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What Is Your Blog’s URL Structure?

Earlier today I had conversations with two bloggers about URL structures on their WordPress blogs, and I thought it might make an interesting community discussion.

What is your blog’s URL structure?

Here on ProBlogger, I use one that has a combination of the date and post title by default: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/02/17/5-sales-email-myths-that-are-costing-you-money/

While on my photography blog I’ve chosen to use just the post title (without dates):

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/shooting-with-available-light-lifestyle-portraiture

My reasoning for these choices was pretty simple. For starters, I wanted words in the URLs because it was good for search engine optimization, and because word-heavy URLs tends to make more sense for readers when they’re looking at them—more sense, anyway, than the WordPress default, which is just numbers. Also:

  • ProBlogger information does date reasonably quickly. Some of the technology and tools I was talking about back in 2006 aren’t really relevant for today, so I figured having dates on posts and signaling that in URLs made sense.
  • dPS information is a little more timeless, as we talk more about principles of photography rather than specific gear (although that has changed a little since we started). I also update and repost old posts from time to time with a current date, so having the date in the URL was complicated and confusing.

So what about you? What’s your URL structure? Do you include dates, keywords, or perhaps leave it on the WordPress default?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Toni says:

    My blog site use permalink like as dPS but without / and i add .html in the end of URL. Here is an example :

    http://cellphone.sundasun.com/t-mobile-sidekick-4g-smartphones.html

    I use this permalink structure for easy to move to static page (if needed)

  2. I’m new to blog design, but I went with just the mirrored title in the URL with no date. So far it has worked great with SEO for connecting our new video series on youtube/vimeo/facebook to our site in google.

  3. buy thesis says:

    Some very interesting and insightful thoughts & i am so glad that your site is loaded with information and not ads.Every post i click on is meaningful and to the point. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

  4. A.Dalcourt says:

    I only recently learned about site architecture through a CMS. Before I design the structure based on preference and short path names using words to define the page clearly to users (and to myself). This article appeared just as I am growing increasingly aware of SEO and how it works. It has given me a different perspective on how to organise my data for my blog.

    My structure is based around the band of the product I’m developing. http://www.evilink.ca/creativejournal/name-of-post
    As I want to archive the blog – I might change it to represent the year assuming that it generates a list. If not I’ll have to come up with something else.

  5. Hey Darren,

    I use the combo of date and title myself. I use Blogger, and while this combo is great to get a great idea of what a post is about, it doesn’t always work that way. Consider my post:

    7 Book Marketing Lessons from Virgin’s Richard Branson- By Joanna Penn

    the URL came out like this:

    http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/2009/06/7-book-marketing-lessons-from-virgins.html

    Cheers!

  6. I personally use first one…. However, You tips keep in mind while designing next blog theme.

  7. I use your dPS version because I agree about the numbers and what not. For some reason, I have never liked the dates and never understood why people do it until you just explained it. Thanks.

  8. I use the postname on all of my blogs. But for my Kentucky blog (Genuine Kentucky), I really wish I’d chosen to include the date. I’m afraid to go back and change it now (don’t want to screw anything up) but since I post a lot of events on this blog, dates would have been very helpful.

    I can see how using a date in your blog’s url is very useful now. Thanks for the head’s up.

  9. I just use the title structure without dates. I know my content is timeless, so I adopt this strategy.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  10. karen says:

    When I used the post title alone, the loading time was slower so I just changed it back to include the date – year and month – and it’s faster. I don’t know if that’s the sole reason but I also read in many forums that loading time will be faster with dates.

  11. Darren,

    Thank you for the reasoning behind your decision – makes sense. I am starting a new blog and I researched top blogs (including Problogger and dPS) to see how they structured their URLs.

    I decided to use the “category” and “post title”, in that order. I’m hoping to to leverage the keywords on my categories and the keywords in the posts. I figured that a new blog needed a little extra ‘oomph’ in the structure.

    Thank you – Theresa

    • Tatianna says:

      This is what I have been using, I am pretty new to blogging. But now since reading a few comments I am thinking about putting dates into it.

  12. kishore says:

    I have chosen the link structure as category followed by post name for SEO but after reading the post I am pretty much impressed with the explanation about the date followed by the post name. As Rowse stated, choosing the link structure totally depends on the content.

    My Opinion
    If the content changes with time like google seo (changes with google algorithms) the go for date followed by post name and if time doesn’t have any effect on the content then choose category followed by post name or just post name.

  13. Ernie says:

    This is a great question…one I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I just started my blog, and I currently use year/month/title. However, I’ve been thinking about changing to just title. While these are good things to think through, I find myself really getting bogged down in such small details! Thanks for the post – hopefully I can make up my mind once and for all very soon!

  14. I use the name of the title only…never thought about the putting a category first

  15. Ben says:

    I am using titles and dates in the URL now. If I change to just use the title in the URL, will this have a negative SEO impact on my site???

