaccess” file is writable or that you have “mod_rewrite” or the equivalent on your web server. Notice that this is NOT the default for blogs created on And that’s because the folks at Automattic can completely control the environment there. In fact, they don’t even let you change it from the more SEO-friendly style.

  5. Luke (1 comments.) says:

    Search engines don’t care whether they are ugly or pretty links at all, it’s really what the user wants. I prefer permalinks myself done using the default style links.

  6. Ted Clayton (31 comments.) says:

    Yeah … when the handle for a page is “?=123″, that’s room for 999 posts, in a mere 5 letters. How much horrid ugliness can be packed into a 5-letter string? ;-)

    OTOH, “?=123″ clues me not, whether to expect the latest on Hollywood gossip, or Freud’s Theory of the Id. I like that a link offers a peek at what we’re in for. gives away a very nice hosted environment. Most are reasonable with the freebie, but there will be those who are not. With 2 million accounts out, it takes few to make trouble … and that I suspect lies behind many of the ‘arbitrary’ limitations seen on the hosts, including the URL-formation policies.

    I have tried several kinds of searches, to uncover how search engines actually stand on “?=123″, and what kind of penalty might be incurred, and I have been unsuccessful. Anyone got links?

    As a new WordPress author, I have written a short series of posts on different plugin titles. Each of them has risen to first-page ranking, quickly. I write on some other less-popular or even obscure topics, and again my stuff is easy to find on the Internet, using only ‘general’ searches, and neither I nor my site is well-known. I’m using “?=123″.

    SEO is a very large, broad subject. Pretty-URLs could be an SEO tidbit, but SEO-goals are overwhelmingly achieved with more-direct, higher-leverage practices than tweaking the appearance of links.

  7. Ted Clayton (31 comments.) says:

    @Luke #5 – Actually, I strongly suspect that you state the case accurately. “?=123″ is perfect computer-logic, and would appear to pose no indexing difficulty whatsoever (it is your content that earns your index-ranking). I need to see some firm primary-references, before adopting the commonly-seen assertion that adverse SEO effects will stem from using such a URL. Anyone, please advise of such documents.

Obviously Powered by WordPress. © 2003-2013

page counter