Learn how to remove the Date from WordPress Post URLs the easiest way without losing your WordPress Website or Blog SEO Ranking.
If you want to remove date from WordPress post URLs then you must read the post carefully. If you have dates in your post URL then it is going to affect your SEO ranking as Google ranks the latest posts on the first page.
But if your post has for example date or time i.e. 2019 and it is already 2020 then there is no chance that Google would rank your post on first page.
That is why it is important to remove Date from the post URLs. In this post, you will learn how to remove the date from the WordPress post URLs easily.
This post is a step by step guide to removing date or day or month from WordPress Posts URLs without affecting SEO ranking of your WordPress Website or Blog.
Why do you have dates in the URLs?
By default, WordPress uses a permalink structure for the URLs that is not good for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The default WordPress URLs look like https://skillshacks.com/?p23456 . This does not show what this post is all about and similarly search engine bots also do not have any clue about this until they crawl all the post content.
But if you have post name in the URL then it becomes easy for the search bots to identify the post topic and content easily and that helps to rank the post-fast.
WordPress allows you to change this URL structure easily by going to the settings and choosing Permalink settings.
Some people due to lack of knowledge about SEO choose the Date and Name or the Month and Name from the permalinks structure of WordPress posts.
See the Example below.
This URL structure or permalink structure for WordPress website or Blog affects the post ranking miserably and it is good to change it as soon as possible to avoid your hard work going down in drain as if your post will not rank well in Search Engines.
Why must you remove the date from WordPress post URLs?
As mentioned earlier, having date or month in the WordPress post URLs, gives indication to the search bots that your post is relevant to that particular time or month.
Therefore, the search bots will try to rank your post during that time in the search results but after that time is over or after few months search bots will think that the post is now outdated.
So, using the dates or months in the WordPress post URL is killing your SEO over the time. That is why you need to remove date from the post URLs.
What do you need to know before you start?
If you have a new website and has no traffic or very small traffic, then it is quite safe to remove dates from the post’s URLs.
But if you have an old website and is getting lots of traffic then you must know that it may affect your SEO if you don’t do it properly.
But once done you need not worry about anything as this is the future proof. Because if you will publish new post without date in the URL then you don’t have to worry about your articles not ranking even after few years if your content is still relevant.
Steps you need to follow
- Take Full Backup of your WordPress Website
Before you begin removing date from the posts’ URLs, you must take a backup of your entire website. Watch this to learn how to take backup of your WordPress Website easily. This would help you to restore your website to the original state in case something goes wrong.
- Follow the instructions below
Now you have taken the backup of your website it is safe to change the Posts’ permalink to the posts name instead of date and time.
Though you can try a different permalink structure but the best permalink structure for the WordPress post is the post name for the better SEO results.
So, to remove the date from WordPress post URLs you need to go the Settings-Permalink and from here choose the Post Name permalink structure and then press the save changes button from lower-left corner.
Your permalink structure may look like the image below.
Now change the Permalink Structure to the Post Name by choosing that option as this is the best WordPress permalink structure for SEO standpoint.
Now don’t forget to click on the Save Changes Button to keep the changes you made.
Install the Redirection Plugin
Go to the Plugins and Select Add New Plugin. Now search Redirection and install the Redirection Plugin by John Godley. After installation click on the activate plugin.
Don’t Lose Your WordPress Website SEO Ranking
If you completed the above step now the URLs of your post would cause 404 Error which is caused by the change in Permalink structure of your WordPress website.
Now we need to fix this! This is quite easy but little complicated but don’t get intimidated. I will walk you through the entire process easily.
So, if you have chosen the post name permalink structure in the previous steps, then you need to open the settings of the Redirection plugin and put the following value.
Go to Tools and then Redirection. It will open a new window. Now click on the Start Setup. Now it will show a new screen and from here just leave both the options unchecked and click on the continue setup.
See the image below!
Now it will conduct some tests and once that is done, you will see a new screen like shown below. Just choose Add New and put the following values in If you were using the ‘Day and name’ URLs.
Source Url /(\d*)/(\d*)/(\d*)/([A-Za-z0-9-*])
In the column next to to the Source Url choose and check Regex as shown in the image below.
Now type the Target value shown below in the Target URL option and click on the Add Redirect button.
If you were using ‘Month and name’ as your permalink URLs structure, then you can enter the following values:
And if you were using the /year/month/day/post-name/ in your URL permalink structure then put the following values.
Next step is to click on the Add Redirect button to save the changes made.
This will remove the Date from WordPress post URLs and direct all your previous post to the new URL structure and all the new post will have by default post name URL structure for best SEO ranking chances.
Now if you go to the old URLs of your post, the Redirection plugin would automatically redirect them to the new URLs.
That way if the google search bots would crawl your WordPress website then they would no longer see the 404 Error.
But if somehow you still see 404 Error message in your search console, then you must check whether you have followed all the above steps carefully. If you have missed something then you must correct that to make it work properly.
Though looking at things, you might consider skipping it altogether but if you do the little work today, this would help your website to grow over time and your SEO would not be affected.
Thank you for reading!
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