What is a Slug in WordPress and How to Edit Slugs

What is a Slug?

A slug within web terms can be defined as the editable part of the URL. The slug is located at the end of the url after the base domain prefix and often contains relevant keywords with hyphen separators. Permalink structures can also influence the slug by including date, time, author, post id, etc. which can be changed via Settings. By default the slug takes the title of the page or post, however this can be changed. Think about the slug as a customizable address of the page and that users can edit the hyperlink/location of the page.

How to Edit a Slug

Luckily editing a slug from within WordPress is easy. We’ll be covering the way to use the default page/post editor options as there are other SEO plugins that also let users adjust slugs such as Rank Math and Yoast. 

Step One: Login to the Dashboard

As with most tutorials, begin by being logged in as an admin or role that is able to edit pages/posts.

Step Two: Navigate to the Page or Post

Select either Pages or Posts and then select a page or post for which the slug needs to be edited.

Step Three: Title the Page/Post

If the page/post doesn’t have a title then one will have to be set as this sometimes will overrule any permalink edits before the initial save/publish. Once the page/post is published however the permalink will not update automatically with a title change due to that change creating a 404 error at the previous permalink.

Step Four: Edit Permalink

On the right hand side of the default editor dashboard there will be a dropdown labeled Permalink. Once the dropdown is expanded a field will emerge that will let users customize slugs. The words between the words in the slug will have hyphens inserted in place of spaces as spaces aren’t really allowed in link structures.

Step Five: Save

Once the slug has been edited developers will have to save changes either by using Save Draft or Publish.

Slug Tips

Here are a few tips on what to do with a slug in WordPress:

  • Have an overall strategy for SEO and how slugs play into this strategy.
  • Figure out the slug before publishing the page or post. 
  • Slugs should be memorable and easy to find. What does that mean? Well, oftentimes the slug is the title as that makes sense for the page to have the same address name as the title, again this is dependent on the permalink structure specified in the settings. Learn how to change permalink structure here.
  • Once the slug is set and Google indexes the page, change with caution. Redirects will need to be put in place along with some edits on Google Search Console and other similar platforms.

Conclusion

Slugs are important to WordPress, SEO, and the web in general. Customizing the location of a page with certain terms and keywords is effortless and sometimes a little too much. As previously stated in this article, some slug edits in situations can create 404 errors which can have negative impacts on the site. SEO is complex and constantly evolving and slugs can play into that by signaling to search engines what are some important terms regarding the page.

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2021-12-07T11:31:19-05:00
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