WordPress URL Shortening: An Interesting Consequence


Long post and page URLs can be annoying. Take an example: https://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 https://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?

[wc_box color=”primary” text_align=”left”]

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 https://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 https://gauravtiwari.org/dwill redirect to https://gauravtiwari.org/d-alembert/ rather than tohttps://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.

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Gaurav Tiwari
Gaurav Tiwari is a professional graphic & web designer from New Delhi, India. gauravtiwari.org is his personal space where he writes on blogging, digital marketing, content writing, learning and business growth. Gaurav has contributed in developing more than 325 brands worldwide and while you are reading this, he's busy building a couple more.

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  1. Thanks For Such nice information sir, i will follow it

  2. Good job Gaurav. I didn’t think we could get rid of the date in the slug, so that is interesting – I’ll have to try that!

    • Hi Robyn! Thanks for liking the post. Eliminating date is a good idea for all WordPress.com blogs but looks awesome to those who have own top-level-domain like you and TT. teamoyeniyi.com/something for any post!!— Looks great in my view.

  3. @Gaurav Tiwari
    Thanks so much for this useful tutorial. I have done a Press This so my regular readers like Team Oyeniyi will click through and find it.

  4. Thanks for detailing this so clearly, nice work! I have often wondered what a slug was. I remember that thing about the dates, and that you are supposed to take them out if you link to old posts in a new post as well, but I don’t always remember to do it. I am very grateful to you 🙂

  5. Thats a great tip Gaurav. I found a url shortining service that you and your readers might find useful as well for link shortning at http://www.dot.tk where you can setup an unlimited amount of url’s, associate an email address with them, setup email only addresses and much much more.

    If you have a blogpost you really want to highlight, promote and make easy to remember you might give them a look as well, I’ve been using there service for a long time now and have found it to be a reliable and useful service.


  6. Completely amazing Gaurav! Its like WordPress just got better for me 🙂
    BTW – PressThis links to whatever post or page you Press it on 😉

  7. just put ?p=123 (123 being the post id).

  8. Interesting post. Me, a beginner, I don’t really understand “slugs.” By eliminating the date on wp.com links, I can see that it makes it easier to tell others how to find a specific post. So making the link even shorter and simpler makes it easier to tell someone how to find one of your posts?

    I write about Japanese cooking and most of my friends can’t even remember the link to my blog unless I email it to them. Sorry if I’m being dense here. (I know I am…)

  9. Your last two sentences seem to imply that WordPress can create two permalinks for one post/page. How does this work, as I only see one permalink listed under each post/page in the text editor.

    • There can not be two permalinks for a single post/page. In this post, we’re trying to reduce the characters in the permalinks, so that they look shorter and better. You’ll find the all shortened URL redirect to a single permalink.

  10. Gaurav,

    You suggest removing the date from the permalink. However, when I click “Edit” to the right of the permanlink above the text editor, it seems to keep the date protected with the domain name and only allow changing of the slug. Please advise.

    • Time stamp is protected in WordPress.com blogs. You can ignore the time stamp, as quoted above in point 1, which will literally redirect to the permalink with time stamp.

  11. Notwithstanding my two questions above, I love this post! Thank you for writing it. This will be very helpful, particuarly because it reduces overreliance on the Pretty Link plugin and speeds up personal workflow.

  12. Such a detailed post…Thanks Gaurav…
    I will have to try these tweaks and see myself, I never knew that’s how slugs on WordPress work. Well it be true to any other site too, out just WordPress based.
    Very good article, keep it up.


    • Thanks for reading Anurag! Very pleased to know that you liked this post. It was written years back, but still works smoothly with any WordPress.com & Self-hosted blog. All you need to have jquery and admin-ajax.php enabled (which almost every WP blog does).
      Have a great time ahead.

  13. I seriously love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you create
    this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to
    create my very own website and would love to find out where you got this from or just
    what the theme is named. Thanks!

  14. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!

  15. Nicely written. Still, the posts are too quick for novices. May you please prolong
    them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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