WordPress URL Shortening: An Interesting Consequence


Long post and page URLs can be annoying. Take an example: http://gauravtiwari.org/2011/02/06/derivative-of-x-squared-is-2x-or-x-where-is-the-fallacy/(one of the most popular posts from my blog). Will you like to write these (about) hundred characters? Or will prefer URL shorteners, like bit.ly or wp.me, instead? As third option, will you just copy and paste the URLs to anywhere you want to share? Second idea is fine but third is awesome. But using shorteners will never give you the same satisfaction as first and third will do, because blog URL http://gauravtiwari.org is not visible, and also looks odd to see characters (like1xYzKl3n). What then? Copy-paste method appears the best method among all three. This post is about the fourth strategy of sharing URLs, you may want to try. The fourth strategy involves WordPress URL shortening techniques done without any external scripts or plugins.

WordPress URL Shortening: Explained

But before we proceed, let’s know what actually a ‘slug’ is?

A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page. Slugs are usually a URL friendly version of the post title (which has been automatically generated by WordPress), but a slug can be anything you like. Slugs are meant to be used with permalinks as they help describe what the content at the URL is. The post slug is the part of the URL after the date in a post’s URL. When the default post slug is created, all letters will be converted to lowercase, spaces will be exchanged with dashes, and any special characters will be removed. You can modify the post slug by clicking the Edit button next to it in visual editor. When you’re finished editing, click Save and then Update Post/Page.

»via WordPress Codex

How to shorten a WordPress post or page slug with a more efficient way?

Here are some interesting ways to define a personalized, very short and share-friendly version of URL for your post.

Here are some points, which follow and guide you on shortening URLs:

  1. Date stamps are not important when writing shortened-urls. You may totally ignore them from the shortened URL or just leave them as they are.
  2. Any URL of the type http://gauravtiwari.org/d redirects to a post/page which slug starts with ‘d’. If there are two posts having slugs starting with the same letter of the alphabet (here d), then it will, in alphabetical order, redirect to that post which first word (if same then second word) comes first in English Dictionary. For example http://gauravtiwari.org/dwill redirect to http://gauravtiwari.org/d-alembert/ rather than tohttp://gauravtiwari.org/derivative/
  3. If two/more posts have the same slugs and you are using an identical shortener that it might go to any of them, then that will chose to go to the post which was published earlier.

Some slugs are not allowed in posts or pages on WordPress and WordPress.com due to security reasons.

  • Periods(.)
  • /activate/
  • /category/, /subject/ (or any category base slug, which is chosen from Setting –>> Permalinks).
  • /comments/
  • /feed/
  • /i/
  • /next/
  • /signup/
  • /tag/, /topic/   (or any tag base slug, which is chosen from Setting –>> Permalinks)
  • /wp-admin/
  • /wp-content/

PS: You cannot shorten your post URLs /page URLs (this way) until they are published.

This trick works for both, the free WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.