What Does Slug Mean in WordPress?

If you’re blogging for a few days, or even, weeks, it’s normal to ask questions about the Slug that we find in WordPress posts and categories. Beginners, especially, find confusion about that nomination and that can affect their SEO in the long-term if they make changes to their post URLs, and even, categories in other cases.

So, today, we will talk about WordPress slug and its meaning, but most importantly, what you can do with it and make your blog better.

Do you need to edit the post Slug?

To make things easy from the beginning, “Slug” means the “SEO friendly version of your post URL”. The same thing applies to categories, WordPress lets you change that slug and make it better if you want. However, as time changing, personally, I’m not using the so-called “clean URL structure” by removing the “stop words” that lots of people talked about in the last years.

Nowadays, search engines, and especially, Google is smart enough to understand any URL structure and rank it in the appropriate place.

People used slugs to remove some words from their URLs to make them understandable by search engines, but, not by people, and that’s the problem. I prefer to create a good URL for both, and not for one of them only.

In many cases, when you edit your slug and remove words just to make it short, you will make the URL completely unreadable. Take the example of this post that you’re reading right now, my slug is the same as the URL, it’s “what-does-slug-means-in-wordpress

Now, imagine if I want to make that slug like this one: "slug-means-wordpress" that seems unreadable, and even, unfriendly for both, human and web crawlers.

Anyway, I just want to say that changing the URL of your post to make it SEO friendly, is not necessary anymore. That’s what I and other bloggers think. At the same time, there are many others who believe that making the URL short and clean from stop words is good.

You can choose what to do with your URL, but I recommend letting it as it is. However, there are some cases, that you should edit the slug, for example, when your blog post is too long. In that case, you need to remove part of the title that you think not necessarily useful in the URL.

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What about categories slugs?

For category slug, it’s easy to use the category name as a slug. WordPress will add the symbol “-” between words to make them SEO friendly. Search engines divide the search terms into words, then, search for all the words in the search databases to find them all, or the majority of them as appropriate.

That’s of course, without forgetting that Google has hundreds of ranking factors that it uses, and that will be more complicated to explain.

No matter what WordPress slug is used for, you need to know that changing the slug after publishing your post will make problems and lose your links that point to that post. You can use a redirect method, of course, but I’m talking about newbies who never tried some things like redirects.

Do you have any other ideas about WordPress slugs? And what’s your personal point of view about making slugs SEO friendly?

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

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