What happens when I change the URL on a post?

It's not uncommon (for me anyway) to hit publish on a post and then realise that I don't like the automatically created URL. For example, it might include all the words in the title of the post (e.g. example.com/examplecategory/this-is-a-very-long-title) and I'd planned to shorten it (e.g. example.com/examplecategory/long-title).

What happens in this situation? Can we edit the URL and then hit publish again?

In general, yes. If you realise your error quickly, and make the change immediately, there should be no problem. Google hasn't had time to index your new post so won't be sending visitors to an incorrect URL.

However, if you have systems set up to promote articles as soon as they are published, you may need to check if they have already been activated. For example, you may have an If This Then That rule that publishes a post on Facebook whenever a new WordPress post is published. If this has already activated, then the Facebook post will link back to the first (and now incorrect) URL.

What about old posts?

If you're doing a review of old posts and realise that you really want to change the URL, we can set up a redirect for you. Send a support email to support@performancefoundry.com with the old and new URL and we'll get that set up. Don't make the change yourself, since we won't be able to set up the redirect immediately! Instead, ask us to both set up the redirect and change the URL in the post at the same time. We can do a limited number of these changes as part of the small fixes included in your Managed WordPress Hosting package.

Be aware that the SEO benefits of making this change may be limited, since setting up a redirect does add a split second of extra loading time to the page, which can have a negative SEO effect. 

If you'd like to make a change to your whole URL structure, please read this article.