Premalinks: Need Advice

I read somewhere lately that you should change your permalink structure to read as the title of your posts rather than just a number (i.e. http://alexmclean.net/?p=1282 should read /I-Heart-Loops instead). The point being that search engines can make much more sense out of the title than just a number.

The struggle I am having is that I imagine once you make that change, you break all your old links, right? Now I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year, but I know that I myself link to my own posts all the time, and every now and again people link to my posts from their blogs. So do I make the jump now and just deal with broken links or just stick with what I’m doing now?

I need advice!

5 thoughts on “Premalinks: Need Advice

  1. Travis

    Break the links and move forward. If it makes the whole future of your blog better, why worry about the past year? If it is a broken link that is still active, most likely, the link-er will be proactive to fix it. I know for me, a lot of my old links are from other old blog posts so it really wouldn’t have a major effect. No one goes there anymore anyway. You may also bring new life to old posts that will be more search engine friendly.

    If you are worried about blog rank and stuff like that, a little drop in the near future would be worth it in the long run anyway. But, we don’t blog for stats anyway right? If we want to be helpful and sharing information, make the information as helpful and shareable as we can.

  2. Jeff M. Miller

    I’m assuming you read the same post from Anne earlier this week that I did. I took the plunge and changed my permalink structure, then went around to various places on teh intertubes and checked some links.

    All of them forwarded to the appropriate link automatically. I guess that WordPress keeps track of all that stuff for you.

    Cheerio!

  3. Steve Eller

    Visit the Permalinks page of the administration panel
    Select the button labeled “Custom, specify below.”
    In the box labeled “Custom structure,” enter the text /%postname%/
    Submit the change via the “Update Permalink Structure »” button.
    Visit your site and verify that posts are not being given permalinks in the style example.com/post-name-here/. (you may need to clear your cache)

    Let me know if this works for you.

  4. alex

    Thanks guys – I’m going to give it a shot & see how it goes!

  5. Fred McKinnon

    Hey Alex,
    I made that change a long time ago, with the exception that mine also includes the date, ie:
    http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/2008/05/09/my-biggest-battle-12-years/

    Maybe I’ll make it even more simple.

    Another thing – just doing what Steve says above won’t necessarily work. Your .htaccess file has to be mod’d. You can either create a .htaccess file in your root directory and copy/paste the stuff that wordPress gives you into it … but the easiest way is to create a file called .htaccess in your blog’s root directory (there may already be one there?), and use your FTP program to chmod it to 666 – no, not the mark of the beast, rather, RW, RW, RW, for read-write … in doing so, WordPress will write the changes to your .htaccess file automatically.

    When you update the perms, it will either say “.htaccess updated succesfully”, or it will say “you need to update your .htaccess file”.

    Important step!

    Duh, however, looking at your URL above, it seems my advice is too late – you figured it out, because I see:
    http://alexmclean.net/premalinks-need-advice/

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