%postname% performance WordPress

I have changed my default permalink to %postname%

In my last year post, titled, change wordpress permalink, I have wrote that most of wordpress bloggers, including myself use %postname%.

In fact, in that post, I also linked wordpress.org official guide how to change permalink in your blog to be a more search engine friendly, but also to be a good structure that will not affect a blog’s performance.

Actually in that wordpress.org’s page, we are recommended not to use %postname%.

In the beginning of my blogging journey, a few weeks after I installed this wordpress blog, I have changed my old permalink which included the year, month and date to be only with my postname only.

I was worried that that long permalink will affect Search Engine Result pages, because it will need longer URL, but in fact, that was the best structure I should use.

The postname that I am currently using, is actually really good for SEO, but not for the performance.

I did not think about if this blog grows bigger than before, I have never thought that this blog is as big as now.

I should not use %postname%

Recently, I read Chris Coyer’s post from digwp.com about the %postname% performance.

It seems that digwp also used the postname permalink in the past, as I am doing with this blog, and Chris found out, this permalink structure affects the site’s performance or queries.

From this article, if you still have default one, I suggest you too, not to use the %postname%. This is because once your blog gets big, the website’s size, and loading speed becomes an important issue.

Not only some problems you would possible get, such as, getting your hosting account suspended by webhost, but also the hassle to move the site to a VPS server or another bigger server, for example.

Apart of that, the budget will also be an important issue, since a bigger server needs more money than a shared server.

Will I change my %postname% permalink?

This is actually a question which I have asked myself some hours ago after I read digwp article.

But I have decided not to change my current permalink structure to anything else, since the backlinks that I currently have will be gone and useless.

This means, any hard work on building links in the past one year will be pain useless.

Permalink structure in WordPress and Performance.

Therefore, eventhough I am having “not the best” permalinks structure, I will stick with it. It reminds me a year ago when I switched my permalinks structure, I had to do tons of 301 redirects while waiting for weeks and months to recover on Google’s traffic.

It is like a nightmare when you loose your traffic, but it happens definitely, especially when we change permalinks structure and do not do redirects.

The purpose I am writing this is, it was a mistake that I have made, and I don’t want anyone who wants to start a blog to make the same mistake, although almost 90 percent wordpress bloggers use this structure.

Performance is very important, to anyone who want to change permalinks structure, should be aware of the common use of %postname% and its performance in a long term of blogging.

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  1. shashank chinchli says

    Awesome article.
    I was thinking to revert back but really liked ur line ” it was a mistake that I have made..”
    thanks for sharing your experience ;)

  2. says

    Hi Kimi,

    thanks for this great information…..i just read all the digwp article, and i m very surprise because a lot of those SEO expert tell us to use costume structure: /%category%/%postname% and now i realize that i m in the wrong way with this structure! as the new site i m working on is only about 20 page, maybe the best is to try to switch on the right structure? Kimi, plz can you just tell me if the good one are this structure :/%year%/%postname%/ or even /posts/%postname%/. that will be very painful to do those kind of change for a newbie like me and the risk of loosing many of those backlink campaign………
    anyway this is always good to read all your helpful post Kimi!!!

    • says

      Hi Tony,

      The best one, I also don’t know, but I guess the default which is written in the permalink default settings..

      If we take a look at this page, http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks it even states,

      (Some people recommend /%post_id%/%postname%/ which works for performance reasons but others recommend against it because it is unfriendly to users in the many contexts in which users interact with URLs.)

      I would take one of the permalink default settings inside the dashboard, but if you already build backlinks, like myself (a year blogging) I wouldn’t change anything..

      Thanks for coming accross!

  3. says

    It is said that if the url begin with number, it is much easier for databases to query faster. But Kimi loosing backlinks is really a nightmare. I’m glad you did not go to that decision. Moreover, we can spend a bit more money if we have lot more traffic to switch to VPS hosting, isn’t it?

    • says

      Hi Suresh!

      Can’t agree for more with you! Losing backlinks is horrible, and it likes wastes my whole time..

      Yes, moving to a bigger server is an alternative but not for a newbie who starts a blog and limited budget..

      Thanks for coming accross!

    • says


      Suresh, yes, this is when I read comments at night I guess, apologize :-)

      I did not read “when they get traffic” part :)


  4. says

    Hey Kimi, awesome article, good to see your blog keeps on growing. :)
    By the way sorry about not responding to your comment on my blog, for some reason it went directly to my spam system and I only got to see it today.

    One of my biggest concerns were permalinks because the problem is that once you set them up they become part of the name and as you said any work you do for back links and any traffic that you build will be useless if you ever decide to change your permalinks, I wish there was a way for Google and other search engines to identify your articles so that even if the address changes, as long as the article name stays the same, they never lose their traffic and can get their links updated automatically.

    Oh well I can only dream. :)
    Thanks, Awesome article as always. :)

    • says

      Hi Sayed!

      I hope you’re doing okay :)

      Don’t be sorry about the commenting system, it can happen to anyone, right?

      Yeah, as to me, I wish I could change back with the post id, but I don’t want to loose traffic and start for 0 like 1.5 years ago:)

      Everyday is allowed to dream, so am I and so are you :)

      Thanks for coming across and leaving a comment!

      Best regards


  5. Simon says

    Why no people think of another route?
    Keep %postname%. but change WP a bit, or develop a plugin to improve the performance?
    I would like to like to know if this is possible.