  16. I’m probably odd man out on blog format. My layout doesn’t use WordPress or any other blog CMS for that matter — it’s hand coded HTML. I wanted full control of my layout so it could dynamically change for viewing on any device from Anroid or iPhone to desktops. To that end my design is single column. My images are 300 pixels wide or less with text that flows around them and even my full screen banner and horizontal navigation bars wrap on a handheld. I organize with a front page that has my recent posts on a single web page, newest first and with a Morgue thats organized by subject pages where all posts end up. When viewed with a modern browser visual features like rounded corners and text shadows are seen. Not to say my format is superior but I think better fits my subject matter while giving me complete control over layout and visual character with a single style sheet.

  17. Colleen says:

    I use your ProBlogger approach. I did, even as recently as this month, consider mapping my blogs to your photography blog approach when I migrate to a new host soon, but I’ve decided to stick with includes dates in my URL.

    Like you, my professional blog and my work blog both deal a lot of emerging technologies, so I want my readers to be able to easily identify the publication date. Case in point, I taught a class this morning (I’m a college librarian) on Managing Facebook Pages. Because of the massive overhaul Pages have received in the last couple months, I want to be able to easily hand pick only articles and tutorials that were blogged in the last 2 months. Authors who included dates in their URLs made this process much easier for me.

    I also publish a hiking blog, and follow many other hiking blogs. Hiking trail write-ups are extremely time-sensitive: years, season, etc. So, again, dates in the URLs help me easily place the date on a write-up if the blogger doesn’t readily display their publication post date. So, I reciprocate by doing the same.

  18. LuckyFM says:

    what should be in mind about url structure??
    seo or the subject??
    i guess 1 is opposite site of another
    what do u say darren ??

  19. I’ve used a cut down version of the post title and the category only because I couldn’t figure out how to leave that out when I first started my blog.

    Now I know how to leave it out but will that wreck my other permalinks? Does anyone know?

  20. I just use year and month and it works fine for me. I also notice you have “archives” in your structure… is that important?

  21. Kok Siong says:

    Hi Darren! In fact, I use the URL structure with the keyword but without the date. I might consider to add in the date for certain time dependence post. Thanks for your advice!

  22. Jon says:

    I usually just use the titles, but on some of my blogs I have used the blog post number as well because i was worried about writing the same exact title for another post by accident. Of course, this problem has been fixed by wordpress. I also try to keep the URLs a little shorter than the titles in some cases so I don’t need a URL shortner like bit.ly every time.

  23. ksix says:

    I use the title without the date and the loading is a bit slow. Thinking of changing it now.

  24. I feel that Time bound blogs should mention the date in the post’s page (before the post starts) rather than Indicating it in the url itself.

  25. Andy says:

    As a programmer it kills me to see people not using post-id in the blog url. Every time you decide to change the title and/or slug your old link STOPS working.

    I understand that in real life it doesn’t really matter as long as url is SEO friendly, it’s just my personal pain ;)

  26. nurun naby says:

    hy Darren,
    my url structure is like your photography blog’s url structure. i think it is more beneficial to seo purpose,
    isn’t it?

  27. idris says:

    can anyone suggest me some good url structure to be uesd for my wordpress site
    i need it long and difficult to understand

  28. Martyn says:

    Darren, I structure my URLs like Copyblogger. You have the domain name, and then 2-5 words for each post url. In other words, like your DPS structure but even shorter.

    Is my method better for SEO? I’m not smart enough to know. But I cross-link a ton, and it’s a lot easier to remember popular articles when the URL is extremely short.

    But that’s just my method. :)

  29. Fadzuli says:

    I use these /%category%/%postname%/. At least i can see the categories would make it easy for me to know where the posts are categorised as.

  30. Brandy says:

    Mine is set up with words, and I have a plugin in WP that keeps the is, us, etc out of the URL for SEO reasons .

  31. I follow the dPS format. This is a new blog with WordPress CMS, so I use – “category/post-title/” for my blog URL structure. But if structure with the year/month/date/post-title is faster should we be worried about it? All of my contents are not timeless.

    Expert suggestion would help us taking decision.

  32. I used the problogger style of url structure, because i should keep on track on the dates I’ve posted the news articles I made for my site.

  33. @TheArkLady says:

    It depends on the blog. For my main one, I am focusing on SEO now so changed it to the %postname% and on another community blog, I simply use the month and year since some of the topics cycle through annually.

    In the future, I will probably move most of my blogs to the %postname% option but, like you, some of my content gets dated (and some dates back to the 1990s) and that can be a challenge unless their is some sort of date indicator.

  34. Jason says:

    I am glad to have stumbled onto this entry. I would like to use just %postname%, but I have heard differing opinions on using it. Some say it is okay to do, others say it is not wise.

    Can anyone tell me what the real answer is? Thanks!

  35. I tend to adjust my URL on WordPress to ensure it’s SEO friendly.