In the briefing notes for the blogging assignment I ask online students to keep a note of the permalink (permanent linkl) for any blog posts where they leave a comment. So just what is a permanent link? Well it’s a url that points to a specific web page rather than to a dynamic page.
For example the front page of this blog (url http://www.cmcstir.org/dh/) looks like the picture below as I write this post.
It will look different once I make this post.
Like this in fact.
But that’s the same url (http://www.cmcstir.org/dh/) as led to the post pictured above, the front page of this blog is dynamic and changes every time I make a new post.
In contrast the url http://www.cmcstir.org/dh/wordpress-plugins/ is a permanent link, it will always lead to the page that contains the most recent edit of the post about WordPress Plugins I made on February 22nd, 2015.
In this context the term “permalink” does not really lead to a page that will remain the same permanently. I could edit the page or change the theme used on the blog, and the permalink would lead to a page with these changes incorporated.
In other contexts a Permalink can be more permanent. The current Wikipedia article about the University of Stirling can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Stirling, and that page will change over time as the page is edited.
But Wikipedia also archive the page after every edit and you can also find the page as it looked today (archived after the last an edit on 19th February, 2015) at the permalink http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=University_of_Stirling&oldid=647930465 . The page at that link will remain the same when the main entry is edited and changes in the future.
Note that if you find yourself referencing Wikipedia entries in an assignment (not usually seen as good academic practice but completely acceptable in some circumstances) you should use the permalink in your reference list. You can find it in the View History tab on the bar found near the top of any Wikipedia page.
You might find it useful to also read the Wikipedia article on Permalinks.