Why Slug Is The Best Feature Of WordPress

So, what is a slug in WordPress? It’s a part of a URL that identifies a particular page on a website in an easy-to-read form.

It’s that part of the YRL that explains the page’s content. They are a string of words divided by hyphens that describe a post, page, tags, categories, or custom post types. WordPress generates URL-friendly versions of a post or page title as the slug by default.

You can change the post’s slug to anything that you like by simply editing it. The slug appears as a part of the URL that remains connected to the article. It also means that your visits will view the slug when they will access any of your posts or pages on your website. Furthermore, it’s a part of the URL, and so search engines can view it too.

What it’s all about

Now you know what a slug is in WordPress, but what does slug mean in WordPress? As already mentioned earlier, slugs are texts that come after the domain name that identifies particular resources on your site. The first thing to know about is Category Slug. In many cases, you will see that your content remains grouped in categories.

You may wish to show slug for categories in the URL. For instance, you own a website through which you sell bags, sneakers, and wristwatches. You created three different categories to make it easier for your clients to find whatever they need. Every slug will be different for each category.

Tips to make it better

If you have been reading this topic from the beginning, then you know how to change slug in WordPress. However, all slugs aren’t equal. Some will prove beneficial to your website while others can prove detrimental. That’s why you need to take a few extra steps to optimize slugs appropriately. Here are the things that you must do.

  • 1. Shorten it: Everyone knows that a short URL is easier to read and understand than longer ones. They also appear better on search engines when someone uses a mobile device to browse. Therefore, you should keep them short.
  • 2. Be descriptive: Some people use the number of an article in the slug. Others rely on the date on which they published the article. However, if you look at it properly, you will realize that descriptive slugs are better for this purpose.
  • 3. Be intelligent about keywords: Slugs are one of the best places to insert items that you would like to rank for on a search engine. Then again, it requires a bit of tact. Stuffing SEO keywords is a temptation that most people fall for, but it often proves to be counterintuitive.

    Experts recommend that a slug for SEO should contain an important word or a phrase that would create the rank. You can cut off the rest of the keyword. For example, if you wrote a post with the title “How to create an optimized WordPress Slug,” then you could simply use the phrase “WordPress Slug” and forget the rest.

  • 4. When to avoid: Indeed, there will come a time when you shouldn’t make any changes to your slugs. You must refrain from editing the slugs after you publish the post or a page. While you can change it whenever you want on a WordPress website, the alteration would break all links to the previous slug.

    In such a situation, when a user tries to read one of your blogs or articles, they will encounter 404 error problems. So, the best time to change or alter the slugs is right before you press the “publish” button.

The effect

You should probably be aware of how to use category slug in WordPress. Now, you should turn your attention towards finding out how the slugs affect SEO. One exceptional benefit of slugs in WordPress SEO is that you can insert focus keywords into slugs.

These keywords are the terms or phrases with which you would rank for search pages. With a descriptive and keyword-focused URL, search bots would understand the content of your website. Eventually, your website would reach a higher rank. Furthermore, readable URL structures are effective in gaining the attention of searchers who may want to read your content.

Where to set

You can set slugs in five places. They are,

  • Page slug
  • Post slug
  • Author slug
  • Category slug
  • Tag slug
Learning to set slugs

This portion will tell you about the methods of using the five different slugs mentioned earlier. You know that WordPress creates slugs automatically as soon as you create content. WordPress utilizes Permalink settings to do so. Permalink structure is like a mold that casts the slugs.

It means that WordPress will develop slugs according to your specifications in Permalinks. Changing the structure of Permalinks of a website is quite straightforward. You can choose from many options including numeric, day, name, etc.

  • 1. Page slug: If you want to set a page slug to your WordPress site, then you need to navigate to the Pages option and select Add New. There, you will type in the page’s title and save the draft. Once the slug appears, you can change it according to your desire.

  • 2. Post slug: The process of setting a post slug is quite similar to page slug. You just have to navigate to the Posts option from the WordPress dashboard and select the Add New option. Now, type in the title of the content. In the beginning, you may not see the post’s slug.

    You can make it appear by clicking on the Save Draft option. Once saved, the Permalink will be visible and you have to click on the Edit button to change it. You must use only words and dashes in your Permalink. Don’t forget to use keywords as needed. When you finish it, click on OK.

  • 3. Author slug: You have to tweak several things to edit the author slug in WordPress. The problem is that WordPress automatically creates a slug for an author based on their username, and you can’t change the username after setting it.

    The only way forward to move on is to install a plug-in called Edit Author Slug. Once installed and activated, you need to find your way to the Users option and select All Users.

    Here you will choose the author’s name and click on the Edit button below it. When you reach the next page, scroll down and seek out the Author Slug section. There is a Custom field box where you will enter the desired slug for the author.

  • 4. Tag and category slug: If you want to add/edit category slug, then you should find your way through to the Posts option and choose Categories under it. Here you will set a name for the new category after entering the desired slug.

    If you want to edit the slug of an existing category, then you need to choose the Edit option from the list available on the right side. An edit will pop up where you can make changes to the slugs. The process of editing tags is exactly the same as categories. You only need to navigate your way to the Posts option and choose Tags under it.

More information

The ultimate purpose of WordPress slugs is to create an SEO friendly URL. In that respect, WordPress is one of the best platforms for website creation purposes. It wouldn’t have such diversity in terms of effectiveness if it couldn’t provide a spectrum of ways to help users accomplish specific tasks.

In simple words, you get to choose to make things in the most perfect possible way. Here are a few more practices that one should consider following while creating slugs.

  • 1. Use hyphens: For WordPress web development, developers always use hyphens instead of stop-words. These include ‘a,’ ‘an,’ ‘the,’ etc. As already mentioned earlier in this topic, you must use hyphens instead of words, but you probably don’t know why it’s important. Well, the systems of search engines ignore those words. If you use hyphens instead, then your website will rank on search engines.

  • 2. Penetrate the mind of users: Professionals of the best web development company suggest web developers to penetrate the minds of their users. If you are a web developer too, then this information will be worthwhile for you.

    You need to think of the keywords that a regular user types in search engines. In doing so, you will push your slugs to be a step forward in the SEO game. You can rely on Google’s AdWords tool.

    It suggests the best keyword ideas for your posts. Furthermore, you will get plenty of options to rummage through. However, you should only pick the relevant ones.

  • 3. Regular cleanup: Slug is undoubtedly one of the top features of WordPress. Then again, it will cease to remain useful unless you clean the trash regularly to avoid duplicates. Whenever you create a new post or page, you notice the number 2 at the end of it.

    It appears because the slug already exists somewhere. You should consider the appearance of that number as a warning. Since you don’t have the right to post two pages or write-ups with the same slug, that number will remain there. So, you have to think of something creative.

    WordPress also prevents you from using the names of deleted posts and pages because they remain in the trash archive. You have to clear that area if you wish to reuse the name.

  • 4. Think deeply: Slugs work best with a short URL for SEO purposes and you know everything about them now. However, you need to think hard before posting anything. You must change the slug before you post anything.

    If you try to do the same after setting up a post, then users will encounter the 404 error. However, if changing the Permalink is a must-do for you, then you have to be cautious about releasing a post before checking the slug properly.

To conclude

You received some of the best WordPress SEO tips through this topic. You should follow them to the letter. If you do, then you will realize why experts say that slug is one of the best features offered by WordPress.

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