What is a Slug in WordPress and How to Change? :Surprising Key to Rank

It is always a key point to include the keyword in permalink of your post and that is possible through the slug, but do you know what is a slug in WordPress website and how to optimize it?

If not then this guide has everything gathered to get you an idea on how slug keyword is important for SEO and how to change in WordPress website.

In simple word, I should say slug is a keyword or title name of your post which included in your URL or permalink while creating any blog post on the WordPress site.

Where the slug word will combine with the domain name and create a full URL, which will allow the website post to get indexed on the different search engine.

But there are various factors to consider about the slug keyword prior to the change and after the change as it causes a negative impact on your website so if you are interested in all that then better to read complete guide.

Let first learn what is Slug in WordPress website in detail and how you could change it then will discuss the issues with changing slug and at the end will focus on how to solve the problem caused of a slug.

What is a slug in WordPress and its importance?

Whenever you have planned to write a post in WordPress website there under the title you have seen a URL that is subject to change by clicking to edit option and known as Permalink.

Where permalink starts with the domain name and ended by the slug, yes slug is used with the permalink at the end to customize the URL by including the keyword.

Probably you have seen the below image somewhere while writing the post.

What is a Slug in WordPress permalink

This has highlighted an area which is known as a permalink which includes the domain name with https such as https://www.mrvyasidea.com and added with a number of words separated by a hyphen(-).

Here the word “what-is-seo-in-google” is the slug, which ending the complete permalink with .html extension.

Hence Slug has always few rules to follow and all are by default apply if you do changes with a permalink such as given below.

  • In Slug all words will be always in lower case letters.
  • All words included in slug will be separated by a hyphen(-).

If you type upper case letter or separate each word with just space only but after clicking to Ok it will automatically convert all to lower case letters separated by hyphens.

Well, if you ask for the differences in between slug and Permalink then you already got an idea that slug is part of the permalink where permalink is made of combinations of domain name+ slug.

To learn more about what is permalink and how to change for WordPress or Blogger site then make sure you learn the detailed guide from the already published post.

If you do not know than slug is not only for the post, it will be for every content published on the internet, no matter it is a page, category or post because to index in any search engine, the basic need is to have a URL

So let first focus on the importance of slug then will discuss how to change with the post, pages, and category of the WordPress site.

Importance of Slug: Why we need this?

If you have learned the on-page optimization guide on how to write your blog post while targeting any keyword then probably you have gone through the point where we discussed include your keyword in the permalink.

It is a case study done for the On-page search engine optimization where while the search engine crawler visits your site it starts from the title then URL, hence it is advisable to include the keyword in the URL.

We, all know the only way to include the keyword is by changing or editing the slug in the permalink as by default it takes the title of the post, pages or category.

But Title is more than the readable range and the recommended URL should not be more than 53-60 characters, so you are not sure whether your keyword will be added to Permalink or not?

To edit the default title name in the permalink and include the keyword is possible by changing the editable slug in the permalink. That is what the major importance of the Slug in WordPress website.

For the CTR, while the user is searching for any specific query, let say what is SEO and he found top 10 SERP out of which your page includes the same keyword in URL and in Title then it has more chances to get higher clicks.

In overall slug help you to optimize the Permalink or URL which best fit for SEO and increasing the CTR.

Here are a few highlights which really give you confidence on reason to change the permalink or adding slug.

  • Slug helps you to add the keyword in the permalink or URL.
  • Slug makes your permalink shorter.
  • Slug help to finish the key factor of On-Page SEO by including the targeted keyword.
  • Slug help to remove the default title from the permalink.
  • Slug increases the CTR by reader engagement.

Probably the above points are good enough to get you an idea of why slug is important for any published post and how it can help to engage more users to the site.

Let discuss how to change the slug in the post of a WordPress site.

How to change the Slug for Post in WordPress?

While you are writing any post as shown above in screenshot there was permalink below the title name of the post which is editable by clicking to the edit option.

In order to change the permalink just click to Edit option and slug will changes into an editable text box where you can write the word you want.

Change the slug in wordpress

As in the below screenshot, you have seen how “What-is-seo-in-google” is changed to an editable box where the domain name and extension .html is fixed and will not be changed.

Editable Slug Word

Now I can do the changes with the slug word in case it required, let shortening the number of words or adding another word and hereafter change just click to Ok and you are done.

