When you share your blog posts to social media, do old versions of your articles appear instead of the new updated versions?
When you click on links to your blog posts, does the link lead to a page that says “error-page not found’?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, keep reading because I might be able to save you a ton of frustration and hair pulling out.
If you are reading this and you are one of my followers, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of links in my articles lead to pages that read ‘ERROR.’ In this post, I will explain what led to this enormous headache and how you can prevent it from happening to you. If this is happening to you and you’re not sure how to fix it, I will cover that as well.
When you write a new article on WordPress, a permalink is generated that leads to the article. The link contains the name of your website, the date the article was published, and the name of your article. The problem with this link is that if you ever want to update your article, the link will no longer have the correct published date. As a result, any links to the article that you shared on social media or published within other articles, will no longer be valid. And if you try to share the new link on social media without first updating the published date, the old version of the article will appear instead of the new one you recently updated.
It’s a total pain and it took me a week to realize how to fix it.
What you need to do is go to your WordPress dashboard. Click on Settings, then click on Permalinks. The next page will give you options for how you want links to your blog posts to be structured. Under Common Settings, check the option for Post Name. Then scroll down and save changes. Once checked, all of your post links will contain only your website and the name of your article, no published dates. From now on when you update your articles, your old links on social media will still lead to them.
If you have already shared articles on social media and published dates were included in your permalinks, you might want to try a different approach. You can install the Stealth Update Plugin so that every time you update your article, any links with the old published dates will still be valid. Be sure to check the stealth update box in the upper right corner before you publish any revisions to your articles.
If you have already shared revisions to your posts and now have invalid links on your social media pages, you will have to go in and edit each link. The easiest way to do this is to check Post Name under Settings>Permalink so that all of your links contain only your website name and article name. Then when editing each link, simply delete the published date and keep the rest of the link. This way, you won’t have to delete and re-share all of your posts.
Lastly, if you are new to WordPress and have not changed your permalink settings, stop reading this and do so now! Changing the settings early on will prevent you from having invalid links that need correcting later.
I hope this article helped some of you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go edit some more of my links.