What Happens To My Backlinks When I Change My Permalinks In WordPress

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what happens to my backlinks when i change my permalinks in wordpress

Permalinks are the permanent URLs of your website’s pages and posts. In WordPress, they are customizable and can be set to reflect the structure of your website. Changing permalinks can potentially affect your backlinks, which are links to your website from other websites. This article will discuss what happens to your backlinks when you change your permalinks in WordPress and how to avoid losing them.

Why Would Someone Want to Change Their Permalinks?

There are a few reasons why someone may want to change their permalinks. The most common reasons are to improve their SEO and user experience.

  1. Improve SEO: Changing your permalinks to include keywords or remove unnecessary words can improve your website’s ranking on search engine result pages.
  2. Improve User Experience: Short and descriptive permalinks make it easier for visitors to understand the content of a page before clicking on the link. This can also improve user engagement and reduce bounce rates.

What Happens to Backlinks When Changing Permalinks?

When you change your permalinks, your backlinks can be affected in a few ways:

  1. Backlinks May Be Broken: If your backlinks were pointing to specific URLs that no longer exist, they will result in a “”404 Page Not Found”” error.
  2. Backlinks May Redirect to New Permalink: Some backlinks may redirect to the new permalink structure if the URL structure was changed, but the URL slug remains the same.
  3. Backlinks May Not Be Affected: If your backlinks were pointing to your website’s main domain or root URL, they will not be affected by changing permalinks.

How to Avoid Losing Backlinks When Changing Permalinks?

To avoid losing backlinks, here are some best practices to follow when changing permalinks:

  1. Use a 301 Redirect: This is the most effective way to redirect your old URLs to the new ones. This ensures that visitors and search engines are redirected to the correct page.
  2. Use a Custom Permalink Structure: Before changing your permalinks, make sure to set a custom permalink structure that will remain consistent even after the change.
  3. Use a Plugin to Redirect Old Permalinks: There are many plugins available to help with redirecting old permalinks to new ones. These plugins can make the process easier and more efficient.

What Are the Best Practices for Changing Permalinks?

To avoid any issues when changing permalinks, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before changing your permalinks, make sure to plan and strategize the new structure to avoid any issues.
  2. Keep Permalinks Simple and Consistent: Use descriptive and easy-to-read permalinks that will remain consistent throughout your website. This will make it easier for visitors to understand and navigate your website.
  3. Test and Monitor for Broken Links: After changing your permalinks, regularly check for any broken links and fix them immediately. This will ensure a smooth user experience and maintain your website’s SEO.

What Are Permalinks in WordPress?

In WordPress, permalinks are the permanent URLs of your website’s pages, posts, and other content. They serve as the web addresses that visitors can use to access specific content on your site. Permalinks are important for search engine optimization and user experience, as they make your website’s URLs more readable and memorable. By default, WordPress generates permalinks using the post ID or date, but you can customize them to include keywords or date formats. When you change your permalinks, it can affect your site’s SEO and existing backlinks. Redirects should be set up to ensure that visitors and search engines can still access your content. Additionally, it is worth noting that WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet.

Why Would Someone Want to Change Their Permalinks?

Permalinks are an essential aspect of a website’s structure and can greatly impact its performance. However, there may come a time when you want to change your permalinks in WordPress. But why would someone want to do that? In this section, we will discuss two main reasons: to improve SEO and to enhance the user experience. By understanding the potential benefits of changing your permalinks, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to make this change on your website.

1. Improve SEO

Changing permalinks in WordPress can help to enhance SEO by optimizing the structure of your URLs for search engines. Follow these steps for a better SEO performance:

  1. Choose a clear and descriptive permalink structure that includes relevant keywords.
  2. Redirect old permalinks to the new ones using a 301 redirect, while preserving link equity.
  3. Update internal links to reflect the new permalinks.
  4. Submit an updated XML sitemap to search engines to ensure they crawl and index the new URLs.
  5. Monitor for broken links and promptly fix them to maintain a positive user experience and SEO performance.

2. Improve User Experience

Improving the user experience is a key motivation for changing permalinks in WordPress. In order to make these changes, here are some steps to consider:

  1. Understand the current user experience: Analyze how the current permalinks affect navigation and the discoverability of content.
  2. Identify areas for improvement: Look for opportunities to shorten permalinks, make them more descriptive, and easier to understand.
  3. Plan the new permalink structure: Create a clear and logical structure that accurately reflects the website’s content hierarchy.
  4. Set up 301 redirects: Implement permanent redirects from old permalinks to the new ones to ensure that visitors are directed to the correct page.
  5. Update internal links: Make sure to update any internal links to the new permalinks to maintain a seamless user experience.
  6. Monitor for broken links: Regularly check for any broken links caused by the permalink changes and promptly fix them.

