Change Permalink of Single Post – WordPress SEO How-to

Changing the permalink of a WordPress post is actually ridiculously easy, and there is no special trick to it. You don’t even have to worry about losing your SEO cred! The magic lies in the fact that WordPress keeps track of all permalinks and when you change it for a single post, it redirects the old permalink to the new one. Easy stuff! You don’t have to deal with the problems of site-wide permalink changes when you are only doing a single post or page. So, let’s get to it!

Change the permalink of one single post or page

The part of the WordPress edit screen where you can change the permalink.

Just click “Edit” and you are on your way to easily changing the permalink of a single post or page

1. Go to the post or page.
2. Above the content, where it says “Permalink,” click the “Edit” button.
3. Type in your new permalink.
4. Hit enter.


When you change a permalink of a post, WordPress is supposed to redirect visitors arriving at the old URL to the new one. But for some reason that doesn’t always happen. Keep track of what the old URL was, and then go ahead and test the old URL after you’ve changed it to make sure it redirects. If it doesn’t, you are going to want to use a plugin like Redirection to manually redirect visitors. This is critical for your website’s SEO!

That’s it! Try your old permalink to verify that it is redirecting to the new location, which it definitely should be. There is no need for any manual redirect to the new permalink location.

I find myself often editing the permalinks of my posts to keep them short and sweet, as should you! There are numerous search engine benefits to keeping them brief and to-the-point. Hopefully, you now have one less headache to deal with when optimizing your site.

What if the edit button isn’t there?

Good question! The edit permalink button may not be there if you haven’t set a permalink structure yet. We simply need to set that and come back.

1.From the backend, hover over “Settings” and click “Permalinks.”
2.Choose “Post Name” from the list of radio buttons.
3.Click save to save the new permalink structure.

Now you should be able to go back to your post and change the permalink as usual.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

25 Comments on “Change Permalink of Single Post – WordPress SEO How-to”

  1. Hi ! When i change the permalink of my page, it says the udpate didn’t work. Thank you for your help!!

  2. Hi Brian, I was wondering if you can help me? I changed a permalink on an article before i knew anything about them and it affected my rankings. My question is can i change it back to the old permalink and would that then mean having to do another redirect from the new permalink back to the old one lol.

    1. You could do that, or you could just set up a redirect from the old one to the current one now and save yourself a step. The search engines won’t really care either way.

  3. Do you know what happens under the hood for this? For example, I want to know exactly where this 301 redirect is stored so I can potentially add one my self (if I didn’t want to get a redirect plugin to do it for me. Where would I figure this out?

    I haven’t been able to find anything in the database.

    1. Honestly, it kind of seems like it just doesn’t work anymore. The way it works is that there is a separate row in WP_posts for every revision of a post. Some even have the old permalink. In theory, if someone accesses the old permalink, it should redirect to the current revision (the live post). But I’m not sure that it does…

  4. I am also trying to change one page. When I change the permalink structure to make the edit button appear for the one page I want to change every link on the site becomes invalid. You suggest that the system will automatically redirect to the new urls…. nope. All the navigation buttons lead to dead pages. Help?

    1. Hi John,

      As mentioned on the giant red warning box, WordPress is supposed to do those redirects automatically (from what I understand) but sometimes doesn’t. Follow the instructions in that box to manually set up the redirects yourself. It’s not too hard!

  5. I was able to change the permalink of my post using your tutorial. But after this, If you click on the post that was formally indexed by Google, you will see “Page not found” Please how do I fix this? Thanks for your tutorial.

    1. You could always use the “Redirection” plugin to redirect the old permalinks. Technically it’s supposed to handle all this automatically I believe, but it doesn’t always…

  6. I have a plugin named ThimPress Events. The permalink for the events published always start with ‘’postname’. I want to change the part where it says events to a completely different thing. How can I do that? Thanks.

    1. So like, instead of, you would want it to be something like,

      To do that, you’d probably want to create a custom rewrite rule in your .htaccess file. You can also set entire post types and whatnot to do that from various plugins, such as SEO plugins.

      If you want to REMOVE the /word/ part, there are lots of factors that might be adding that. Making sure your permalink structure is set to just /%postname%/ would be the first step. You may have to check elsewhere if it’s still showing something there after that.

      Otherwise, if you mean that you want to change the part, that’s a whole other issue obviously. You can’t have the domain be something not at your website without moving the whole thing!

  7. When I edit the link in the post, the preview page shows it blank. The post disappears. I’m not sure if it has anything doing with Divi Theme but I can never change the link once I created the post.

    1. Have you tried resetting your permalink structure? Simply going to settings -> Permalinks and clicking “Save” once will reset it and will sometimes solve issues like that.

  8. Thanks Brian, for this post.

    My posts (I have the “post-name” permalink) for some reason, when you click onto the post, it leads to the homepage. The posts aren’t opening correctly 🙁

    Do you have any solutions or knowledge as to why this is?

    Thank you, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Thanks so much this really helped! I never new you have to change permalink structure in order for the edit button appear 🙂

  10. Pingback: Dropdown List of Authors with Posts in Category - WordPress | BJD

  11. But what if “edit” is not there!? I have updated to 3.6, and I still just see “change permalinks” and “view page” to the right of the permalink … 🙁
    My main permalink settings are just “default” but there is quite a bit of history there that I don’t want to damage by changing that setting. Hmmmmm.

    1. You may have to change to a different permalink structure in order for the edit button to be there. You don’t have to worry about changing the permalink structure, however. If someone clicks a link to one of your old URLs, they will automatically be redirected to the new URL. WordPress saves a history of all previous permalinks so that they always bring you to the correct page. You shouldn’t lose any SEO cred either.

        1. You may need to make sure you’ve set the permalink structure to “Post Name” in Settings -> Permalinks. If you still don’t see it, you may not be an admin or for whatever other reason don’t have permission to edit the permalink.

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