Are you setting up your new blog and wondering whether or not you should put category name as part of your URL/permalink structure?

If you are a serious blogger and really care about organic traffic generated through search engines, this question becomes more legit. Because a correct URL structure can get you tons of organic traffic.


Once you have published some content on your blog and it has already been shared with your subscribers, friends, and social media and has been indexed by search engines, you might find it very difficult to change the URL structure, because in that case, links of your old posts will also change.

The answer is simple, it is all about readability and navigation. And when we are saying readability and navigation, we are not talking from the perspective of visitors, we are talking about search engines. So, here is how a search engine reads your content.

When search engine bots crawl your pages, they use your URLs and breadcrumbs to understand the structure of your website and identify that your particular post is related to which subject. So, if you are generating content related to various subjects/topics, and generating tons of that kind of content, it might really confuse the Google.  However, if you have structured your website well with a proper categorization of the content, it will really be easy for Google to understand that your post is related to which subject, which is quite important.

However as far as SEO and SERP is concerned, adding category name in your URL hardly gives any benefit as long as you have used your keywords in the slug, meta title, and meta description.

So, here are some guiding principles to make the decision,

  1. Are you going to cover a variety of topics on your blog? If the answer is yes, think about adding category name in URL.
  2. If you have tons of content on your blog and your post title don’t give a clear idea of the post subject then consider adding categories in URL.
  3. Do you want to mark a post under multiple categories? If the answer is yes, don’t add categories in your URLs. It will create problems in future.

How to add categories to your WordPress URLs

Now let’s see how can you add categories to your URLs structure in WordPress Blog.

By default, WordPress does not include category name in post URL. So when you install WordPress and draft your first blog post, you will notice the category and subcategory is not included in the post URL by default.

WordPress Default URL Structure
WordPress Default URL Structure

If you want to add categories to your permalink, follow the following steps

#1. Go to Settings -> Permalink

Wordpress Setting Permalink

#2. Click on the “Custome Structure” option

#3. Add /%category%/%postname%/ in the field next to “Custom Structure”

Permalink Settings

#4. Press “Save Changes” button to save your settings

Now you can check your settings by drafting a new post. in your new post, you will find that WordPress is adding the category before your slug.

Please note that changing this setting will not change URLs of your existing posts till you don’t edit those posts again.

What if you categories a single post under multiple categories?

When you write a post, you often feel that the same post can be relevant under multiple categories, and there is nothing wrong about that. Say, for example, I am tempted to categorize this post under category “SEO” as well as  “WordPress Tips”. So, how WordPress will treat it, which category will be used in URL?

The WordPress chooses the category in alphanumeric order. So in our example, it will choose “SEO” to add as part of the URL. Same is true of subcategories as well.

So, I hope this article helps you in deciding whether or not you should add a category to your URL. If you have any query or suggestion, please feel free to drop a comment and I will definitely respond to that.

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