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What Is the Slug on WordPress?

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What Is the Slug on WordPress?

What is Slug in WordPress?

July 9, 2024

By, Editorial Team

WordPress

Have you ever looked at a WordPress URL and wondered what that last bit, after the “.com” and sometimes a folder or two, actually means? That, my friend, is the slug! It might sound slimy, but trust us, WordPress experts consider it a friendly little element that plays a big role in your website’s success.

In this blog post, we’ll be diving deep into the world of WordPress slugs. We’ll answer all your burning questions, from what exactly a slug is to how to make it SEO friendly. We’ll even show you some pro tips for structuring your slugs to get the most out of your WordPress website. So, buckle up and get ready to become a WordPress slug master!

What is Slug in WordPress?

In WordPress, a slug is the editable part of a URL that identifies a specific page or post. It functions like a descriptive nickname for your content, appearing at the very end of the URL after the domain name. For instance, in the URL “best-pizza-recipe “, “best-pizza-recipes” is the slug. This element helps users and search engines understand the content’s nature.

How Does Slug Work in WordPress?

  • Customization: While WordPress can generate a slug based on your title by default, you have the option to create your own. This is particularly useful for crafting clear and concise URLs that incorporate relevant keywords.
  • SEO Benefits: Optimizing your slugs with relevant keywords can positively impact your search engine optimization (SEO). Informative slugs make it easier for search engines to understand your content and improve your ranking in search results.
  • User-friendliness: Descriptive slugs enhance the user experience by providing a clear indication of what a page or post is about before users even click on it.

In conclusion, slugs play an important role in both SEO and user experience within WordPress. By creating clear, informative, and keyword-rich slugs, you can improve your website’s searchability and make it easier for visitors to navigate your content.

How to Change Slug in WordPress?

Within WordPress, you have the flexibility to edit the slug associated with your pages. This grants you greater control over the URLs visitors see and how search engines understand your content. There are two primary methods for achieving this:

How to Change Page Slug in WordPress?

1. Quick Edit: This method provides a swift way to update the slug directly from the Pages list. Here’s how:
  • Navigate to Pages > All Pages.
  • Locate the page you want to modify and hover your mouse over it.
  • Click the Quick Edit link that appears.
  • In the Slug field, enter your desired slug.
  • Click the Update button to save the changes.

2. Editing the Page:

This approach offers more control over the slug and other page details. Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Pages > All Pages.
  • Locate the page you want to modify and click Edit.
  • On the right-hand side of the page editor, under the Document section, find the Permalink option.
  • Click the Edit link next to the permalink.
  • In the Slug field, enter your desired slug.
  • Click the Publish button (or Update if the page is already published) to save the changes.

Remember: After changing a slug, it’s recommended to set up a 301 redirect to ensure search engines and users can still find your content using the old URL.

How to Change Custom Post Type Slug in WordPress?

Custom post types in WordPress allow you to create unique content categories beyond standard posts and pages. Similar to pages, you can also edit the slug associated with each custom post type. However, since they’re registered differently, the process involves code.

Steps to Change Custom Post Type Slug in WordPress (Using Code):

  • Access the theme functions file: This file (functions.php) controls your theme’s functionality. You can access it through the WordPress dashboard or a file transfer protocol (FTP) client.
  • Add code to modify the slug: Within the functions.php file, locate a suitable place to add code (usually at the end). Here’s an example snippet:
function change_custom_post_slug() {

  $args = array(

    ‘rewrite’ => array( ‘slug’ => ‘your-new-slug’ ), // Replace ‘your-new-slug’ with your desired slug

  );

  register_post_type( ‘your-custom-post-type’, $args ); // Replace ‘your-custom-post-type’ with your actual custom post type name

}

add_action( ‘init’, ‘change_custom_post_slug’ )

  • Save changes and refresh permalinks: After adding the code, save the functions.php file. Then, navigate to Settings > Permalinks and click Save Changes. This refreshes WordPress’s rewrite rules to reflect the new slug structure.

Important Note: It’s recommended to back up your theme’s functions.php file before making code edits. For more complex scenarios or plugin-created custom post types, consult a WordPress developer for assistance.

5 Quick Slug Structure Tips to Improve WordPress Website Performance

Building upon the foundation of core SEO principles, here’s how you can further optimize your WordPress slugs for even greater impact. These strategies can help you target specific audiences, improve content organization, and stay ahead of the competitors.

1. Keep It Short and Descriptive

The cornerstone of effective SEO slugs is keeping them concise and descriptive. Shorter slugs are easier for users to remember and navigate, while also conveying the content’s essence. Here’s how to achieve this balance:
  • Aim for 3-5 words: Strive for slugs between 3-5 words to maintain readability and avoid overwhelming users.
  • Focus on clarity: The primary function of a slug is to clearly communicate the content of a page or post.
Example:
  • Original Slug: best_pizza_recipes_in_the_world_ever (too long and vague)
  • Improved Slug: easy-homemade-pizza (clear and brief)
 By adhering to these guidelines, you can create user-friendly and search engine-friendly slugs that lay the groundwork for successful SEO.

