Support » Plugin: Yoast SEO » Can I change permalink structure after registering with Google?

  • Hi,

    I’m developing a site for my church using the Genesis theme “Outreach.” I installed your SEO plugin, and I know that the first thing I need to do is change the permalink structure. The hosting provider is dragging his feet on this, says he is trying to figure out how to do it. I have currently asked the search engines not to index the site, until it is completely finished (still have a little more content to add). We would like to launch in the next couple of weeks.

    My question is this: Will it cause problems if we go ahead and open the site to search engines and register with Google, with our current default permalink structure, and then switch to the postname structure whenever he is able to figure out how to allow this on his server? Or should we wait to register with Google and be indexed by search engines, until he has modified his htaccess file or whatever he needs to do, and then change the permalink structure BEFORE we launch?

    Thank you so much. Here’s my site link:

    –Amelia Franz

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Hey ameliafranz,

    If it were up to me, I’d wait till you have your permalinks in place (though, it is baffling why it would take someone who is “hosting” your site so long to “figure this out” 🙁 )

    Now days Google is amazingly fast at indexing the pages of a website. Once they do, you’ll be in their db with your pages listed as (for example):

    versus what this pages “pretty permalink” would likely be:

    About Us

    If you get those first links indexed you are going to have to go into your Google Webmaster Tools account and tell the search engine what each of those “ugly” links should actually be pointing to (the pretty link).

    The good news is that you won’t have a bunch of 404 errors since WordPress will still show the page to a site visitor, however, you don’t want those links propagating out there when you do have your permalinks in place.

    You might ask your hosting person what his challenges are and then post back here so we can help you help him get it going for you!

    Hope that helps!

    Thanks so much, James, for the reply. I’m not sure exactly what his challenges are because he doesn’t communicate much with me, but I’ve been assured that he is “working on it.” I think I will try to pressure him to get it done sooner rather than later, and just wait to launch until he does it. I don’t want to have to go back to Google and change the links, because I’m new to all the SEO stuff. So it seems that doing it right the first time makes sense. Thanks, again.

    If his hosting set up is pretty standard, then he’s likely running Apache. If that’s the case, and you are not getting permalinks to work (is that the case? They are not working when my make changes to the “Settings >> Permalinks” page in the admin section?) he likely doesn’t have mod_rewrite module enabled on the server.

    I guess it would behoove this process to ask if you have admin access to your WordPress installation as well (if not, that previous question is sort of moot!)

    But if you do have an admin account let us know if changing the permalink structure does or does not work.


    Yes, James, I think I will ask about admin access. This is sort of a “tread lightly” situation for me because of who the person is, who is providing the hosting (at an affordable rate for us). So i have to proceed more delicately than I otherwise would. However, I will ask him about admin access. He might be afraid I’ll mess up his server, so I’m not optimistic that he’ll grant it to me, but we’ll see. I have worked in the back end for my WordPress sites on hostgator, have done a few WP installs (including a multi-site), and am somewhat comfortable with basic command-line Linux, editing files with Pico, and very basic Sql (creating databses, etc.). Do you think my going into the .htaccess file and poking around in our WP back-end would be a risk to his server or other sites on his server? I would be very careful, but I don’t want to screw up anything major on this site. What do you think?

    LOL! Amelia, if you’re not working full-time as a WP admin somewhere, you’re missing your calling 😉

    You should have absolutely no problems once you get access, based upon the knowledge you just displayed!

    As to your “affordable rate”? Well, not sure what that means for your site and the organization, however if you’ve worked with HostGator, you likely know you can have extremely affordable rates for sites that you have COMPLETE control over.

    Best of luck to you. Trust that it all works out the way you need it to.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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