Cutline Theme for WordPress

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Why Don’t Header Links Work and How Can I Edit Post Slug?

November 24th, 2008 · 10 Comments · How To

One of the more popular support inquiries we’ve been receiving recently is why header navigation links don’t work, and how to enable or change post and page slugs. This has been discussed here before, but for the benefit of users who have not had the chance to review the previous discussion, we hope to shed some light on this issue.

Most of the time, the problem here lies with a blog’s permalink structure. Cutline was designed for use with blogs that use search-friendly URLs or permalinks. If your site uses a URL structure that looks like this:

Then in all likelihood your site still uses the default WordPress permalink structure. There are drawbacks to this, and it’s mostly with searchability and user familiarity. It’s easier to recall than The added benefit is that it makes it easier for search engines to pick up your site using keywords found in the URL.

It’s easier to recall friendly permalinks than ID or number-based ones. The added benefit is that it makes it easier for search engines to pick up your site using keywords found in the URL.

And so it makes sense to use a permalink structure that uses the post slug rather than just the post or page ID number.

And as for Cutline, the default header links (aside from the Home link) look like this:


The part that comes after the URL is what you call the slug, and this is usually derived from the name of a post or page, unless you specifically edit it.

Activating friendly permalinks

To activate friendly permalinks, you go to your WordPress dashboard, and then to SettingsPermalinks. You are then given a few choices, which can reflect the date, category, name or other details specific to a post or page.

At Cutline, we use /%postname%/ which means the post or page slug comes right after the site’s URL. So a title named “Test Post” will usually have a slug test-post and a URL, unless I edit the slug.

I usually recommend using the post category in the URL structure, as this helps by adding more keywords to the URL.


If you prefer a shorter URL structure, then you can perhaps just use the /%postname%/. Some others would prefer adding the post year, month or day in the post field, but this can get messy, since in the event that you change post dates, links to the original URL will be broken. Static WordPress pages are unaffected by this, though, and their URL structures are usually the page slug appended right after the site’s URL.

Now if you’re editing the permalink structure through the WordPress admin panel, WordPress assumes your site’s .htaccess file is editable by the server. Otherwise, when you save the new URL structure, you would have to edit .htaccess yourself.

If that still doesn’t work, perhaps your server doesn’t support mod_rewrite. Check with your hosting provider if this can be activated.

You can check out this section of the WordPress codex for more information.

Editing the Slug

On latter versions of WordPress (2.6 up), the slug editing field can be found right below a post or page title, and this is highlighted in yellow, with an Edit link right after.

On older versions, the slug field can be found at the right sidebar of the post editor. The post and page slug usually follows the title of the post. So be careful when writing long titles–this also means your post slug will be lengthy. In those cases, it would help to manually edit the post slug for brevity.

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