A Guide to Pretty Urls for Bloggers
I believe a pretty url is a wonderful thing, and is an advantage if you're a blogger. What's a "pretty url"?

Take a look:

Pretty: http://zenhabits.net/live/

Ugly: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/is-this-the-most-boring-election-ever-20120507

Uglier: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FMKuf+%28Official+Google+Blog%29

Why does this matter? Ugly urls are a missed opportunity -- if the url is short and pretty, it's memorable, it's easy to forward to people, it's understandable by the reader and gives a clue to what the content is about. An ugly url is something most people don't want to work with.

So here are some of my suggestions:

1. In the Wordpress Permalinks settings, choose "Post Name". That means the name of your post will be the url, not some number with a question mark, nor the month or day or year. You don't need the date in your url anymore -- it is unnecessary.

2. Take "blog" out of your url. Having the word "blog" in your url is unnecessary for most blogs -- i.e. http://leobabauta.com/blog/. Just have your blog at the root domain.

3. Take "www" out of your url. Redirect "www.leobabauta.com" to "leobabauta.com". Your domain host can do this. For steps on how to do this or anything else, Google is your friend.

4. Don't use the Feedburner ugly urls. If you use Feedburner for your RSS and email feeds (recommended), turn off the stats tracking. If you allow it to track clicks and views, it adds a long jumble of junk to your url (i.e. ?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FMKuf+%28Official+Google+Blog%29*). That's not hot. Turn it off.

5. Shorten your url before you publish. After you type the title of your draft post into the Wordpress editor, it will automatically create a url based on the post name. It's usually long. I shorten it to something prettier, with 1-3 words from the post's title (or something related). Example: http://zenhabits.net/doh/

6. Use a redirection plugin. If you've been running a blog for awhile and want to change your urls without losing search engine traffic and traffic from incoming links, you can use the Redirection plugin for Wordpress: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/redirection/. Easy to use and set up.

Hope this helps!
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