Normally I suggest keeping taxonomy out of permalink structure. I’ve found it to create issues when content takes new direction, or a site needs new architecture. WordPress Post formats offer a new way to sort our content, and they make sense for users.

***Note: Don’t change your permalink structure unless you are sure you have very few inbound links to your website. If you do, use a plugin like Dean’s Permalink Migration, or make sure you redirect all your posts.

Enabling Post Formats is nifty and all, but lets put them to work. Consider your visitor. Do they like every type of content you post? Do you have a feed running into your blog from Blip.fm like I have to fight to keep from doing every day? For blogs with a wide variety of content types, users may appreciate it if you give them a good way to sort through it all.

I like to get detailed in customizing my own websites in ways I wouldn’t do for a client. Some customizations just don’t help businesses reach their goals, and businesses comprise 100% of my current client base. Though I would love to specialize in building custom blogs for individuals, it seems businesses are the ones doing the vast majority of spending in web development. Go figure.

This is to say, using post formats in permalinks is not for every website. It’s another way to customize a blog. Use your good judgement on whether it makes sense for your project or not.

Taxonomies are not for permalinks

Until now, I’ve been advising that people use just the postname, maybe the date and postname for permalink structures. This is to prevent the need to redirect posts in case the blog’s architecture changes, which is common with blogs, as they can often evolve over time.

A visible example here is my sidebar. You may notice the lopsided number of posts between the 2 categories. It’s about time for me to break them up, because right now that is just a big list of posts. Though that sidebar is actually static, If I were using a category widget, or querying to display the lists, I would need a serious overhaul of my categories to clean that mess up.

Another problem I have with using taxonomies in url structures is that most content doesn’t just fit one category. Tags make much more sense to me, but it’s senseless to use just one in the url. These taxonomies are meant to be used for programming, and to give users a way to sort through your content.

Why Post Formats make good permalinks

Post formats are much different from taxonomies, though you could consider them a way to classify blog posts. They give you a way to label different content types, not topics. It’s very unlikely that you will change a post format after posting, unless you just forget to set it.

Having the content type obvious when looking at your url just makes sense for users, and tells them what to expect when they click a link to your page.

How to use Post Formats in permalinks

I expected that WordPress had added Post Formats as a permalink option with 3.1, but I was wrong.

Luckily, Yan Sarazin has written a nice little plugin that enables you to use them called Post Format Permalink. I could not be easier to use. Install it, and use the template tag %format% in your custom permalink structure. You will immediately notice how the standard post format has the lame “standard” slug. Yan’s got your back. Go to the plugin options and set it to whatever you want.

Now you can show all your WordPress geek friends the cool guy permalink structure of your new blog.