How to Use The Improved Permalink Performance in WordPress 3.3

Permalinks are what WordPress uses to refer to your posts. They are the URL that your visitors see in their web browsers. Version 3.3 of WordPress has greatly improved the processing of permalinks. In previous versions of WordPress my suggestion was that you use a structure that looked like this:

Why did we have to use an ugly permalink structure?

In my previous post:

I had commented on the structure you need for your permalinks in WordPress. I said that WordPress has troubles indexing non numerical information values for the first part of the permalinks. This was true.

WordPress itself said “The reason is that these are text fields, and using them at the beginning of your permalink structure it takes more time for WordPress to distinguish your Post URLs from Page URLs (which always use the text “page slug” as the URL), and to compensate, WordPress stores a lot of extra information in its database (so much that sites with lots of Pages have experienced difficulties). So, it is best to start your permalink structure with a numeric field, such as the year or post ID”

The structure that WordPress suggested was not as descriptive to your visitors as it could be. Numbers in a URL mean nothing to most people. Most people want a URL to say what the page is about. Search engines like this as well, to a lesser degree.

What is new in WordPress 3.3 Permalink Structure?

In previous versions of WordPress my suggestion was that you use a structure that looked like this:

You can now use just the post name or the category and the post name. Or even just the post name.

This can be done by setting a custom permalinks structure. In your WordPress administration screen go to Settings -> permalinks

Select the custom structure button and enter


 What are The Possible Values for Custom Permalink Structures?

  • %year%   The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004
  • %monthnum%  Month of the year, for example 05
  • %day%  Day of the month, for example 28
  • %hour% Hour of the day, for example 15
  • %minute% Minute of the hour, for example 43
  • %second% Second of the minute, for example 33
  • %post_id% The unique ID # of the post, for example 423
  • %postname% A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomes this-is-a-great-post in the URI.
  • %category% A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.
  • %author% A sanitized version of the author name.


One of the options in the permalinks screen is post name. All you need to do is select this option by clicking on the button next to it.

WordPress is constantly improving the way the application performs. They are adding features with every major version. Always upgrade to the latest version of WordPress to ensure you have the most secure version.

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