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How to Include Category and Subcategory in WordPress URLs

Are you wondering how to include the category and subcategory in WordPress URLs?

Categories and subcategories allow you to sort content on your website. They also allow your users to easily browse the topics they are most interested in.

In this article, we will show you how to include category and subcategory in WordPress URLs.

How to Include Category and Subcategory in WordPress URLs

Including the Category to SEO-Friendly URLs in WordPress

WordPress comes with two built-in taxonomies to sort your content. They are called categories and tags.

Categories are typically used for broader topics and can have subcategories. You can see our guide on how to add categories and subcategories in WordPress.

However, if you are using the default WordPress URL structure, then your categories and subcategories are not included in the post URLs.

Some websites use categories and subcategories in WordPress URLs for their posts.

For example, at WPBeginner, we include categories in the URLs of our posts like this:

Some WordPress websites that use subcategories display both parent and child categories in the URL:

In this example, news is the parent category, and national is the child category.

Including a category or subcategory in your post URLs makes them more user-friendly. It matches the breadcrumb navigation on your site, and it includes more keywords and text, which is also helpful for SEO.

Having said that, let’s see how to easily add categories and subcategories in WordPress URLs.

Adding Category and Subcategory in WordPress Post URLs

First, you need to visit the Settings » Permalinks page in your WordPress admin dashboard. There you need to click on the ‘Custom Structure’ option in the Common Settings area.

Adding category to WordPress post URLs

Next, you need to add /%category%/%postname%/ in the field next to Custom Structure.

After that, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

That’s all. WordPress will now start including the category and subcategory in WordPress URLs. You can see this in action by editing a post or creating a new one.

Just assign that post a category (and subcategory if you use them) and click on the ‘Update’ button.

WordPress URL with category and subcategory

You will notice the category and subcategory included in the post’s permalink.

Using Multiple Categories or Subcategories

Let’s imagine you sort your WordPress blog posts into multiple categories or subcategories.

WordPress will only include one category and one subcategory in the URL. If you didn’t choose a subcategory, then it will only show one parent category.

WordPress chooses the category alphabetically. For example, if you file a post using the ‘Apple’ and ‘Technology’ categories, then WordPress will include ‘apple’ in the URL because it comes first in alphabetical order:

If you file a post in ‘Apple’ and a subcategory under that called ‘Technology’, then it will include both of them in the URL:

If you selected a subcategory but didn’t specifically select a parent category, then WordPress will still include the parent category in the URL.

Another scenario is when you have a parent category, a subcategory, and a sub-subcategory. WordPress will include all three of them in the URL:

We hope this article helped you learn how to include a category and subcategory in WordPress URLs. You may also want to see our step-by-step WordPress SEO guide for beginners and our expert picks for the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools.

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Reader Interactions

56 CommentsLeave a Reply

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  2. Hi there,

    Thank you for this. Very helpful.

    Just a question – I already have more than 2,000 posts on my website with the day and name url structure. If I change to custom, will those urls change too, or does the change only apply to new posts? Thanks.

  3. it’s only putting the Parent cateogry in the slug.
    How can i make it automatically put subcategory in the url as well?

    • Please check that the post is only in the subcategory for the most likely reason for that issue.


  4. I would be glad if you answer this. Let’s assume i published a post into two/three categories or sub-categories, wouldn’t it be treated as duplicate content on google?

    • It should not cause Google to see it as duplicate content but if you have posts that are in multiple categories then your users would see that same post when they viewed your other categories. We would normally recommend only one category for a post.


    • We do not have a recommended method for including tags in your URL at the moment, we would recommend taking a look at our article below that covers the organizational differences between the two for why categories are preferred over tags in permalinks:


  5. Hi,

    Currently I have a url:

    and I can’t create another post with the same name (weapon-list) on another category.

    It will be like

    Is there any solution for my case? Looking forward to your help

    • The end of the URL would be determined by your post’s name and the other sections would be determined by your permalink structure. You cannot have the same name for the time being and would need a different name


  6. Is it a disadvantage to using categories in URL? like in this case plugin uses 2 times. is this URL looks spammy?

    • You would want to try avoiding looking spammy with your choice of title but it is not a disadvantage to use categories n your URL.


  7. Important note: To get URL structure like: /category/child1/child2/POSTNAME then ONLY select “child2” as the post category when editing the post. WordPress will automatically add all parent categories to the URL. Took me a while to figure that out.

    • You’re the man. I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get these stupid subcategories in the url. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much @jacques, you just helped me solve a challenge that has taking me so many hours without solution. Thanks mahn

  8. Is there a way to add hierarchy to parent categories? If a post has two categories how can I chose which category is used in the URL.

    As you say in your article, default is alphabetical.

    For example I have a post categorised “Fruit” and “Vegetable” with the permalink set to show /%category%/%postname%/.

    The URL shows but I want it to use

    • In those situations, you may want to look into how your categories are organized to see if tags may be what you need more than categories for some organizations. Normally posts shouldn’t be in multiple categories.


