“Permalinks” are just what they sound like: permanent links. This means that there is one link to a page and it stays the same no matter what content is on the page, so people can use the URL to link to that page from other pages in the internet.
This is a permalink:
WordPress gives you the ability to set up how your permalink will look in your Settings. As you can see you can have them show just the numbered id WordPress has assigned to the page or post or your can have it show the date or the title of your page or post.
Most bloggers recommend using an easy-to-understand permalink that reflects the content of the post rather than those weird looking numbers. As you can see, I picked “Post name” as my permalink. So when I type in the title of a page, WordPress uses that title as the permalink. Great!
But this isn’t always what I want to happen.
Now maybe every other website owner knows exactly what he wants to title every page and gets it all just like he wants the first time. I map out my content somewhat, but I also sometimes just make a page and start filling it with content. Then I change my mind.
At this point, because I have few readers, it isn’t going to hurt if I delete a page. But later on that would be a very bad idea if the page has been up long enough for someone to have linked to the page. Because if you delete a page someone linked to, you have just broken that link—and there ain’t nobody who likes broken links. When you need to delete or change a page, you are supposed to redirect them to the right page. I actually have not gotten to the point of reading about how to do that yet (but I will, I promise).
I decided for my Texas History pages I wanted to just have the permalink be the section number and not the full title because I thought I might end up re-title the pages, which I did. So how do you set up the permalink and then change the title of the page? When you create the post or page, set the title as you would like to see it in the permalink. For example, I set one as “txhist-sec1.” Then write something on the page and then publish the page. The permalink will be set and now you can go back and change the title to something longer or different. The permalink will always be “txhist-sec1.”