. . . in 15 easy steps.

Just to make sure no one thinks I’m promising this will work with ANY WordPress installation, please read the next couple of paragraphs at least twice. This customization technique will work only and ONLY IF:

1. You have a WordPress installation on a “paid” hosting service on a Apache/Unix Server. This means this will not work on a free WordPress hosting service that does NOT allow you to FTP files into the root directory of your WordPress installation. (Never mind the techie terminology, these will all be explained in the succeeding steps.)

AND

2. You know how to use an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program to upload files into your WordPress root directory, and how to use your FTP program to change permissions (CHMOD) on a file.

Rationale:

Why would we even want to wrestle with FTP and WordPress options to begin with? Much of this has to do with vanity. Why else would they call it “pretty permalinks”? With vanity-permalinks you also get easier indexing by search engines, but that also depends on whether you’ve created your sitemaps and submitted your WordPress blog to the proper directories and search engines. So let’s just stick to vanity for the meantime.

The default WordPress url looks something like this:

http://bambit.kusangpalo.com/?p=313

In a few steps that “ugly” URL can become

http://bambit.kusangpalo.com/2006/i-know-you-mean-well-but.html

Sexy, yes?

What you will need:

1. A computer with an internet connection.
2. Your WordPress installation on a server that you can access via FTP.
3. A simple FTP Program. I use and recommend FileZilla because it’s free and pretty straightforward to use.
4. A text editor. For this purpose, Notepad will do.

How to do it:

1. Open Notepad.

Notepad

2. Without writing/typing anything into the new document, click on File > Save As. Name the file htaccess.txt

Notepad, Save As

3. Start your FTP program and go into the root folder of your WordPress installation.

FTP Program - FileZilla

4. Locate the htaccess.txt file you created and upload it into the root folder of your WordPress installation. In FileZilla, you do this by right-clicking on the file htaccess.txt and selecting Upload from the fly-out menu.

Upload htaccess.txt

5. When the htaccess.txt file has been uploaded, select it on the server pane by clicking on it once.

6. Right click on the file and select Rename. Rename the file to .htaccess

Rename htaccess

7. When the file has been renamed, right click on it again. This time select File Attributes.

File Attributes

8. Change the numeric value entry to 755, thus enabling WordPress to “write to” the file. (If the later steps do not produce the desired result come back to this point and change the File Attributes to 666 instead of 755.)

Change File Attributes

9. Click on OK. Close your FTP program.

10. Login to your WordPress administration backend.

11. On the Menu, select Options > Permalinks. You will see the Customize Permalink Structure Screen.

Click for bigger image

12. Selecting an option other than default will cause an entry on the “Custom Structure” text box. For our purpose, first select “Date and name based” so that the Custom Structure text box reads

/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

13. Click on the radio button beside “Custom, specify below” and then edit the entry in the “Custom Structure” box to read

/%year%/%postname%.html

Custom, Specify

14. Click on the “Update Permalink Structure” button.

15. NOW, to play it safe, without closing the administrator screen on your blog, open a new browser window or tab to the homepage of your blog. If on the off chance you can’t see your blog anymore, or if clicking on a post or category link gives you an error, click back to the administrator screen and select the default permalink structure again, then click “Update Permalink Structure” again. If you did all the steps outlined above correctly, you should be seeing your new permalink structure when you mouse over your post titles:

http://yourblogURL.com/2008/your-post-title-instead-of-numbers.html


Thanks to Raymond S. Usbal of AngatPinoy.com for suggesting that I switch over to pretty permalinks.

Customize Your Permalink Structure

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4 thoughts on “Customize Your Permalink Structure

  1. i’ll get back to this.  will use it in my new dotcom blog.  I was trying to figure out how the all-seo-pack works.  They have something like this.  I have zero knowledge on such things.

  2. I think it’s better to set the permalinks at the outset, rather than in the middle of everything like I did. I’m really starting to think it was the switch to pretty permalinks that did my page rank in (and my husband’s blog too) … I’ve spent the entire afternoon rebuilding sitemaps and resubmitting them everywhere hoping to give the Google PR API a nudge. Hope it works.

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