Support » Fixing WordPress » Does categorizing old posts change URL / permalink?

  • If this topic has been specifically addressed, I apologise, but I’ve searched and haven’t been able to find a comfortable answer yet.

    I’m new to WP; got 2.0.1; and kind of a newbie also, so please type slowly 🙂

    I’ve created a half a dozen new categories but have stopped short of moving old posts into the categories until I’m satisfied that the permalinks to the original post will remain intact.

    In other words, if I take a 2 month old post called “Crappy Post Number 220” and move it into a category called “Crappy Old Posts”, what will happen when people click on a link to the post from another blogger’s page that references “Crappy Post Number 220”? Will they get an error, or will the referencing link still take people to the original post?

    Not only do I wish NOT to inconvenience the other bloggers and their readers, I do not wish to damage my PageRank either. If that means having to leave my old posts uncategorized, then I guess I’ll have to leave things as they are and begin categorizing from today forward.

    Anybody? Thanks in advance for your answers 🙂

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • If category isn’t part of your post permalink structure, it really won’t matter if you rename categories.

    Wow, what a long-long webpage… it takes ages to download. Why don’t you make it shorter? i.e. not showing a million posts on the frontpage.
    Anyway, I hit the Stop button, so didn’t have to wait.

    The answer for your question depends on your permalink structure, and you could have figured out just looking at your own permalinks:
    Is there any category name involved here? No.
    So, changing the cat name would have any effect on it? No.

    Note. If somebody bookmarked a category (listing/archive) page, like
    that one will be 404 if you change the name and the slug of “uncategorized”.

    Moshu, thanks for the heads up on loading time. I changed the options to show just the last 7 posts. Hopefully that will speed it up.

    So (again, I am a newbie at all of this) you are telling me that will remain there, but the post will be duplicated somehow when I move it to a category? Perhaps my lack of understanding of the process is complicating what I am asking.

    Is the post duplicated somehow so it appears both in the archives and the category, or does categorizing the post move the post from it’s place in the archives to a new place in the category?

    Again, sorry if I’m making this more complicated on myself than it needs to be, but I am a brand, spanking new WP user; just moved from Blogger 🙂

    Thanks again….


    Right. Your posts are in a database, not a series of directories and text files. 🙂

    Post can show up via it’s own dedicated url (depends on how you’ve set up permalinks for that), category search (multiple times if in multiple categories), archives, searches, etc. When linking to your posts (or when others link to them) just make sure the post’s permalink is the one used.

    gunlib, moshu answered your question (I think) but perhaps a quick re-explanation will help.

    Posts are *always* in a category, whether you assign one or use the default category. But there are two issues here:

    (1) Is the category reflected in your URL for the permanent page? If not, then it doesn’t matter if you switch categories all day long because doing so won’t impact the URL of the permanent page at all.

    (2) On your category pages, are you displaying entire posts or just title/snippets? If entire posts, then your posts are displayed both on the permalink page and on any category page to which a particular post has been assigned. This can be problematic. It can also become difficult as you add posts to a particular category.

    Does that help?

    Yes, you are over-complicating it a bit… (I was out shoveling the snow, that’s why the reply is late – next time, please, don’t bump, wait patiently. Patience is highly appreciated on these fora by the volunteer helpers.)

    So, back to your questions:
    1. All the posts are stored only once in the database. They always sit on their own initial “shelf”.
    2. The WP engine (or any script that is capable to “talk” to the MySQL database) sends queries to the database based on certain criteria; it’s like saying “show all posts that have in their date January 2005′; or: ‘select and show all posts that have the category called whatever’
    3. The different template files, like index.php, single.php, archive.php, page.php are sending different queries to the database (DB) and will display exactly what they are supposed to.
    4. Actually, in a physical sense, you don’t even have a folder or place called “archives”. That’s just a virtual folder – which is created based on your permalink structure. You could have instead of “archives” even “moshu” 😉
    5. Every post is associated with a category, and that category has an ID#. The DB and the WP engine differentiate categories based on ID#, so you can change its name 100x times, it doesn’t really make a difference.

    Does this help?

    Thanks to all for your responses. I think we can call this case closed. Sounds like I’m safe to categorize some posts for my readers’ convenienc.

    Moshu, my apologies for bumping. It was intentional, but not to be a nuisance or shove myself to the front of the line, but because I wasn’t sure if I had made it clear enough that I needed a little more clarification for this here “noobie”. It won’t happen again.

    Thanks again to you and everybody else 🙂

    Sorry to bump this again but I think this is a closely related issue that does not appear to be resolved by this thread.

    When I switch from one format of permalink to a new format, I expected WordPress to update the rewrite rules so that when someone clicks on an old-style permalink into the site, the .htaccess would recognise the old link and redirect it to the new permalink for the same entry.

    However, this does not appear to be the case. According to the posts above, if my old permalink format included “category” and my new one does not, then a link to the old style permalink would result in a 404.

    This seems to me to be contrary to the idea of permalinks, and seems to mean that if you even slightly change your permalink structure on a site after it has been running even a few months, you will break every incoming link on to your site.

    Is this really the way it’s supposed to work?

    I assumed the “update permalink structure” button took care of redirections from the old permalink structure, but it appears not, since member Tack describes he had to do his own rewrite in another thread:

    This seems to me to be contrary to the idea of permalinks, and seems to mean that if you even slightly change your permalink structure on a site after it has been running even a few months, you will break every incoming link on to your site.

    Is this really the way it’s supposed to work?

    Well, it’s “perma”-nent – untill you change it.
    Yes, it is supposed to work like this. (That’s why it is highle advisable to think very well before setting up a permalink structure)

    If you want “redirects” – you need to add manually re-write rules to your .htaccess file.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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