After such a promising start with WordPress I hit a problem: the default page links that it creates are NOT search engine friendly. The system creates meaningless links like “http://nha.co.uk/wpress/?p=N” which are no good to man nor beast if you want good search engine rankings.
There is a feature built-in to WordPress called Permalinks which purports to provide a mass of options for producing better page name links. Sounds like just the ticket as it would allow me to create something like “http://nha.co.uk/design-blog/web-sites/permalinks.htm” which is a vast improvement.
Following the instructions assiduously … and the site stopped working completely.
Site access is controlled by a special file called “.htacces” which can contain all sorts of rules and can be used to re-direct broken links or missing pages.
Every time I enabled this file the site just stopped. Didn’t matter what combination I tried in the Admin panel it just wouldn’t work. Much searching of Forums and the internet provided lots of ideas but not one solution so by the time I gave up yesterday any remaining hair was in serious danger.
Early this morning I had one of those moments. A flash of genius or clouds clearing from stupidity? One of the few things I hadn’t tried was creating the demented htacces file in a different text editor. I’d been using Apple’s TextEdit and as soon as I tried the same thing using BBEdit – success! TextEdit must have been adding invisible characters that prevented the file from working.
So after much wasted time the answer was absurdly simple and now we have lovely page link names – just look at the top of your browser.