Like I said, Short ‘n’ Sweet! #WordPress #TechTips : slugs

The Problem: you put in a long title, detailed title for your new blog post, which creates a really long URL.

Example: In 2014, I coordinated a book tour for author Heather Fowler, who tends to create really long book titles! I ended up with a long URL due to what I named the blog post.

Blog post title: Elegantly Naked in My Sexy Mental Illness


Why Is This A Problem? People like to add in quotes or thoughts or tag authors or publishers or friends when they share blog posts on social media. No big deal on Facebook, but with the 140 character limit of Twitter, your long URL is taking up all the space! And, it just looks unwieldy.

The Solution: change the slug.

Example: Heather Fowler had me coordinate another book tour in 2016. Again, she chose a really long book title!

Blog post title: Beautiful Ape Girl Baby book blog tour


Notice: my blog post title is more detailed (I included that the post was for a book blog tour), but the URL is much shorter.

The How-To:

When you start a new blog post, name it whatever you want. Then, on the left, scroll down to “more options.” Click it, and under “slug,” delete what’s typed there and add in anything you want — but choose something short! I like to use one word.

WordPress automatically formats the URL to be:

  1. the name of your blog (for example, or if you don’t own your domain name)
  2. + the date your post is published (year/month/day)
  3. + the slug.

If you don’t change the slug, WordPress uses the whole title of the post.

But What If I Accidentally Use the Same Slug Twice?

It doesn’t matter: WordPresss always adds the date, giving you an original URL!

Next Thursday: I’ll discuss maximizing your reach by being selective about what you title a blog post. Cheers!

tech tips from gtl


  1. I’m a bit lazy and don’t do this often (partly because Twitter does the work for you now and makes URLs shorter) but I do wonder if changing the slug changes the search-ability of your post? Do you know? eg. if someone was searching for Beautiful Ape Girl Baby, search engines would find your post title but if it was in the slug as well, would it bump your post up the hit list?

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I share someone’s post on my computer, Twitter does not automatically shorten the URL, but it does when I am on the app on my phone. You get something like (or something–a bunch of letters and numbers). However, when I use the app on my phone, WordPress doesn’t automatically add that via @grabthelapels part, either, so I really like to have my name in the URL so that people see it. Sometimes Twitter adds a picture from your post, but that doesn’t always clearly have the name.

      As for the search engine, it looks for words in your posts, not just what’s in the URL, so there’s no fear of people being unable to search for you. I think a detailed title helps!

      The slug is neutral to the hit list (or how high up your blog post is in a search engine search). The things that affect a search engine ranking are much wider than what’s in the URL address.


  2. My blog’s URL doesn’t show the date of the post. I think I removed that option in the settings somewhere, so there’s even more space!
    I only recently found out about making the URL smaller. What I did was edit the “permalink” but its basically the same as editing the slug.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s so helpful, I usually have long titles I think. For twitter I think most people just share my tweet about a new post, but I should try changing the “slug” 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

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