What Happens to Backlinks When Changing Permalinks?

If you are considering changing the permalinks on your WordPress website, you may be wondering what will happen to your backlinks. Will they still work? Will they redirect to the new permalink? Or will they be broken altogether? In this section, we will discuss the potential outcomes of changing permalinks and how it can affect your backlinks. Whether you are making the switch for SEO purposes or for a more user-friendly URL structure, it is important to understand the potential impact on your backlinks.

1. Backlinks May Be Broken

Changing permalinks in WordPress can potentially result in broken backlinks. To mitigate this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Implement a 301 redirect: Use a plugin or manually add code to redirect old permalinks to the new ones, ensuring that both visitors and search engines are directed to the correct page.
  2. Update internal links: Modify any internal links within your website to reflect the new permalinks, ensuring that they continue to function properly.
  3. Notify external websites: If possible, reach out to websites that have backlinks pointing to your pages and request that they update the links to the new permalinks.
  4. Monitor for broken links: Use a broken link checker tool to regularly scan your website for any broken links that may have been missed during the permalink change.

2. Backlinks May Redirect to New Permalink

When making changes to permalinks in WordPress, it is important to ensure that backlinks are redirected to the new permalink in order to maintain a smooth transition for visitors. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a 301 redirect from the old permalink to the new one. This will inform search engines and browsers that the content has been moved.
  2. Update any internal links on your website to point to the new permalink structure.
  3. Notify other website owners who have linked to your old permalink, and request that they update their links.
  4. Monitor your website for any broken links that may occur during the transition, using tools such as Google Search Console.

By redirecting backlinks to the new permalink, you can maintain the SEO value and ensure a positive user experience. Be sure to plan ahead and keep permalinks simple and consistent to avoid any potential complications in the future.

3. Backlinks May Not Be Affected

When changing permalinks in WordPress, it is possible that backlinks may not be affected. Here are some steps to help ensure backlinks remain intact:

  1. Perform a thorough analysis of your website’s current backlinks to identify any potential issues.
  2. Implement a proper 301 redirect from the old permalink structure to the new one.
  3. Update your sitemap and submit it to search engines to ensure they recognize the changes, including the possibility that backlinks may not be affected.
  4. Monitor your website’s performance and search engine rankings to identify any issues that may arise, such as backlinks not being affected by the permalink change.
  5. Regularly check for broken links and fix them promptly to maintain a positive user experience and avoid negative impacts on SEO, including the potential for backlinks to not be affected.

How to Avoid Losing Backlinks When Changing Permalinks?

Changing permalinks on your WordPress site can greatly impact your search engine rankings and potentially cause you to lose valuable backlinks. However, with the right approach, you can avoid these consequences and maintain your backlinks. In this section, we will discuss three methods to help you avoid losing backlinks when changing permalinks: using a 301 redirect, choosing a custom permalink structure, and utilizing a plugin to redirect old permalinks. Keep reading to learn how to successfully change your permalinks without losing valuable backlinks.

1. Use a 301 Redirect

Using a 301 redirect is a crucial step when changing permalinks in WordPress to ensure a smooth transition and maintain backlinks. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Install a redirection plugin like Redirection or Yoast SEO.
  2. Access the plugin settings and create a new redirect rule.
  3. Enter the old permalink structure in the “”Source URL”” field.
  4. Choose the “”Redirect to”” option and enter the new permalink structure.
  5. Save the redirect rule and repeat the process for all old permalinks.

By implementing a 301 redirect, you can preserve the SEO value of your backlinks and avoid any broken links. It is important to thoroughly test and monitor for any broken links after making these changes.

2. Use a Custom Permalink Structure

Using a custom permalink structure in WordPress allows you to create URLs that are more user-friendly and SEO-friendly. Here are the steps to set up a custom permalink structure:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings and click on Permalinks.
  3. Choose the “”Custom Structure”” option.
  4. Enter a custom structure for your permalinks, using tags like %postname% or %category%.
  5. Click on Save Changes to apply the new permalink structure.

Pro-tip: When creating a custom permalink structure, it is important to use a format that is easy to read and understand for both users and search engines. Avoid using unnecessary variables or numbers in your URLs.

3. Use a Plugin to Redirect Old Permalinks

Using a plugin to redirect old permalinks when changing them in WordPress can help ensure a seamless transition and prevent broken links. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose a reliable redirection plugin, such as “”Redirection”” or “”Simple 301 Redirects””.
  2. Install and activate the plugin on your WordPress site.
  3. Access the plugin settings and locate the option to set up redirects.
  4. Enter the old permalink structure in the source URL field.
  5. Specify the new permalink structure in the target URL field.
  6. Save the changes and test the redirects to ensure they are functioning correctly.

