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Changing WordPress Permalink Structure!

If you can see this, all has gone well – if you can’t I’m probably talking to myself (nothing unusual there!!).

My current permalink structure has not sat well with me for the last year or so, it’s kind of thrown together and doesn’t look particularly nice… I’ve been itching to change it, but never dared (after all this blog has a reasonable PageRank and gets a decent amount of traffic!). The time has come to bite the bullet.

I know what you’re saying:

“Just go ahead – change the damned things – why should we care?”

Well it’s not quite that simple, changing them has a few knock on effects:

  1. All my internal links to older posts referencing them will be broken.
  2. All links by other people to my older posts will be broken (this is really bad in my opinion as I can’t contact them all to fix them!).
  3. The search engines probably won’t like me much any more (and I quite like them, so this is also quite bad!).


Well I put out my request on Twitter and got all of two responses (and one retweet), the first didn’t understand the question at all and suggested I just change them and install All-in-one SEO. The second was more useful and suggested the Platinum SEO plugin (my concern with this is how it might react with my already install All-in-one SEO).

This really leaves me with the Permalink Redirect plugin which sounds like it might do exactly what I want through 301 redirects. I’ve heard good things about Dean Lee’s Permalink Migration plugin, so I think we’ll give that one a go!

Well it seems to have worked – but I’m convinced that the databae should be updated – that would make more sense to me than a permanent 301 redirect… Is that possible?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 8:45 pm and is filed under Wordpress. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (5)


  1. “but I’m convinced that the database should be updated”
    What do you mean by database should be updated? Do you mean the old permalinks in your database? well with 301 redirect there is no need to do any kind database update!! 301 means a PERMANENT redirect and dosen’t require a update again.

  2. Keiron says:

    Hi Dave,

    I realise that there is no actual need, but part of me says you should go back and correct what’s there in the database? Part of me still says that even though this is a 301 permanent redirect, the very word redirect implies that it’s “semi-permanent” like a road diversion and at some point in the future should be corrected?

  3. since you changed permalinks structure, the database now contains only the new permalink ids and the old ones are already deleted automatically! So you can’t undo it in any case. There’s no option for you to play with your database now!

  4. Keiron says:

    I believe I could – a script to go in and fetch the post titles of posts on this blog, search for them under the new permalink structure and update them in the database wouldn’t be that hard to write.

    Then it would just be external links that were going through the 301 very little I can do about that, but I’d feel my end was tidy!

  5. Jinu says:

    301redirection in .htaccess file is the best option. you can retain all backlinks also
    .-= Jinu´s last blog ..Malware in iGoogle!!! =-.

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