Do you want to regenerate or flush your WordPress permalinks? 

User experience is one of the most important aspects of a successful website, 404 errors and broken links can majorly affect it. If the content on your website is unavailable to you, then so is it to other visitors.

To maintain user experience and your position in SEO rankings, you must know how to fix dead URLs and regenerate permalinks in WordPress.

What Is a Permalink?

Permalinks are another word for URLs written on the web browser's address bar.

Permalinks are just another word for URLs written on the web browser’s address bars when searching for a particular article. Permalinks and SEO are interrelated. A well-structured permalink can help you take the rankings of your web pages and web posts to the next level.

Permalinks act as a guide for the visitor. They indicate where a particular content can be found on your website. Through permalinks, you can identify your content quickly.

There are many benefits to permalinks, Google indexes your websites or any page from your website through permalinks, and you can share the content to your website by permalinks. The structure must be considered while creating a permalink. A permalink consists of:

  • Domain
  • Slug
  • Path

Best Structured Permalinks

While regenerating permalinks in WordPress, the following are some tips to keep in mind:

Unique: Make sure to distinguish your permalinks by making them unique for every post.

Precise: Create a short and precise slug for your content. Get rid of different words such as ‘a’ and ‘an’ etc., unless they are a part of a keyword.

Include Keywords: Be sure to optimize your content by including the necessary keywords. Make it relevant and short for long titles. 

Consistency: Select a pattern that suits the needs of your website and then stick to it. Don’t change the theme of the content and make sudden changes except to the keywords

Use Hyphens: Separate words in your permalinks with hyphens. 

Why Are Permalinks Important?

Permalinks are essential due to the following two reasons:

Effect on SEO: Your web browser uses permalinks to index your content, affecting the ability of your content to be found as a result of a search when someone enters a query.

A well-structured permalink can help boost your SEO rankings. Your website can catch more traffic and become more SEO-friendly if it has a consistent permalink. 

Influencing reader’s experience: Optimized websites boost the experience through a well-structured permalink that makes your website identification and tracking more accessible for the user.

Since permalinks are a clue to where the user will land when they click on them, it is advised to have consistent and recognizable permalinks to help you gain better traffic for your web page. 

Regenerating a Permalink

Since permalinks and SEO go hand in hand, it is a right-minded approach to be careful when regenerating your permalinks. Regenerating permalinks in WordPress without hurting SEO can be done through a 301 redirect.

A 301 redirect notifies your user and Google that your content has a new address. Google will track your old permalink redirect source and the new permalink redirect target and will eventually update it in the search results. 

If you’re not using 301 redirects, your website can lose permalinks and have some broken URLs, resulting in difficulty and a bad user experience. Your ranking will drop, and traffic will be reduced due to the broken page. 

Why Do I Have To Regenerate a Permalink?

Mostly, the URLs on your website are permanent, work just fine, and won’t cause you a headache. On the other hand, sometimes you may not be very fortunate, and clicking on a link may redirect you to a 404 error. This 404 error may also appear while trying to access your WordPress website.

This mainly happens after you have moved your WordPress site to a new host or installed a new plugin. Some plugins may edit your .htaccess file without your knowledge and affect your website in different ways, including damaging your URLs. 

Fret not. We have got you covered! Let us look at some easy and quick fixes that you can use to identify and regenerate permalinks.

How To Regenerate Permalinks?

Step 1: Search Setting> Permalinks

To change permalinks in WordPress, go to “Settings” on your WordPress dashboard. A new list of subheadings with various options and functions will open when you click settings.

From those available options, select “permalinks,” You will be redirected to a page where you can regenerate permalinks in WordPress. 

Step 2: Choosing Permalinks Structure

You can regenerate permalinks in your WordPress dashboard under settings.
Image Courtesy – WordPress

After selecting permalinks, you will come to a page to find various options and customizations. 

Here’s what these options are for:

Plain Permalinks: Plain permalinks are used by default in WordPress. That is why you are suggested to regenerate permalinks in WordPress right after the installation.

Plain permalinks do not work for most websites because they are plain and don’t describe anything about your website. It is not suitable for SEO since it does not include any keywords.

