Aptitude for Attitude

I leaned something new yesterday. There’s this thing called a slug. I’m not talking about one of those slimy things that slowly slithers across the sidewalk leaving a filmy mucus trail behind it. Yuck.DD7E9250-3753-477C-A787-172AB6B99FDBNo, the slug I’m referring to is a tool that websites use to be accessed. URL slugs are the exact address of a specific webpage. It is the location where webpages are accessed when their URLs are typed in the address bar. It essentially is used to create a permalink for each post. WordPress automatically generates a post slug from the post’s title. For example, the slug for this post is “aptitude-for-attitude.”

So why is this important? Allow me to explain. You know I host a daily word challenge. Well, I’ll let you in on a secret. I generally create these posts about a week in advance and then schedule them to post at 12:01 am Pacific Time on the appropriate day. So far so good, right?

One of the posts I scheduled in advance was yesterday’s post, which was the word “attitude.” When I originally scheduled this post, it was for the word “aptitude.” But a few days ago, I decided to change the word to “attitude.” I changed the post’s title. I changed the word “aptitude” to “attitude” in the body of the post, and I also changed the tag to “attitude.”

What I failed to do was to look at the scheduled post’s slug. I mean who knows to check the slug? Turns out the slug said “fowc-with-fandango-aptitude,” even though I had changed the post’s title to “FOWC With Fandango — Attitude.”B8D7D1E8-3679-4912-98F9-908FCD700AE7When I changed the title of the post, it did not also change the slug correspondingly. Remember earlier when I wrote “WordPress automatically generates post slugs from a post’s title”? Well, that apparently only happens the first time you either initially publish or schedule the post. If you change or update the post later*, it doesn’t update the slug.

And this apparently led to some confusion, as a few bloggers wrote their posts in response to the One-Word Challenge built around the word “aptitude “ and not “attitude.”

As soon as I saw this, I went back to the post and manually changed the slug to read “fowc-with-fandango-attitude.”

So if you have ever either scheduled a post and then change the post’s title before it’s published, or if you’ve published a post and change its title after it was published, be sure to check and update your slug.

You’re welcome!

*This is not the case with draft posts. If it’s a draft, when you change the title, the slug will also change. It’s only once the post has been scheduled or published that it doesn’t change the slug if you change the post’s title.

26 thoughts on “Aptitude for Attitude

  1. Cyranny August 12, 2018 / 4:37 am

    Well, thanks for the info… It did happen to me in the past, and I had noticed that the slug (although I didn’t know it was the term for it) could be changed manually. Really glad to know it can!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cyranny August 12, 2018 / 4:40 am

    Ugh… at work and I wrote too fast… my above comment is missing a couple of words… “I had noticed the slug (blablabla) but I didn’t think it could be changed manually.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 6:44 am

      No worries. I, too, noticed the slug at some point, but I thought it automatically adjusted when the title of the post changed. But that’s only for drafts, not scheduled or published posts. Then you have to change it manually.


  3. Renard Moreau August 12, 2018 / 5:27 am

    ☺ I am glad to know that you learned about the manner in which slugs are used.

    Have a great day, Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suze August 12, 2018 / 5:43 am

    who knew WP had slimy things wandering around that wrote addresses for us! Thanks for the info.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen August 12, 2018 / 4:43 pm



  5. Paula Light August 12, 2018 / 5:51 am

    I was wondering what happened when I linked you for the group story because I was gonna say “don’t give me attitude” and aptitude came up (I watch the link slugs), which was confusing. Naturally I assumed I misread. So, I just linked to your name. Later in the day I saw people posting about your prompt “attitude” however.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 6:51 am

      Yeah, that took me by surprise. But at least I got to the bottom of it and now I know to double check my slugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. newepicauthor August 12, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Are you saying that the post I wrote yesterday, which by the way you never bothered to read will need to be rewritten?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 10:39 am

      I most certain did read it. I not only read it, I liked it. And, no, you don’t have to rewrite it. You responded very well using the word that you thought was my prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 6:53 pm

          No need to apologize. If you feel your posts aren’t doing as well as you’d like them to, perhaps you should consider doing something a little different. Maybe you should consider cutting down the length of your posts. As I’ve said before, your posts are well-written, informative, and entertaining, but they are rather lengthy. I know you blog for yourself more than to please others, but I do believe if you tried to limit your posts to a more digestible size, say 500 words or fewer, you might get higher readership. But feel free to take my suggestion with a grain of salt.


    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Yeah, and watch it shrivel up. You should draw a cartoon of a salty slug.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Laura August 12, 2018 / 10:57 am

    What?? I knew about the slug & being able to change it manually, but it never occurred to me that if I changed the title after scheduling my post it wouldn’t update the slug. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. magnoliajem August 12, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    And here I thought I was going crazy. I had written a post using the “aptitude” promp, but when doing my final checks before hitting publish, I discovered the prompt was “attitude”. Didn’t want to look like a complete idiot, so I trashed my “aptitude” post. Thank you for clarifying that I wasn’t crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn Armstrong August 12, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    Even when you know, you can still forget. I forget to chance the slug all the time and the title comes out wrong. And my forgetting is getting better, as time marches on.


  10. Sight11 August 12, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    So sluggish attitude of not changing the slug.. Huh! Sensei.

    Liked by 1 person

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