Using Permalinks

A permalink is the url of a specific post on your blog, or a specific page on a static website.  Visitors to your site might want to use a permalink to link to a part of your site that they’re referencing in their blog or in an email.

Types of Permalinks

The default permalink structure in WordPress shows the main website name plus a number, like http://www.tonibdesign.com/?p=1.  These are often referred to as “ugly” permalinks because no one has any idea of the subject of the link or what it goes to.  Numeric permalinks, one of the custom styles that you can select on the Permalink Structure page, are also “ugly” for the same reason.

Permalinks that show the website name and the title of the individual article, post, or category being referenced are called “pretty” permalinks.  They’re much more desirable from a search engine optimization (SEO) viewpoint, because they give search engines more information to work with when calculating rankings for your site. For example, the permalink for this post is http://tonibdesign.com/2013/05/using-permalinks/.  Search engines will see the keyword “permalink” in the title, and mark this article as more relevant to someone searching for information about permalinks than a default permalink of http://www.tonibdesign.com/?p=1.

To Set Up Permalinks

  1. Click on the Settings link on the bottom right side on the Dashboard.
  2. Click on the Permalinks link on the submenu.
  3. Select one of the common structure options.
  4. Click the Save Changes button.

permalink1-lg

After changing the permalink structure, you may need to update your .htaccess file.  You can do this automatically through WordPress, if it’s configured to do this, or  update it yourself using a text editor. The code to be added will appear in a text box below the update message. You can find instructions on how to update your .htaccess file here.

Once you have established your permalink structure, you should not change it, especially if you have a significant number of posts/pages/other links on your site. Updating permalinks to a new structure may involve placing a lot of redirect commands to your old content.

For more information, see the WordPress Codex page on Permalinks

Choosing a Domain Name

Internet

Choosing a good domain name for your site is one of the most important tasks to do when setting up a new website. It’s the “address” that people will use to find your website on the internet, so the easier it is for them remember and access your site, the better.

Things to consider:

Your main goal is to pick a name that describes what the site is about and that’s easy to remember, and incorporates keywords that might be used to find the site in a search engine. For example, tonibdesign.com, is short, easy to spell and because it contains the word design, it’s likely to come up when people are searching Google for “web design”.

Pick a name that’s not too long. The longer the name is, the more chance for someone to misspell it and not be able to get to your site, which brings me to my next point —

Try to avoid names where you’re going to have to explain how it’s spelled. Remember, www.yourwebsiteone.com and www.yourwebsite1.com are two different sites. Also try to avoid punctuation, and “0”, which is often confused with “O”. I often run into people that aren’t always familiar with the names of punctuation marks and if they’re in a hurry may mistake a hyphen (-) and an underscore (_) for example. You’ll want to be prepared with an quick, concise way to explain how to get to your site.

Stick to .com, .org, or .net. There are many other domain endings, but a lot of people are more suspicious of domains that end in .biz, .tv, etc. because those domain names are often associated with spam, phishing scams and viruses. Plus, these days most people assume that a website ends in .com anyway.

Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

Why go through all of this trouble to have a presence on the web?

  1. The internet is today’s Yellow Pages.  Potential customers are using the web to find companies that can fulfill their needs.  Unlike a Yellow Pages ad in a book, your site can be seen by people all over the world at any time of the day or night, not just potential customers in your local telephone area.
  2. A website contains more information than what appears on a standard business card or in a print ad.  A well thought out website makes it easier for people to get more information about your business.  Use it to tell your company’s story — post biographies of key employees, include a list of products and services, put up a contact information page, etc.
  3. A website provides an easy way to interact with your customers.  For example, you can post answers to frequently asked questions, get customer feedback using contact forms, post regular news updates, or provide customized directions to your business with the help of applications like Google maps.
  4. A website facilitates e-commerce. You don’t need a building to have a store. Online purchasing  technology makes it easy for you to sell products online without having to pay for expensive overhead items like rent and utilities.  If you already have a bricks-and-mortar store, e-commerce products make it possible for customers to make purchases even after you’ve locked up and gone home for the night.
  5. With an online presence you can promote your business to potential clients regionally, nationwide or globally.
  6. People expect you to have one.