Case Study: Changing the WordPress Permalink Structure

Changing WordPress Permalink Dilemma 

On February 26, 2016, I decided to change WordPress Permalink structure from Day and name setting to Post name. This is a very hard decision for me because I might loose website traffic and search engine rankings. I already built some backlinks before to some of my website posts, so changing my WordPress Permalink now means loosing everything.

WordPress Permalink

Drawbacks in Changing Permalinks

Before I decided to embrace this idea, did some research, and I listed some of the drawbacks when changing the WordPress permalinks to another setting:

  • Might Lead to 404 Errors – There are some user reports said that after changing WordPress permalinks all of their blog posts becomes inaccessible on both the old and the new URLs.
  • Internal Broken Links – Broken links could lead to link juice leaks. For sure, I’ll be updating all my internal links to the updated version to avoid these leaks. What a hassle, right?
  • Might Update My Backlink Pages – a 301 redirect is not guarantee that the page link juice could be transferred to the new one. Instead of relying on the 301 redirection I would prefer updating my backlinks profiles manually especially the important ones. I might also save some server usage!
  • 301 redirection – Now I don’t want to loose my current website rankings, I need to handle the 301 redirect execution properly, and retain my blog post position seamlessly. Here are my options in handling my 301 redirection:
    1. Using a WordPress Redirection plugin – I am planning to use this plugin called, Redirection. In this approach I will list all my old and new blog post urls, and manually input them on the Redirection plugin.
    2. .htacess 301 Redirection – This is a more advance approach on handling 301 redirects which are commonly handled on the server side or the Cpanel of the website. One wrong .htaccess code could lead to infinite loop or worst case could make the whole website inaccessible. On the positive side, you only need the perfect .htacces code.


I will be adding Google Webmaster screenshots on this post weekly, to show the impact of changing the WordPress permalink setting in terms of traffic and rankings. Visit this page from time to time for updates.

Screenshot posted February 26, 2016

Webmaster tools reporting sometimes have delayed from 2 – 5 days. Even If today is Feb. 26 the latest data I got from WMT is February 23, 2016.

November 26, 2015 to February 23, 2016 

November 26, 2015 to February 23, 2016

Screenshot posted March 2, 2016

WordPress Permalink SEO Traffic and Rankings

A traffic spike started on Febuary 26, 2016.

I got this screenshot from Google Analytics, and you can see that there is a traffic spike on February 26, 2016. I am still waiting for Google Webmaster tools data to support the statistics I got from Google Analytics.

Screenshot posted March 12, 2016

Webmaster tools screenshot

WordPress Permalink SEO Traffic and Rankings Update Webmaster Tools

Google Analytics

WordPress Permalink SEO Traffic and Rankings Update

These are my last screenshots for the case study. So what do you think? 

End of Case Study


  • 301 Redirection Through .htaccess
  • A controlled study by not changing any OnPage updates (exemption internal links on some important pages) and posting new articles within the time period February 26 to March 12, 2026
  • Updated 1 backlink profile for one important post

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