Generating Search EngineFriendly Permalinks

WordPress allows you to generate permalinks (permanent URIs) on your blog, which appear as though each of your posts is an individual static page on your site, rather than the dynamic output of a database-driven web site. Instead of a URI to one of your stories looking like http:// example.com/?p=29, WordPress can use something like this link:

http://example.com/card-games/how-to-win-at-poker/

Because this type of URI is already loaded with your keywords, it has an immediate advantage over the ?p=29 version. It also is more readable to your human visitors. It's easier for them to remember the link or to read it out over the phone.

To configure the structure of your permalink, from the administration pages, click Options, then Permalinks. The Edit Permalink Structure page allows you to configure the structure of your permalink URIs, as shown in Figure 15-25.

Figure 15-25. Editing your permalink structure

Choose a permalink structure that you feel comfortable with and that fits your blog. The suggestions made by WordPress work well, especially the following structure:

If your site has mostly chronological entries, this format makes lots of sense. As a bonus, these URLs truncate, too, which means that someone visiting a URL containing just the year and month will receive all posts for that month.

If your site isn't ordered chronologically and has a flat structure, then a permalink structure of /archives/%postname% might be more appropriate, but be sure to keep the post titles unique!

These features rely on using Apache as your web server and having a feature of Apache called mod_rewrite enabled on your site. If you don't have mod_rewrite or Apache, you can put a filename in the URL, like this:

and it will still work under some circumstances. You can also set up a prefix for your category links; /topic/ is a reasonable alternative.

Figure 15-26 shows some examples of the type of URIs you can generate.

k ' Fomard ' Ref ad Stop H^- M-^Tah f^http://building-online-c:ommunia96.com/wordprB5Sao05/oaf17/addiinff-plUginB/_ -©Go

Back " Forward " Reload Stop Home New Tab " http://building-online-communities.com^ordpress/articleB/niaitimisiing-comments/ - © Go Back ' Forward ' R^oad (fop Mnl M-^Tsh ^http://buildii1^nlin&K:ommunities.com/wordpre55/catBgory/hintS-and-tipS/ © Go

Figure 15-26. Search-engine-friendly URIs

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