Step 7: Permalinks Settings Explained
Let’s be clear, I am talking about the Permalink settings in the Yoast SEO tab, not in the Settings tab in the Administration panel. This plugin adds on to what is built-in to WordPress. This section assumes you have already gotten rid of the ugly default permalink structure. So what’s different here? Take a look below.
WordPress by default adds a category base in each url i.e /category/. By checking the first box, you strip that part from your category URLs. I am leaving it unchecked because I do not want your category URLs and page URLs to conflict if they are the same name.
The next box is to enforce a trailing slash on all category / tag urls. If you have .html at the end of your posts, then you want to check this box.
Ah, the third step is cool and something a lot of WordPress users should do. WordPress has an awesome way of attaching images and other media to posts. And yet… all of those attachments get a unique URL which (in most cases) is unnecessary. Simply by checking this box, you redirect all your attachment page URLs to the original post URL. More juice, right?
The last option is to redirect ugly URLs to clean permalinks. Other people might link to your shortened URL, or other ugly URLs like Feedburner links, so checking this box turns them all into clean permalinks. Joost added additional settings because he was thinking ahead.
What if you are using Google Analytics to track specific campaigns which adds ?utm at the end of the URL. Aha! You have an option to prevent cleaning out Google Analytics Campaign Parameters. You can add other parameters you do not want to clean. There is also an option to prevent cleaning out Google Site Search URLs which is only necessary if you are using Google Site Search on your site.
Step 8: Internal Links Settings
Do not confuse this internal link setting with the internal link feature introduced in WordPress 3.1. This section is about adding Breadcrumbs which are great for internal linking and define a clean path or trail to the page you are on. You remember Hansel and Gretel, right?
You need to Enable Breadcrumbs, so check YES. Next, set a separator between breadcrumbs. I like to separate the elements with little arrows ». You can use /, commas, ~, | or whatever you like.
Anchor Text for Homepage should be your site name. A prefix for the breadcrumb path is not necessary, yet it’s nice to let your user know what the trail of crumbs is about. I often use the phrase “You are Here:”.
The “Archives for” Prefix for Archives shows “Archives for October 2010″ to the reader (or what is appropriate for their inquiry). Prefix for Search page works in a similar way; the reader will see “You searched for: ‘the term they searched for’. Breadcrumb for 404 page will display “Page Not Found” as a result.
You have an option to remove the Blog page from the breadcrumb if you are using WordPress as a CMS which has a blog section added to it. However, I don’t think it’s necessary.
You also have an option to select the taxonomy of the posts by category or tags. This depends on how your site is organized. And, you have an option to Bold the last page in the breadcrumb.
Lastly, the plugin does not automatically add itself to many themes. You may have to add the following code in your loop:
Eyes glazed over? Feeling overwhelmed? Only a few more steps to go…