2. Use Keywords Wisely

Following the foundation of concise and descriptive slugs, the next step is incorporating relevant keywords strategically. Keywords act as signposts, guiding search engines to understand your content’s relevance to user queries. Here’s how to weave keywords effectively into your slugs:
  • Target Relevant Keywords: Identify the primary keywords or phrases users might search for when seeking information similar to yours. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can be helpful for this.
  • Integrate Naturally: While including keywords is important, prioritize readability. A keyword-stuffed slug that’s grammatically awkward will hinder user experience and potentially hurt your SEO.
Example:
  • Original Slug: best_pizza_recipes_in_the_world_ever (keyword stuffing)
  • Improved Slug: best-pizza-recipes (clear and incorporates a relevant keyword)
By strategically integrating keywords without compromising readability, you can enhance your website’s discoverability in search results.

3. Avoid Stop Words

Stop words, like “a,” “an,” “the,” and “is,” are common words that connect ideas in sentences but hold little SEO value. While they enhance readability in natural language, omitting them from slugs can contribute to efficiency and focus in search engine optimization. Here’s why:
  • Prioritize Readability: Removing stop words doesn’t affect the overall meaning of your slug but can improve its conciseness and readability for users.
  • Focus on Keyword Prominence: Omitting stop words allows your target keywords to stand out more prominently within the slug, potentially improving search engine recognition.
Example:
  • Original Slug: the-ultimate-guide-to-grilling (uses stop words)
  • Improved Slug: ultimate-guide-to-grilling (clearer, shorter, and highlights the keyword)
By following this practice, you can create cleaner and more SEO-friendly slugs that effectively communicate your content’s value.

4. Use Hyphens to Separate Words

Hyphens (-) play an important role in creating user-friendly and SEO-optimized slugs. They act as visual separators, making your slugs easier to read and understand for both users and search engines. Here’s why hyphens are essential: 
  • Improved Readability: Separating words with hyphens creates a visually clear and understandable structure for your slugs. This makes it easier for users to grasp the content’s meaning at a glance.
  • Search Engine Recognition: Search engines often interpret underscores and spaces differently than hyphens within URLs. Using hyphens consistently ensures search engines can accurately parse your slugs and potentially improve ranking.
Example:
  • Original Slug: bestpizzadoughrecipe (unclear and difficult to read)
  • Improved Slug: best-pizza-dough-recipe (clear, separated with hyphens)
By incorporating hyphens strategically, you can ensure your slugs are not only informative but also easily processed by search engines and users alike.

5. Make It Readable and User-Friendly

While SEO is important, user experience should never be an afterthought. Creating slugs that are clear, concise, and easy to understand will not only benefit search engines but also enhance the overall user experience of your website. Here’s why readability is crucial:

  • Focus on Clarity: Always prioritize a slug that clearly conveys the content’s essence. Users should be able to grasp the main topic of a page or post at a glance.
  • Maintain Consistency: Establish a consistent approach to slug creation across your website. This consistency improves user navigation and builds familiarity with your content structure.
  • Consider Common Sense: While keywords are important, avoid overly technical terms or jargon that might confuse your target audience.

Example:

  • Original Slug: seo-optimized-pizza-recipes-for-maximum-traffic (unclear and jargon-heavy)
  • Improved Slug: easy-weeknight-pizza-recipes (clear, user-friendly, and uses relevant keywords)

By prioritizing readability and user-friendliness, you can craft slugs that not only attract search engines but also resonate with your human audience. This two-pronged approach is key to achieving optimal SEO results.

For complex SEO strategies or ongoing content creation, consider partnering with SEO experts.  They possess the knowledge and experience to create not just user-friendly slugs, but also comprehensive SEO plans that elevate your website’s search engine ranking and drive organic traffic.

FAQs About Structured Data in WordPress

How to get the post slug in WordPress?

There are a few ways to retrieve the post slug in WordPress, depending on your situation:

  • Using the global $post variable (within the loop):

global $post;

$post_slug = $post->post_name;

  • Using get_post_field() function:

$slug = get_post_field( ‘post_name’, get_post() );

How to get the category slug in WordPress?

If you’re within the loop and working with the current category, you can use:

$category = get_queried_object();

$category_slug = $category->slug;

For a specific category by ID, use get_category($category_id)->slug.

How to get the author slug in WordPress?
Similar to categories, you can use get_the_author_meta(‘user_nicename’) to retrieve the author’s slug (username portion of the URL).
How to change the URL slug in WordPress?

There are two main ways to edit a slug:

  • While editing the post/page: When creating or editing a post/page, look for the “Permalink” section below the editor. You can directly edit the slug there.
  • Using the “Edit” link: Go to “Posts” or “Pages” and hover over the post/page you want to edit. Click the “Edit” link and follow the steps mentioned above.
How to delete the URL slug from the homepage in WordPress?
WordPress homepages don’t typically have slugs. However, you can control your permalink structure in the WordPress admin panel. Go to Settings -> Permalinks and choose a structure that doesn’t include a slug for posts on the homepage.

Conclusion

In summary, understanding and managing WordPress slugs is essential for creating clean, SEO-friendly URLs for your posts, categories, and authors. By following the tips above, you can ensure your website structure is clear and easy to navigate for both visitors and search engines.

Still have questions or facing challenges with managing your WordPress slugs? Don’t worry, expert assistance is just a click away.

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