How to make WordPress and PowerPress let you use the “podcast” slug

Allow-podcast-slug-in-WordPress-with-PowerPress

If you’re trying to make a page for your podcast at /podcast but keep getting /podcast-2, then you have a WordPress slug conflict. I’ll show you how to fix that in WordPress and PowerPress.

## What is a “slug” in WordPress?

A “slug” in WordPress is the part of the URL unique to the page, post, or taxonomy. It comes after a slash and sometimes has a trailing slash.

The slug is derived from the title. For example, create a page called “About” and the slug will be about and the page will be accessible at myawesomepodcast.com/about. If you make a post called, “Why I podcast,” then your slug will be “why-i-podcast” and your post can be visited at myawesomepodcast.com/why-i-podcast.

Some plugins, like WordPress SEO, will remove certain words from the slug, such as “the,” “or,” “and,” and others. This is to clean up the slug for search-engine optimization.

WordPress slugs must be unique

Every page, post, tag, category, and other taxonomy creates its own slug for each instance of content. These slugs must be globally unique. If you have a tag called “Podcasting” with the slug podcasting, then you won’t be allowed to make a category with the same slug. WordPress would insist that your category named “Podcasting” have the slug podcasting-2.

Podcast slug permalink in page post editor

WordPress adds the hyphen and number to identical slugs in order to prevent duplicates. Every slug must be unique.

How to fix slugs without PowerPress: check everywhere

If you don’t have PowerPress activated, but you’re still having trouble making a page with the podcast (or any other) slug, then you need to resolve the conflict. There are several places you should check. If you need to change an existing slug, consider making it more verbose, or adding and abbreviation (like tap-podcast instead of podcast).

WordPress already reserves several slugs—feed, atom, rss, and rss2—so the following steps will not work to try using these slugs.

  1. Posts and post trash—Have you previously created any post that used the same slug you’re trying to use? Also look at your trash because any post in the trash still reserves the slug. Change the slug or permanently delete the offending post. (You don’t have to change the visible title.)
  2. Pages and page trash—Just like posts, any previously created page with the same slug, even if it’s in the trash, is still reserving that slug. Change the slug or permanently delete the offending page. (You don’t have to change the visible title.)
  3. Categories—Look for any categories that use the slug you’re trying to use. Change the slug or delete the offending category. (You don’t have to change the visible title.)
  4. Tags—Like categories, look for any tags that use the slug you’re trying to use. Change the slug or delete the offending tag. (You don’t have to change the visible title.)
  5. The WordPress database—If the offending slug isn’t visibly being used by any page, post, or taxonomy in WordPress, there could be a leftover database entry to delete. This is for advanced users and you must backup your WordPress database (I recommend BackupBuddy) in case you break anything. You need to look at “post_name” in the “wp_posts” table and “slug” in the “wp_terms” table.

PowerPress reserves the podcast slug

When you activate the PowerPress podcasting plugin for WordPress, PowerPress reserves the podcast slug if it is not already taken. WordPress then forces a hyphen and number to any future attempts at creating a podcast slug, so that the slugs remain unique

How to fix slugs with PowerPress: order and faith

I don’t mean to sound mystical; this solution really does require faith—believing something despite what you see.

Let’s review how this works. WordPress forces slugs to be unique, PowerPress reserves the podcast slug upon activation (if it wasn’t already used), so WordPress will then prevent the podcast slug from being used again and redirect any request for /podcast to whatever reserved that slug.

PowerPress Permalinks podcast slug setting

Additionally, PowerPress’s default behavior will redirect a request for /podcast to your podcast-only RSS feed, which is usually /feed/podcast.

Here’s how to fix everything and get the podcast slug exactly where you want it.

  1. Do not activate PowerPress. If it’s already activated, deactivate it. (You don’t need to delete it.)
  2. Create your page, post, category, tag, or whatever thing you want with the podcast slug.
  3. Reactivate PowerPress.
  4. Go to PowerPress > Settings.
  5. “Switch to advanced mode” if you’re not already in it (the mode with multiple tabs).
  6. Go to the “Basic Settings” tab.
  7. Scroll down to “Podcast Permalinks” and change the option from “Default WordPress Behavior” to “Match Feed Name to Page/Category” (pictured above). This employs a little hack that allows PowerPress to still have /podcast for feed URLs.
  8. Revisit your content with the podcast slug and it will look like it’s using podcast-2, but type the full address into your browser and you’ll see that it still works. This is where your faith comes in; believe that podcast continues to work even though WordPress is showing you podcast-2.

You may need to deactivate PowerPress before you make any changes to your /podcast page. Just re-activate it when you finish and you’ll be good to go.

“404” errors and permalinks

Permalinks are how WordPress links to content. You can change their format in Settings > Permalinks. I recommend using “Post Name.”

If you receive “404” or “page not found” errors on links that you know should be working, it may be that you just need to resave your Permalinks settings.

Whenever you click “Save Changes” in PowerPress, it is also resaving the Permalinks settings.

Now you can use /podcast on your site

With these steps out of the way, you can now use the /podcast URL to point to a page about your podcast, the “podcast” category, or anything else you want.

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Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his wife, Jenny, live near Cincinnati with their son, "Noodle Boy."

10 comments on How to make WordPress and PowerPress let you use the “podcast” slug

  1. Angelo Mandato says:

    Two points to clarify, PowerPress does not redirect pages, WordPress does. The hack, for lack of a better name, in PowerPress to allow you to have both a page and a feed with the same name is a bit of logic interlaced into the rewrite rules in WordPress to “make it work”. The bigger point here is that slugs in WordPress are supposed to be unique. If you setup your permalinks to only use slug names then try to create a blog post and a page, or category, or tag with the same slug, you will have this same problem. You also cannot create pages called feed, atom, rss or rss2 for the same reasons, they are already reserved slugs in WordPress.

  2. Thanks, Daniel! I remember having a previous podcast that used the “podcast” slug for a category and could never remember how activated it.

    I guess the rule of thumb should be to create your podcast category for any new podcasts before activating PowerPress.

  3. Chris McGoey says:

    More clarification needed. I am building a WordPress site using a theme that requires the “podcast category” be used when creating each post to place the episode on the front page of the website. Are you saying that I will have a constant battle with Powerpress using this theme and the required podcast category?

    1. What theme?

      You may be able to change the category slug so it isn’t /podcast. Or use these steps here to make your /podcast category before activating PowerPress.

      But if your theme just wants you to pick a category to appear on the front page, then it shouldn’t matter what you call the category.

  4. Hellow again, Daniel! I have a WordPress.com page. I like how you and other podcasters identify your show notes with the episode number, such as bigseance.com/35 (for episode 35). I know I can change this in wordpress.com, but doesn’t it hurt SEO to not have the title and other details? I’m assuming you’re able to do this because it’s a powerpress or .org bonus. Is there a way for me to do this accurately with my .com? YOU ROCK!

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can get that same functionality with WordPress.com.
      Faithfully,

      Daniel J. Lewis
      Grow your podcast from average to amazing! http://PodcastMasterClass.com

      1. Well now I know not to experiment with it. 🙂 Thank you, sir!

  5. Ollie Lovell says:

    Omg. Thank you so much. Saved my fudging life. Xx

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