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I want to implement good structuring practices for my website to optimize it for search engines.

My site is WordPress based. If I have some category pages - should I make the homepage the parent page of each category or is that a given?

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    Wordpress handles that automatically
    – Steve
    Aug 20 at 21:36
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Edit: Stephen makes a good point about the nature of your question. - should you be using parent pages?

A parent page is a top-level page of a hierarchy - they have nested child pages.

If you are using your site’s default menu, parent pages will usually show in the menu with child pages as a drop down.

Child pages should be more specific than parent pages are. This is common with service pages:

example.com/services/website-design/

The problem with this is that you risk your URLs becoming very lengthy. See my rules of thumb below about 3s

For example:

example.com/services/seo/technical-seo/link-architecture/

Including services there is a bit verbose. It increases the length for no reason.


Categories by contrast are applied to posts - they work the same way but are used to structure a blog, not the main pages of a site.

example.com/category/postname is very a typical URL structure for a blog. I consider it optimal because it removes /blog/ from the URL, keeping post URLs concise.

You can also shed the category base:

example.com/postname

^ that will still show up on the category page as well.

https://wordpress.org/support/article/using-permalinks/

In this sense your home page I suppose is sort of like a parent page because /category/ comes right after / but it is not technically. My original answer assumed you were alluding to that idea.


For SEO purposes, your URL structure is very much up to you. The answer to your question really depends on the style of site:

I could see it making sense if your website is like a documentation/wiki style structure with a sidebar navigation or a resume/personal profile.

Big Cats <- Homepage (parent)
|
-> Tigers //Child
|
-> Lions //Child
|
-> Panthers //Child

Otherwise, if your sites has a top "bar" navigation the homepage should probably not be the parent because then it would be in the navigation like this:

Home | Nav Item | Nav Item
|
-> Thing 1
-> Thing 2 

Some general rules of thumb:

  • There is benefit to having keywords in your URLs, but don't over-do it.
  • Keep your URLs as short concise as possible. I don't recommend going past example.com/one/two/three/ if possible.
  • Stay away from query strings.
  • Try to make sure all of your pages are within "3 clicks" from your homepage - meaning that you can get to any page with 3 clicks of your mouse.

Some other advice that might be helpful now or in the near future:

  • Declare noindex on pages that provide little value to users
  • Use redirects sparingly - Once you start things just get messier and messier.
  • Internal link architecture is the most important concept to learn for on-page optimization. I would read up a bit on how PageRank works. While it might not be as prevalent of a rankings factor anymore...it's still PageRank.
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    This only partly answers the question. Should they be using the "parent page" feature in WordPress? wordpress.com/support/pages/page-options Aug 22 at 8:32
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    @StephenOstermiller Revised. Although I think this was a bit outside the scope of the original question and also adds subjectivity. My original understanding was that they were clarifying if they had to make the home page a parent of a category to achieve example.com/category/. I also don't know if that is even possible. Aug 22 at 20:42

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