Can I create slug with unicode letters since all the major browsers support unicode urls (so it won't be transformed into the utf8 equivalent), or should I always use English letters?

For example: If I want to create a slug out of the words "Buenos días", should it be http://example.com/buenos-días or http://example.com/buenos-dias?

  • After reading @Kasper Souren and Mike answer's I think I should clarify that 99% of the users will not have to enter the URL by them selves it will always be from a search. Furthermore, if someone creates a post in Russian I don't believe someone else with english keyboard only will want to see this post. The site is similar to stackexchange and I've noticed that if I create a question in hebrew for example the slug will also be in hebrew. After clarifying, do you still think it should be in english only?
    – Rotem
    Sep 25, 2015 at 19:20
  • I'm not sure how many website visitors you expect to have and I'm not sure about the web browsers they are using. Some older browsers (like text-based web browsers) might not support certain special characters (such as hebrew). Try the lynx browser and see if you can use hebrew in it. Good luck! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser) Sep 25, 2015 at 20:18
  • The browsers I need to support are IE9, Chrome, FF and Opera. I'm just wondering why stackexchange doesn't always use English in their slug.
    – Rotem
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:25
  • Can you show this slug URL you found for stackexchange? I think I should test it Sep 25, 2015 at 20:27
  • I've created a test question and deleted it. You can see it here - You can see that it was a question that voluntarily deleted by the creator.
    – Rotem
    Sep 26, 2015 at 6:30

2 Answers 2


If you're mostly dealing with Latin characters

Only English (or actually Latin characters) is much better for SEO. I have noticed that some of my URLs that contain stuff like ä lead to Google getting confused because of URLs like /g%C3%A4stebucheintrag. In the long run this can really add up.

So if you have the choice, stick to plain English characters.

Of course there's also the typing issue, but not many people type addresses these days.

If you're mostly dealing with non-Latin fonts

E.g. Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, Arabic, go for the URL that people may still be able to type. This will also be better for SEO than transliterated URLs, which is the opposite from the above case.

  • I'm not sure if I'll mostly deal with non-Latin language, I can assume that most of the posts will be in English. In that case, why shouldn't I use international slug?
    – Rotem
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:26
  • I just want to be sure that you are saying that urls in other languages are better for SEO than only English ones, is that correct?
    – Rotem
    Sep 26, 2015 at 18:58

Sticking to just english letters is a better choice.

Not everyone has a keyboard that would allow them to quickly type in a letter with a symbol on top of it. Also, english letters are compatible with every web browser made on the planet including text-based browsers.

If however, you only wanted to limit the audience of your website to just a few individuals with compatible web browsers and special keyboards and/or people who have time to copy and paste special letters into a web browser, then you can use any kind of letter in a URL.

  • Please read my clarification.
    – Rotem
    Sep 25, 2015 at 19:20
  • "Not everyone has a keyboard that would allow them to quickly type in a letter with a symbol on top of it." this is very ethnocentric; millions, nay billions of internet users can't even read Latin characters, let alone know how to type them. Just because you have an ASCII keyboard doesn't mean the rest of the world does.
    – dimo414
    Sep 27, 2015 at 17:13

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