Permalinks – Could The Experts Be Wrong?
Ever since I started out in internet marketing and blogging, every expert I’ve read has advised me to change the permalinks to make them more search engine friendly. Almost always the recommendation was to change the default permalink setting to /% postname%, then end it with a /, .htm or .html, or .php. I configured all of my sites this way until I had a huge problem in January 2011.
I spent about a month and a half building a really large authority site in October 2010. This site is almost 1500 pages long and I add an original post every week or so. In January 2011, all of a sudden, my site would not load. I couldn’t even get past the dashboard in the admin area to investigate. I spent several hours on the phone with my hosting company who was also absolutely stumped.
I was getting a timeout error on line 867 of one of the wordpress files and even researching that didn’t give me any real clues as to what was going on. We have tried to extend the time settings, but to no avail. I searched the web after searching the web until I finally found the perfect search terms and was lucky enough to find someone with a similar error who tracked it down in the permalink settings.
Here is the deal. WordPress automatically adds the pages with the page title. When the custom permalink setting is used to do the same for posts, it forces wordpress to crawl every page and post every time it loads. Not only does this slow wordpress down but it can also lead to timeout errors like in the case of my large site. I have since started using a permalink that starts with the year and then the postname to prevent this from happening again. My current permalink settings are as follows: /% year% /% postname% / so that my URLs now look like this – http://www.mysite.com/2011/todayspost/ and the pages http: // www. mysite .com / todayspage /.
So that’s it. The titles of my articles are always in the URL and everyone is happy!