Change in Slug of wordpress post

Here you have seen that I have removed “in” from the slug and new permalink has been created and do remember the auto change will default apply by the WordPress such as small letters and separated by a hyphen in case you miss.

Changing in slug for the post will be done from the post edit window only and I recommend to do the changes only while you are writing a post not after publishing, why? We will discuss it at the end.

In case you have already published the post, then go to Post–>All Posts and out of listed post click to Edit which let you with the above screen, where you can do changes.

How to change the slug for Pages in WordPress?

Every website has few mandatory pages such as About Us, Contact Us and Privacy policy and if you have indexed these pages to search engine then definitely it has their own permalink.

But this permalink has been ended with a slug taken from the pages itself as we have slug for the post which defaults taking the title name in a similar way for pages also the default title name will be taken as a slug.

In case you want to change the slug for the pages then do follow the below guidelines.

Go to Pages –> All Pages, it will list all the pages which are already published on your site or you are about to add.

Changing the slug of the pages in wordpress

Once you have all list of pages then the page for which you want to change the slug, just click to edit as seen below and you will be routed to a new Edit page window.

Pages in wordpress site

Here on Edit page window check the slug edit box the same as we did for the Post and you can change the slug in the permalink of the pages as well.

Change slug of the wordpress pages

Once you have done changes with same then simply click to ok button then new permalink will be set for the same page but as I said earlier do not change this after publishing the post, why? will discuss later.

How to Change slug for the categories in WordPress?

Categories are also an important part which everyone would like to index in search engines where all your specific posts are linked to, but sometimes people use category in their permalink.

If you are also using category in permalink like https://www.mrvyasidea.com/Category/Post Slug.html

Then definitely you need to change the slug or edit the slug while doing the first-time setup and here is how to do so.

Go to Posts–>Category it will navigate to all list of categories you have created.

Categories in wordpress site

Here for all listed categories click to Edit option visible under already published category and it will navigate to its editor window.

Change Slug in Category of wordpress site

There will be an edit box with name Slug, there you can do changes with the slug word displayed and simply click to update.

Change slug in category

After doing all these changes the category slug will be changed and you will notice the updated slug while browsing the same category pages.

Probably you have learned all possible ways of changing the slug of the post, pages, and categories but now let you know the problems with changing the slug of the website.

Issues with Change in Slug of WordPress?

We already learned how to do changes with the existing slug but why this is always recommenced to do changes while creating posts, pages or categories not after publishing them?

The reason is simple your every content is indexed or searched or browsed in search engine with the specific URL which we call permalink.

Once you set permalink it will be live on the internet and anyone can click the same and can visit your post, pages or categories, but what if you just change slug only.

Eventually, it will change the permalink and will create a new link for the same post and old permalink will be no more exist.

So now if anyone who has already your old permalink and tries to click or browse it will get 404 Not found pages as the link has been changed to new and this cause you will lose all your traffic, backlinks link juice and SEO.

If you have just now published and your post is not indexed then you can change the permalink but not recommended to do changes after a few months while you already getting traffic on the website.

But now the question is how to fix this issue, in case you really need to change the same?

The answer is simple using a redirection plugin available in the WordPress plugin suite. where it will ask you to provide the

  • Source URL  – Old URL which is URL prior to change the permalink.
  • Target URL – New URL which is URL after changing the permalink.

Now, whenever if anybody will click to old URL from there it will auto redirect to the new URL and there will be no more Page not found or 404 pages.

Try with this redirection plugin will definitely help you to overcome all the posts, pages, categories redirection issues and will fix all 404 no found pages issues.

Conclusion on What is a slug in WordPress

In simple imagine slug as the editable part of a URL, which is easy to change based on the requirement and it also helps to target the keyword or shorter the URL.

Slug is available in all post page sand categories and you definitely need to do changes with this to make it readable and shorter in length.

Changing of slug should always be at initial and avoid changes after a few months of publishing can cause loss of search engine ranking.

I hope you got the best ideas on what is a slug in WordPress and how to do changes with the same if you like the same do share with everyone who is looking for the same.

I am an Engineer and a passionate Blogger, who loves to share tips on Blogging, SEO, Google Ranking, Digital marketing, passive income, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. Read More

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