Until today I didn’t even know what a permalink is, let alone how to modify them.
I’ll explain. Whenever I create a new post on my blog page, WordPress creates a new page for that post, and gives it a unique Id, so that it can find the page when needed (such as when you click on its heading, or search for it, etc.). The default way that WordPress names the page is /?p=345 where 345 is the numerical Id of the page. This is the permalink (permanent link) by which the page is named.
If you don’t quite understand the “new page for each post” concept, just click on the heading of this post, and you’ll be taken to the individual page for this post, with the comments (if any) and the option to make your own comments.
Until today, the URL in your browser would have shown the permalink of my blog pages as http://www.jthonline.com/WordPress/?p=345 or whatever the numeric Id is. That’s unfriendly and meaningless. It doesn’t tell you or me, or more importantly, search engines, anything about the content of that page.
Today I adopted “friendly permalinks” which give the date and subject in the URL addresses that you can see in your browser.
As a result, the correct URL for this post is now http://www.jthonline.com/WordPress/2009/08/24/friendly-permalinks-on-my-blog/ instead of http://www.jthonline.com/WordPress/?p=396
If you look at the URL now, all you’ll see is http://www.jthonline.com/WordPress/ and that’s because you’re looking at this post on my WordPress blog page at http://www.jthonline.com/WordPress/index.php
If you’d like a bit of fun, click on the heading of this post, to open its own page; then go up to the URL in your browser and delete all the text after the date of this date of this post. Then change the day (24 in this case) to another date.
Pick a date highlighted in blue on the calendar, when I made a post, to take you to the post for that day. Be careful not to remove the “/” when selecting dates.
When you’re happy with what you can do with all that, pick a date when I didn’t make a post. You’ll then get a 404 message because you’re looking for a page that doesn’t exist. But this time it’s a 404 message with a difference.
It’s a personal 404 message, dude.