Among all the open-source platforms for website creation available, WordPress is still considered among the most prominent ones.
It caters to both small-scale and large-scale websites due to its extensive range of features, flexibility, and enhanced usability.
It provides all the necessary tools for beginners while giving enough room to grow for larger-scale operations – from website templates to helpful plugins. However, while it’s fairly easy enough to understand, there are still questions about some of its features such as what is a slug in WordPress.
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With that said, in this article, we will explain what is a slug in WordPress and how you can use it to optimize your site and attract more visitors.
What is a WordPress Slug?
Before we dive deep into the benefits and uses of slug in WordPress, let’s first define what does slug mean in the context of WordPress. A slug in a WordPress site is the part of your page’s URL that can be modified. This comes after your site’s domain name and serves as the permalink for your content.
Generally, when you create a new post, for example, WordPress already generates that page’s slug line. This is based on your permalink settings which you can modify in the Settings page of your Dashboard.
Slugs are not the same as permalinks in the sense that they’re part of permalinks, or the permanent URLs of your page or post, rather than a separate feature. Changing your page’s slug to a customized one can greatly improve your SEO.
In fact, one of the uses of slug in WordPress is that it helps search engines and your readers to identify clearly what your page’s content is.
5 Places Where Slugs Are Used
In this section, we’ll be answering questions like what is a slug in WordPress post and what is a slug in image WordPress. This will give you a clearer idea of how these slugs work for WordPress websites.
1. Page Slugs
Are you wondering what is a slug on a WordPress page? A page slug in WordPress is the permalink URL for specific pages on your website such as your About Us section, Services page, and Contact Us page. Changing this can make navigation to different pages of your site easier.
WordPress automatically generates one for each page, depending on your page’s title. However, if you want to optimize it, it’s better to change it to something more customized.
2. Post Slugs
If you’re running a blog on your website, it’s important to change your post’s slug as well. Similar to page slugs, post slugs are generated based on the title of your posts. Underneath the post’s title, you can find the permalink which you can then change to the slug of your choice.
Modifying these can help search engines understand what the post is all about. The more optimized your slugs are, the better they will rank on search engines.
3. Author Slugs
WordPress uses the user’s username as their author slug by default. However, since this is a core feature of WordPress, changing author slugs isn’t possible unless you use a plugin. Another way is to create a new user that has a different username, so the new username is what appears in author slugs.
4. Category Slugs
Categories help make your posts and pages more organized, but generally, WordPress assigns a slug without requiring your input. These are generally the names you type in for the categories such as Themes, Miscellaneous, and others.
If you want to make your categories more URL-friendly, then changing their slugs is a good option. For example, miscellaneous can be shortened to misc so that’s easier to type.
5. Tag Slugs
These work the same as category slugs and are often assigned the slugs with the name you put in. Customizing them is often considered unnecessary, but they can still be helpful for the organization and optimization of your tags.
Tips for SEO Slug Use
Now that you have a general idea about what is a slug in a WordPress page and how to edit them, let’s discuss the different ways you can use slugs to optimize your page’s SEO and use it to attract more traffic to your WordPress site.
1. Make Them Simple and Direct to the Point
Typically, the slug line of your page depends on your permalink settings. Details can include the site’s name, category, date, among others. As such, it’s typically not optimized and can be messy that even large search engine companies like Google have trouble reading.
If you want to modify your page’s slugs to improve its search ability, you need to keep it simple and direct to the point. Make sure that it’s as specific as possible and that it tells your visitors what that post is about.
2. Using Target Keywords for SEO
Aside from keeping your slug lines concise and straight to the point, it’s also important to make the words you use for the count and as relevant as possible. To increase your visibility in a specific niche, you can use targeted keywords that will optimize your page for Search Engine Optimization.
However, don’t inundate your slug lines with SEO keywords – just choose the one that both best describes your content as well as what you’re trying to rank for.
3. Avoid Stop or Filler Words
If you want to keep your slugs short and concise, it’s best if you avoid using stop words like “the,” “a,” and “is.” However, this should be done on a case to case basis as eliminating stop words every time can drastically change the slug’s meaning.
Nevertheless, it’s better if you can create slugs that use as few stop words as possible, especially if the URL can be understood properly even without them.
4. Empty the Trash for Duplicates
If you have another post or page with the same slug, WordPress will add the number 2 to the end so that it redirects to that post instead of the original. However, this can affect your SEO and make the slugs less effective.
So, if you have any unpublished or deleted posts in your trash archive, empty them to permanently delete them so you can use the original slug.
5. Avoid Changing Them in the Future
Changing your slug lines is a practice you should avoid because this can result in 404 errors when someone tries to access the old URL.
This often happens when specific posts or pages on your WordPress site are referenced to in other websites. The other posts have the old links, and so, changing your slugs can result in these errors.
Unless you can smoothly redirect your page’s old URL to the new one, modifying your slugs after you have published them is something you should avoid.
With the enhanced versatility and usability of WordPress, it’s no wonder many web users around the world still consider it their website builder of choice. From WordPress splash pages to plugins, it has everything you need to create an effective website.
They even allow you to edit your pages’ slug lines to make them more optimized for search engines as well as your site visitors. Slugs make the pages’ URLs easy to understand and remember for users as well as allows search engines to easily scan and categorize your website’s content.
Hopefully, with this guide, you were able to have a deeper understanding of what is a slug in WordPress and how you can effectively use this feature to optimize your pages and attract more visitors.