    • By default, pages don’t have categories so they wouldn’t be included in the page options.


    • You answer is valuable for me, because I read all the post but not permalink not work fine on my side, when I applied your suggestion I got answer of my question.
      Once again thankyou very much,

  9. I am unable to see subcategory in any posts.

    I am facing issue while creating a post name. How can Icreate a URL like this: site/destinations/europe/norway/post-name

    I have the page to create a URL like above is it only possible if I create a page or with post name also can we create?


    • If I’m understanding the question correctly, you don’t need to create a page at the second link’s location as that would be your subcategory’s page listing the posts in that subcategory.


  10. Adding /%category%/%postname%/ to the permalink structure breaks the pagination for some reason. Anyone else facing this?

    • There are multiple possible reasons pagination could not be working, you may want to check with your specific theme’s support or reach out to us using our contact form for which would likely fix the issue.


  11. How did you do to link your subcategory menu pages to a clean url: YOURSITE.COM/SUBCATEGORY? without the YOURSITE.COM/CATEGORY/SUBCATEGORY?
    I don’t know how to delete the parent category from the subcategory URL on my site…

    • We don’t have a simple recommended method at the moment. If you want to remove reference to the parent category, should that category be a child category?


  12. I have an issue. I am using Custom Structure to display category name before the post name ( /%category%/%postname%/ ). It is working fine when I am logged in but after log out It doesn’t display category name in url.

    The above issue in in chorme browser. In firefox it is working fine.

    Please help!

  13. Yeah.. we all know this information.. you see %category% and it is obvious what it does. But Thanks….
    WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR is code as in rewrite rules for my themes functions file..

  14. Hi !
    Trick works well for a blog post / category.
    but what about woocommerce ? ay idea ?
    Even when you add this in permalink structure, WC show the main-category/product-name even if there 2 or 3 sub categories
    This is really annoying,
    Any idea?
    Thank you

  15. This is great, but how would I go about having multiple URLs for the same post with multiple categories? So if I go from 1 category the URL is for that category and if I go from another it is that category?


  16. Won’t this cause duplication problems? How do you make it so the parent category doesn’t open to an archive page?

    Like as an example – Main topic Music and then have a subcategory called popmusic…..

    Music ( Not Clickable )
    Pop Music ( Clickable and rediects to your posts associated with that sub categories)

    My issue with this is people clicking the parent categories and getting redirected to a page with no post associated with it because you don’t want to have duplicate content or a post in music & pop music

  17. Why Woocommerce do not support Subcaregories in permalinks?
    Google and other browsers recommed clean URL’s. And woocommerce Category slug can not be removed unless you pay $119 Usd for a plugin that does the trick.
    Is there another way to achieve these two issues?

  18. Thanks for this post. Its working for me. The only thing doesn`t work is when i try to list news by a subcategory


    this works showing me the blog post, but if i want to list all posts of this subcategory like this

    does’nt work.

    Any ideas how to fix it?

    Thanks in advance.

  19. HI,
    I have added categories and tags in my pages. Now how do i add categories in pages permalink?
    Please suggestion will be highly appreciated.

  20. This solution ONLY works if you select the subcategory in the post/page category list. If you have both the parent and the subcategories checked, then the parent category is the only one that shows. For those of us using Woocommerce, this messes with the related products. If you select just the subcategory, then you won’t see any related items from the parent category. If you select them both, then you’re back to dealing with not having the subcategory listed in your URL. Been looking for a simple solution to cover both needs.

    • Have you found a solution? We have the same exact problem right now. This is quite annoying and we don’t know what to do about it.
      Any ideas or solutions are appreciated!

  21. Hello,
    that´s a really nice post. I am wondering if I change it now will change my past one as well? If yes I would had to redirect all links right?

    Thanks a lot

  22. I’m confused and could use some help.

    Specifically, I am developing an ecommerce site that is composed of mostly PAGES. (NOT using woocommerce or another e-commerce platform, but building out my own gravity form for each product page).

    I want the product category to be in ALL my PAGE URL’s, but as you know, wordpress out of the box doesn’t enable assignment of categories and tags to PAGES (wish it did). One alternative would be to use one of the plugins I found that could enable this. The other is to simply use the product category name in the SLUG (part of the permalink I can create on the product page). I could also create a page for each product category and include a gallery showing each product item that belongs to that category with a link to its specific page, or, I could skip the product category page altogether and assign the “#” in front of the category name when I create the menu, so that the category name would appear but not be an active link to any category page. I could get involved in creating a “custom post type” for my product pages which would enable them to be assigned a category and tag, much like the woocommerce product “pages” are setup (don’t know much about how to do that but would like to), etc.

    Also, the permalink settings effect URL’s for both pages and posts…correct ?

    REALLY appreciate a followup post from you that deep dives into helping people like me who are using wordpress for their ecommerce site but not using one of the out of the box ecommerce platforms.


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