Changing the permalink structure (again)

I’ve talked before about setting the permalink options, but recently I’ve had reason to re-visit those settings on some sites.  At the time I installed WordPress on those sites, I was using a webhoster that did not allow me to set the necessary options in the .htaccess file because the so-called “mod_rewrite” option was not available.

After moving those blogs onto my own server, I kept the structure in place.  That meant URLs containing “index.php” in them, to trick WordPress into using meaningful permalinks.

Obviously, I didn’t want the old permalinks to become invalid, or for Google to think it was duplicate content.

Here’s how I solved the problem, and how you too can change your permalink structure at a later date:

1. Log into WordPress as an administrator.

2. Click on “add new” in the plug-ins section of the sidebar, and search for “Dean’s Permalinks Migration”

Install Dean's Permalinks Migration Plug-in

3. Install and activate the plug-in, and then click on “PermalinksMigration” in the “Settings” part of the sidebar

Select PermalinksMigration on the sidebar

4. Your current permalink settings should already be entered, so if everything is correct you only need to click on “Update options”.

Confirm the old permalink structure

5. Now click on “Permalinks” in the “Settings” part of the sidebar, enter or select your new settings, and click on “Save Changes”

Update the permalink options by selecting or entering the new structure

Now any links to the old URL will be re-directed to the new one using the so-called “301 redirect” method, meaning that search engines will realise that the page has effectively “moved” and not consider it to be duplicate content.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a blogger from Germany. He has written code for WordPress themes since 2006 and been creating websites since 1994.
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