I learn something new about WordPress, every time I’m working on my blog. Today, I learned how using the post timestamp can affect my post slug.

Today’s Lesson

I often use the “post timestamp” feature for future posts.

Today, as I was running errands for our business, I got to thinking about a particular post I have scheduled for the future (blogging seems to follow me wherever I go). I decided I needed to change one word in its title, so when I got back to my desk, I made the change.

That was easy. 😀

But…. I happened to notice, the “post slug” didn’t change.

For those of you who use WordPress, the definition of post slug, as quoted by WordPress.org is:

Post Slug
This is where WordPress will “clean up” your post title to create a link, if you are using Permalinks. The commas, quotes, apostrophes, and other non-HTML favorable characters are changed and a dash is put between each word. If your title is “My Site – Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid”, it will be cleaned up to be “my-site-heres-lookin-at-you-kid” as the title. You can manually change this, maybe shortening it to “my-site-lookin-at-you-kid”.

The “post slug” feature, can be found in the right hand column of your “write” or “manage – posts” page of WordPress. The post slug area will remain blank until you hit the publish button.

From this, I have learned, if you use the timestamp feature, and change the title after you have hit “publish”, your post slug (permalink) may not match the actual post title.

Now, that may not be a big deal, however, if you were to completely change the title, a visitor who found your blog. via a search engine, may think they landed on the wrong page.

So, as a word of caution, if you are using the “post timestamp” feature, once you hit publish, your title is “carved in the “stone” of the post slug”, unless…. you manually change it.

Changing your post slug is easy. Just delete the words that are incorrect, and type in the new one(s). Remember, there is a dash between each word.

Today’s Assignment

If you use the post timestamp feature, have you ever noticed this?

Do you think it matters if your permalink may be different than your actual title?

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  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I had not noticed this yet. I only started using the time stamp to post automatically after you advised how to do it in your post the other day, so it is all new to me.

    It looks like we need to make sure we are really happy with our title before using the timestamp feature.

    I’m finding it very useful. Beforehand, I was writing partial posts and finishing them on a morning before posting and generally messing around editing them before I hit publish. Using the timestamp makes me write full posts in advance.

  2. It hasn’t been an issue for me yet, but that’s when it’s good to know about it–before it happens! I don’t think a permalink necessarily needs to match the title (people sometimes change slugs slightly for SEO purposes, to make them machine readable instead of human readable). But if the permalink is going to be different, it should be different because you wanted it that way, not because you didn’t realize it wouldn’t change to match the new title.

  3. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m getting really worried now. Not because of the problem with titles and permalinks, but because I actually understand it without going to Google or taking a peak at the back-end of WordPress!

    I must take a break from blogs!

    That’s good advice – I probably wouldn’t have spotted that.

    I’ve used the time feature once, and it was great. But I do tinker with titles so I’ll remember that (hopefully!).

  4. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Catherine,

    Although this happens, I don’t think it’s a reason to hesitate using the post timestamp, as it is easy to correct…

    Hunter,

    Yes, you are correct, Many bloggers do change them for SEO reasons. Although I don’t pay attention, maybe in the future, I may make a mental note of the differences….there may be something more to that.

    Ian,

    Isn’t it great when we do read something new about blogging, and can say, right away, “I get it”. For me, it has taken some time to get to that point, but there are still many aspects of the technical side of blogging, where I am still brain dead.

  5. why do u need to change the slug for?

    Wall Street Stock King´s last blog post..Things you probably need to know about the Fed.

  6. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Wall Street King – Welcome to the BWAB community. If you have already published a post and change the title, the old title remains in the URL for the post. By changing the post slug, this problem can be corrected.

    I don’t know if WordPress has corrected this problem in their updates, but it used to be the case.

  7. Yeah, I stumbled more then once on the post slug and the change of title. It really annoys me. Now I think twice before writing a post title.
    Similar thing is with tags, when you don’t use time for urls (like /2006/11/25/post_title but use /cats/post_title) it stucks with the one you checked at first and won’t change later.

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  8. Showbiz NewsNo Gravatar says:

    I really never used this feature. because I don’t actually change things for what I have posted. But anyway cool info, and thanks!

  9. RenterNo Gravatar says:

    I have a problem with the Post Timestamp utlity. Once used to a post the Time is staying the same even when you make changes (update) on the post. On other posts where the timestamp was not used the day and time of the post are changed on every save. This appear also in the Sitemap. I think this is important and I am wondering how to change the date on the post with timestamp originaly.

  10. Gold CoinsNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, i am not familiar with this because i just keep my post as it is. I do not change anything but i am glad to learn this. Thanks for sharing!