This article is going to help you learn how to update your blog posts without changing URL.
There might be certain posts on your blog that you wish you could update, but the main problem is the URL which is also known as a slug or permalink because if you dare change it you will lose the traffic the post has been bringing to your blog already.
Unless it is a post that is generating no traffic, you might consider also changing its URL while updating it.
But in this article, I am going to show you how to update a blog post without changing its URL.
1. Change anything about a post but don’t change its permalink.
The basic rule of thumb for changing a blog post is that you are free to change every other thing, but don’t change the permalink (it’s called a permalink because it’s meant to remain a permanent link that brings people to the post).
Most people set their permalink to include the date they published the post, so if your permalink comes with the date then it is not safe to change the date as it will automatically change the URL.
But if you have set the permalink of your own blog to carry only the post slug, that is the part of the permalink that represents only the name of the post, then you can as well change the date of the post and it will never affect its URL.
That is why it is always advisable to set your permalink to carry only the post slug.
Therefore, if you have a post name permalink structure, you are free to update the publish date but make sure you don’t update the post slug.
Post structure usually comes in the form:
yoursite.com/post-slug/ or yoursite.com/post-slug.html
You can as well change the date of the published post to the present day to bring your post to the top of your blog and RSS feed.
If you are using any published or update notification plugin, it will send notifications to all your subscribers.
On the other hand, if you are using a dated permalink structure, make sure you do not update the publish date or the post slug.
Dated permalink link structure usually comes in the form:
yoursite.com/2021/09/post-slug/ or yoursite.com/2022/09/11/post-slug.html)
This, therefore, implies that, if you are using a post name permalink structure (i.e. yoursite.com/post-slug/), you can change everything about the post, including its publish date.
If you don’t know what a permalink structure is, go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Settings, then Permalink and you will see your current setting.
N/B please do not tamper with this setting unless you know how to do the proper redirects because it will change the URL of all your blog posts.
2. If you change a post permalink, make sure you create redirects.
Let’s assume you have created your first 100 posts and probably shared the links on your social media platforms, or some of those posts have already ranked on search engines, attempting to change the permalink of that post will break all those existing links.
Therefore, you must not change the post slug or permalink in any way unless you know how to create redirects or are using any good redirect plugin.
If you are using WordPress, below are some redirect plugins you can use.
Yoast SEO Premium?
If you use the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO Premium, anytime you change your slug or permalink, it will automatically create a redirect for you.
With this plugin therefore you can confidently change the slug or permalink to your post without having to worry about broken links.
The Redirection plugin?
Another plugin you can use is the redirection plugin.
This plugin will create a redirect for you anytime you change a post slug.
But bear in mind that plugins like this can cause redirect loops which can sometimes cause problems for your blog posts, and at such you have to use it at your own risk.
Safe Redirect Manager.
Safe Redirect Manager will help you manually create a redirect from the old permalink or slug to a new one.
3. By adding code to .htaccess
If you know how to add code to .htaccess without breaking your site, then you can easily change your site’s permalink or slug without affecting its URL.
4. Contact your host provider.
If you are using a good host provider that has the best customer service in the world, you can reach out to them about updating your blog post or permalink, and they will use a redirect plugin to help you change your permalink without causing trouble to your URL.
5. Hire a developer?
You can search online for a website developer or contact us and we will use the .htaccess code to safely change your post permalink without affecting your site’s URL.