Remove /CATEGORY Prefix from WordPress URLS


URL's of the website should be clean and readable both for user and search engines. Usually not necessary for users but it must be readable without query strings. Three ways to remove category from WordPress URL.

By default, WordPress category URL append  /category prefix in between which makes the link longer (around 8 character extras).

Pretty URL's remove additional words and helps to reduce extra words from URL. Remember the term category does nothing in terms of SEO or even counter productive. Indeed, this unnecessarily lengthens your URL. The criteria behind the shorten URL is Google neglect the long URLs. And when Google doesn't like something, we bow down and make sure to please it.
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#1. Replace "/Category" from WordPress URL

A little tip! Rather than using the term category, better to use another prefix that will be shorter and easy to understand for your WordPress categories. For example replace "/category" word with letter c.

To change the prefix for WordPress categories, do the following:
  1. Switch to your WordPress back-office using wp-admin, click on SEO then on SEO Settings.
  2. Click on the Taxonomies tab at the top of the Yoast SEO menu.
  3. In the Category URL section , simply choose the Delete option.
  4. Click the Save Changes button to confirm the deletion of the WordPress categories prefix.
change category word in wordpress


#2. Remove "category" word from URL of WordPress

It is also possible to completely remove the category prefix (or whatever you choose) from your urls. They will be shorter, which is always better for Google and your SEO. There are different ways to do this, which may vary depending on your case.

Remove the category prefix from Settings > Permalinks

This is the simplest way. But it is only valid for a new site without content. Why ? Because if you use it for a site that already has content, it will break all of your links and you will have many page errors not found (so-called 404 errors ). So use it only in the case of a blank site!
  • In WordPress administration, click on the left in the menu on Settings then on Permalinks.
  • In the Optional section of the page, just enter a period ( . ) In the Category prefix field.
  • Click the Save Changes button to save the deletion of the WordPress categories prefix.


#3. Use the Yoast SEO plugin to get rid of the category prefix

Yoast SEO is an essential SEO plugin when you want to improve the SEO of your WordPress site. There is a free version (already very powerful) and a paid version (Premium) with even more features. I will come back in more detail on this essential extension soon. Because there is a lot to say (and to configure!). Install it to boost your SEO!

It allows in any case to easily remove the prefix of categories from category urls. And unlike the first tip, you can easily delete the prefix without breaking your old links to your categories since the plugin perfectly manages the redirects of category urls. This is the solution I adopted to get rid of the category prefix.

Here's how to remove prefixes from categories with Yoast SEO:
  • In the admin menu located on the left in the WordPress backoffice, click on SEO then on SEO Settings.
  • Click on the Taxonomies tab at the top of the Yoast SEO menu.
  • In the Category URL section , simply choose the Delete option.
  • Click the Save Changes button to confirm the deletion of the WordPress categories prefix.


#4. Use a dedicated extension to remove the prefix from WordPress categories


If you don't use the Yoast SEO plugin and don't want to hear about it, there are plugins dedicated to removing the WordPress category prefix. These extensions handle redirects from old category urls well, normally no risk of breaking your site links!
  • Remove Category Base: removal of the prefix with redirects from old category urls to new urls. Currently kept up to date.
  • Remove Category URL: the most used plugin, it has not been updated for nearly one at the time of writing (September 2018). Opt instead for a plugin kept up to date!
  • No Category Base (WPML): not badly used but also not kept up to date for months.

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