When you create a new blog post, WordPress automatically creates the URL slug – the last part of the post’s direct link – based on your post title. This means the link to the post will be your site name plus the date plus the blog post title.
That’s a perfectly functional link, but, particularly if you have a long title, you get a very long link. You may not care. Twitter automatically shortens links, Facebook does not show them, and people who view the posts from your blog page don’t need to see the link.
However, it’s easy to create a shorter link, which looks better when the link is visible, either on a page or in the browser address bar. It’s easier to copy a shorter link, and long links may fail in some applications, including email. And you might want a URL slug that describes the post more accurately than the title of the post.
Follow these steps to create a custom URL slug, when creating or editing your post:
- In the right-hand settings column, click the Document tab. If the settings column is not visible, click the gear icon in the upper right.
- Scroll down to Permalink, and expand that section. You can see the existing slug and URL.
- Type the new slug in the URL Slug box. Use hyphens or underscores instead of spaces and periods.
- You’re done!
It’s best to create short URLs when you create the post, before publishing for the first time. You can change the URL slug of a page or post anytime, but, depending on how your site is configured, some internal links may stop working when you change it. Any external links you or someone else has posted will stop working if you change the URL slug.
If someone attempts to view your site with an invalid page or post link, they’ll get a blank page on your site, with the chance to search for what they are looking for, as well as your usual menu options, so all is not lost, but it’s a good idea to always test a link that you post.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like assistance with your WordPress.com site.