about structure of a wordpress site

I'm working on a site that has pages designated with a parent page. So, for example, under the main menu heading "Support Us" there are several sub pages (Levels of Support, Refer a Friend, Sponsorships). Because these sub pages are designated with a Parent of "Support Us" the url for each of these pages becomes http://mydomain.com/support-us/levels-of-support or http://mydomain.com/support-us/refer-a-friend, and so on. I'm accustomed to NOT using the parent page designation so that the urls are shorter. So, http://mydomain.com/levels-of-support or http://mydomain.com/refer-a-friend.
Is there a reason to use the parent page designation? Is there an SEO advantage.

I've been puzzling about this and would like an answer from the Expert. I appreciate your input.


  • Ash

    Hello sistercreek

    Well, I am not a SEO specialists though, but what I can say is, the important of SEO will depend not only on the structure but also on the keyword used in URL. I won't say that parent page slug is MUST for good SEO, but that is debatable. But for example, if you have a parent page home, and then you have child page under that, then http://domain.com/home/my-child-page is not very good, because of the keyword "home" in the URL.

    IMO, having good, related and meaning slug in URL always helps the SEO.

    I hope, some other experience person will add more :slight_smile:

    Have a nice day!


  • Peter Arthur

    Disclaimer: I'm no SEO expert either, but the one principle I've heard over and over about SEO is that all optimizations should make common sense, because search engines penalize sites that try to cheat the system.

    That said, I agree that a hierarchical site should have hierarchical URLs, partly as a sort of breadcrumb for users and possibly search engines, to know how each page relates to the others. Also, the site may grow to be huge in the future, and you don't want to get lost with everything in the root folder.

    However, I've used custom rewrites or redirects for featured content, to make it easier to fit (and remember) the URL in print/digital ads, social media, etc. When I've done that, I've always set it up so that it's easy to get to the content either way, so you can use either link:
    http://mydomain.com/support-us/refer-a-friend shows the content
    http://mydomain.com/refer-a-friend redirects to the hierarchical page

    Now, if you do redirects, you should be careful whether you set up permanent .htaccess redirects or not, depending on how you want traffic to be recorded in utilities like Google Analytics, and set up a manual sitemap to determine how the page will show up in search engines. Take a look at the docs behind .htaccess rewriting: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/rewrite/remapping.html

    WARNING: DON'T mess with the .htaccess file on a live site, because these rules can potentially disable access to all your pages if you write a rule incorrectly. Because the rewrite rules are tricky to get right, I've used this tool to help me with writing and understanding these rules: http://www.htaccessredirect.net

    Good luck! :relaxed:

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