[wp-hackers] Permalink Structure - Performance vs. SEO

Lynne Pope lynne.pope at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 23:00:04 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:01 AM, Eric Mann <eric at eam.me> wrote:

> 1) Please try to keep in mind (occasionally at least) that some of us
> > WP as a CMS for content that is not time sensitive. And , in fact the
> > inclusion of year/month is misleading or confusing. So date is not
> > *always* a good thing to make prominent. In these cases post id would
> > be a better fit.
> Yes, this is a dilemma to be sure.  But if your content is truly evergreen
> (the inclusion of a year/month is misleading), then should you really be
> publishing it as a post?  Evergreen content is better suited to pages in
> the
> WP system.  Pages still function like posts, but aren't included in the
> standard loop on the homepage and have a URL that lacks a date/time stamp.
>  If your article was written 3 years ago but is still relevant, make it a
> page instead.

Sure, using only pages is one way around the URL problems. But, this comes
at the expense of losing most of WordPress' functionality. Pages don't use
categories or tags and don't use feeds. Forget using plugins for related
posts, or most popular - these are all for posts, not pages.

One could argue that if a site contains only evergreen content then it
should not be using WordPress. However, that argument would be ignoring the
fact that many WordPress users are running sites, not blogs, on the
platform. The date-based limitations are a hangover from the days when
WordPress was just a blogging platform. If the number of "how do I do" posts
around the Web are any indication then many people today see it as a
CMS/site builder now. %postname% is common, despite the performance hit.

The issue here isn't whether anyone is using WordPress in a way others may
deem incorrect. It is how to generate the best URL structure for the way
people are using WordPress. If people choose to optimise their URL structure
for humans (which is always best for SEO anyway) and it doesn't result in
good performance from WordPress they have two options - optimise the heck
out of their server & caching, or move to a different platform. Most sites
won't hit performance bottlenecks for some time. In the meantime, the core
team are already working on improvements for the URL structure and rewrite


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