Permalinks are the addresses of the pages of your site.
By default, WordPress URLs use a format that looks like this: https://wpmarmite.com/2017/01/17/example-article/. This is an improvement over the previous default format which was: https://wpmarmite.com/?p=123. However, this format is not really relevant for most sites.
By going to Settings > Permalinks, you can change the settings to make them more readable to users
The most common settings offered by WordPress are:
- Plain: https://wpmarmite.com/?p=123
- Day and name: https://wpmarmite.com/2017/01/17/sample-post/
- Month and name: https://wpmarmite.com/2017/01/sample-post/
- Numeric: https://wpmarmite.com/archives/123
- Post name: https://wpmarmite.com/sample-post/
- Custom Structure: https://wpmarmite.com/%postname%/
It is highly recommended to select “Post Name” as the format type. This setting is very important because it can play on the SEO of your site. It must therefore be set up as soon as you install it (you should not touch it afterwards).
The permalink must not be modified after its creation otherwise the page will end up on a 404 error page. Internet users will no longer be able to access old pages (saved as favorites for example).
Even worse, search engines will not find your pages anymore. It is therefore strongly advised not to touch the permalinks once your site starts to acquire a certain notoriety.