When users don’t find keywords, your content doesn’t linger in their minds, and even sometimes, search engines consider your website not legit. In conclusion, using a plain permalink is not advisable. 

Day and Name, Month and Name Permalinks: Day and Name and Month and Name both have their benefits. If you run a news website or a site that produces timely content, these permalinks are your best option. The downside is that the date can never be changed even when you update the page.

Content is posted on the internet with dates somewhere on the page, and it is updated when the content is updated. But when you are adding days and months to the permalinks, those don’t change. 

Numeric Permalinks: This structure defaults to the %post_id% variable. It is similar to the plain permalink but does not have any use. You can’t do much to set up a permalink. Hence it would help if you did not use numeric permalink to regenerate permalinks in WordPress. 

Post Title Permalinks: The post title is a widely used one of the best permalinks. It is helpful to every website on some level, though it may not be suitable for every page or post.

To make your permalinks straightforward, recognizable, and simple, it is best advised to regenerate permalinks in WordPress using the post title permalink.

All the extraneous information, such as dates, categories, etc., are deducted from the URL when you use title-post permalink to regenerate your WordPress permalink. This is best used when you do not have any complicated category structure on your site. 

Custom Permalinks: If you want to create your permalink for your website, using the create permalink is your go-to option. You can add words to any keywords you want to rank on the web browser.

Using the custom structure option gives you complete control over the permalink and how it should look on your site. You can also use various variables to customize the permalinks to engage your audience.

You can try custom permalinks and regenerate permalinks in WordPress if you want complete control over the structure and keywords in your permalink.

Step 3: Saving Changes

Once you have decided which permalink you want for your website or post, you will need to customize it. After the required customizations of your choice have been reached, save the changes by clicking on the “Save Changes” button provided at the bottom of the interface.

Make sure to save the changes you have made before refreshing the page or moving to another activity. 

Are You Still Seeing Permalinks Errors After Regenerating?

Clear your browser cache if you get 404 errors.

You may have to clear your browser cache if you still get 404 errors. If clearing out the cache memory does not resolve the problem, then recall what happened just before you started seeing the 404 alerts.

Whether it was a plugin installation or an update that might have been the cause of these errors, you can try disabling the plugin to see if it works and if the errors stop popping up. If this does not work, try disabling all of your plugins, this may seem like a drastic step, but it’s an intelligent approach to put your site into maintenance mode.

This way, the visitors will not have to encounter a broken site instead of a better impression that you are testing your plugins. If deactivating all plugins solves the problem, then at least one plugin is causing the error.

In such a case, you have to reactivate each plugin individually and monitor the status of impacts on your links. When the error reappears, you have found your plugin causing the issue. You can then ask for support from the developers or completely delete the said plugin.

Following the procedure mentioned, your website should be error-free and running smoothly.

How To Track and Avoid Broken Permalinks in WordPress?

Broken permalinks are corrosive for your websites and search engine rankings, not to mention a bad experience for the visitors. Dead URLs impact your long-term search engine rankings, lowering the traffic and downgrading your website appearance.

The All in One SEO plugin for WordPress is the easiest way to track and fix broken links on your WordPress site. The All in One SEO, also known as AIO SEO, helps you find broken links and fix them using the redirection manager.

Conclusion

We hope that through this article, you can identify what permalinks are, their importance, and how to regenerate and maintain permalinks in WordPress.

Since user experience is of crucial importance, broken links and 404 errors can negatively impact and must be taken care of immediately.

It is imperative to structure your permalinks carefully. Having an optimized permalink setting for your WordPress web pages helps you attract more traffic and engage your site.

Permalinks sound complicated, but after going through the steps mentioned above and tricks, you can quickly regenerate permalinks in WordPress according to your needs and liking.

For better SEO ranking, maintenance of the permalinks is of supreme importance, hence creating permalinks that are navigable by the user and search engine crawlers. 

About the Author

Atif Shahab

Author

Atif Shahab is a blogger, social media community management, and influencer marketing Expert. He loves to write about PHP, WordPress, Cloud, Project Management, Marketing, and Data Science. He is a fan of classic music and loves traveling with friends & family.

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