One of the things that many users love about WordPress is the fact that it is ever so easy to customize their permalinks as and how they please.
For example, using the /%category%/%postname%/ structure has become increasingly popular and it’ll show a website URL that looks like: yourwebsite.com/categoryname/postname/
While this is great and elegant-looking (not to mention extremely SEO friendly as well!), what most users don’t realize is that it can also cause problems.
What is the Issue, Really?
Although permalink structures for WordPress that make use of categories and post names may look great, the problem is that they can cause your website to load slower.
This is because when WordPress encounters a ‘text’ field such as the category, tag, author or post name fields, it needs to figure out whether or not it is a post or a page that is being dealt with.
In turn, this means that it’ll have to run extra queries on your database each time it does so – which could slow things down somewhat, especially if you’re running a very large website with a very large database.
Fixing and Finding a Compromise
It should come as no surprise to you that the best way to fix this issue is to embrace the ‘native’ permalink structure of WordPress and use: /%post_id%
Of course this isn’t going to look particularly good at all, and you’re going to lose out in terms of the SEO value of your permalinks too for the sake of performance.
That is why many developers find that it is best for them to embrace a ‘middle ground’, and a permalink structure that looks like this: /%post_id%/%postname%
With this sort of permalink structure you could expect to generate URLs that look like: yourwebsite.com/3432/postname
Admittedly having the number there might not look all that great aesthetically but it is necessary if you want to keep your WordPress chugging along at decent performance levels.