Creating Custom URLs

To improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, it is helpful to optimize your URL. From Google’s “Guide to SEO (PDF)“:

If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.

In other words, if your URL is relevant to the topic it is easier for Google and your readers to find it and determine if it is useful. It’s also more relevant to share the URL or bookmark it for later use.

WordPress has the ability to modify the URLs displayed. By default, we have it set to Day & Name, which displays the date you posted the article and the name of the post. Another way to organize it is by Category and Name.

Note: This requires that you set up some descriptive categories. If you only have the default of Uncategorized, it won’t be very useful. We have some more information on Categories and Tags in our Help Docs.

Example of a Custom URL

URL using Day & Name (Default): https://sites.uci.edu/yoursite/2012/01/24/ravens/
URL using Category & Name: https://sites.uci.edu/yoursite/birdwatching/ravens/

Changing the URL or Permallink Settings

  1. Go to Settings > Permalinks
  2. Click the Custom Structure radio button
  3. Type or copy and paste in the following: /%category%/%postname%/
    in the Custom Structure field.
  4. Click Save Changes.

We’re using this method on this web site. You’ll see the URL for this post is:
https://sites.uci.edu/blog/tips-tricks/creating-custom-urls/
using the Category of “Tips & Tricks” and the post name of “Creating Custom URLs”.