This post was written by Jennifer Koshak and originally shared on UnfoldAndBegin. For Jennifer’s complete profile, see bottom of post.
Have you ever clicked on a Pinterest picture and gotten a 404 error? Drooled over a pin of a delicious looking meal only to get a different recipe when you clicked on it, or to the home page of a website with no idea where to find what you’re looking for? I know that frustration and want to show you how to avoid Pinterest link failure.
As the year was coming to a close, I was seeing other bloggers post about checking WordPress links to make sure they were still working and to go through your Pinterest boards to make sure they were still relevant. To my horror, though, I found out I was guilty of Pinterest link failure! It was a surprise, because each time I linked a blog post to my Unfold and Begin Pinterest board, I would make sure that I was linking to the specific page for that post.
After some digging, I figured out that all the blog posts that I added to my board before April of 2014 were all just going back to the home page and not connecting to the actual blog post, but all the ones created after April were going to the correct page. I realized that a simple change I made in WordPress was causing my problems. It was a change that I made to my Permalink Settings.
When I first created this blog, I didn’t know anything about WordPress, blogs, links, etc. I’m still not an expert, but I’ve learned some things along the way. One thing I learned is that a permalink is specific to each of your blog pages. It refers to the specific URL that is used to find each post and it’s how search engines and other websites link to your website. In other words—it’s Important.
When I first set up my blog, not knowing anything about it, I used the WordPress default: http://www.yourblogname.com/?p=123. With this choice, each post ends up with a different number associated with it. There’s nothing wrong with this option, but it does mean that the link for your post doesn’t include the title of the post, just numbers. There are other options to use, including the date and name of your post or the month and name. I decided to go with my post name, which shows up as: http://www.yourblogname.com/post-title-here.
When I changed the permalink, I effectively killed all the links to all my blog posts in Pinterest—but I didn’t make that connection. So for eight months, the links on Pinterest were only going to the homepage, not to the actual content. I was that person causing frustration for others. And while I realize that this change also affects any links that I added to my Facebook or Twitter pages, because those pages are linear, it’s much harder for people to go back and find them….which also makes it harder for me to go back and correct something.
To find your permalinks in WordPress, go to Settings and then select Permalinks. Once there, there are several options to choose for how your blog post title reads in the URL. There is also an example of each choice. Select whatever structure looks best for your needs. I highly recommend using the Post Name option.
Remember, that if you’ve made these changes after you’ve already started pinning your post pictures into Pinterest, you have additional work to do. You will need to edit the URL associated with your Pin. You can do this by selecting the Pin you need to update and hitting the edit button in the upper left column. You can then update your URL on the line called Website. This won’t correct all the Pins that others have previously saved to their boards, but it will stop the problem and any Pins from your page going forward will have the correct URL.
I hope you found this useful and that this will be your reminder to check your links. This is helpful with both Pinterest and with WordPress—make sure the links you put into your posts and pins still go to the pages you want them to go to so you don’t experience the dreaded Pinterest link failure.
Jennifer is a post 50 baby boomer, willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years. Unfold And Begin will inspire you, make you think or failing that….make you laugh because laughter is definitely the spice of life! To follow Jennifer’s Pinterest account, click here.