What Are the Best Practices for Changing Permalinks?

When it comes to changing permalinks in WordPress, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. These practices will help ensure that your backlinks remain intact and your website’s SEO is not negatively affected. In this section, we will discuss the importance of planning ahead before making any changes to your permalinks, the benefits of keeping permalinks simple and consistent, and the importance of testing and monitoring for any broken links after the changes have been made.

1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is crucial when changing permalinks in WordPress to ensure a smooth transition and minimize any negative impact on SEO and user experience. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Review your current permalinks structure and identify the desired changes.
  2. Backup your WordPress website to safeguard against any unexpected issues.
  3. Inform your team or stakeholders about the upcoming permalink changes.
  4. Update internal links within your website to reflect the new permalink structure.
  5. Notify external websites that have backlinks to your site, requesting them to update the links.
  6. Implement 301 redirects from the old permalinks to the new ones to maintain link equity and redirect traffic.
  7. Monitor your website for any broken links or 404 errors and fix them promptly.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition when changing permalinks in WordPress, minimizing any negative impact on SEO and user experience. Remember to plan ahead to avoid any potential issues.

2. Keep Permalinks Simple and Consistent

To maintain a simple and consistent permalink structure in WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a clear and descriptive structure for your permalinks, such as /%postname%/. This will help both users and search engines understand the content of your pages.
  2. Avoid changing the permalink structure frequently, as this can result in broken links and have a negative impact on SEO.
  3. Make sure that each of your pages and posts has a unique permalink to avoid conflicts and confusion.
  4. Regularly check for broken links and update them if necessary, using tools like the Broken Link Checker plugin.

By keeping your permalinks simple and consistent, you can provide a user-friendly experience and maintain the integrity of your website’s link structure.

3. Test and Monitor for Broken Links

When modifying permalinks in WordPress, it is essential to carefully test and monitor for any broken links to ensure a seamless transition. Here are the recommended steps to follow:

  1. Before making any changes, it is crucial to create a backup of your website to prevent potential data loss.
  2. Utilize a link checker tool to identify any broken links on your site both before and after changing the permalinks.
  3. Manually update internal links or use a plugin to avoid any broken links.
  4. Set up 301 redirects for old permalinks to redirect both visitors and search engines to the new URLs.
  5. Consistently monitor your website for broken links and promptly fix them if any are found.

In a similar situation, a website owner changed their permalinks without testing for broken links, resulting in many inaccessible pages and a significant decrease in traffic. As a result, they had to revert the changes and manually fix the broken links, causing unnecessary downtime and effort. However, this issue could have been avoided by properly testing and monitoring for broken links before making any permalink changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my backlinks when I change my permalinks in WordPress?

When you change your WordPress permalinks, the URLs of your blog posts and pages will also change. This can potentially affect the backlinks pointing to those pages, as the old URLs will no longer exist. However, with a proper redirect in place, your backlinks will still direct to the new URL and maintain their value.

Related topics: redirects, SEO, permalinks

How do I set up a redirect for my old permalinks in WordPress?

To avoid losing value from backlinks and maintaining SEO, a redirect should be set up for the old permalinks. This can be easily done with a plugin like Redirection or by adding code to the .htaccess file. Alternatively, some hosting providers offer tools or configurations for setting up redirects.

Related topics: redirects, SEO, plugins, .htaccess, hosting providers

Will my backlinks still work after I change my permalinks in WordPress?

As long as a proper redirect is in place, your backlinks should still work and direct to the new URL. This is important for maintaining SEO and preserving the value of incoming links.

Related topics: redirects, SEO, permalinks

What is a permalink in WordPress?

A permalink is a permanent link to a specific page or blog post on a WordPress website. It is used to create unique addresses for each page or post and is typically made up of the website’s domain name, followed by the slug or page title.

Related topics: permalinks, WordPress, URLs

How can I change my permalinks without affecting my SEO ranking?

To change permalinks without affecting your SEO ranking, a proper redirect should be set up for the old URLs. Additionally, it is important to choose a permalink structure that is SEO-friendly, such as using the post name only or including a keyword in the URL.

Related topics: redirects, SEO, permalinks

Can I change my permalinks on a live site or should I use a test site?

It is generally recommended to make any major changes, such as permalinks, on a test site first. This allows you to test the new structure and ensure everything is functioning properly before implementing it on your live site. However, if a proper redirect is in place, changing permalinks on a live site should not have a significant impact on SEO or backlinks.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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