What page did you just create?

Does working in WordPress ever make you feel like Alice from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll? Here‘s Alice, after the White Knight offers to sing her a song:

“The name of the song is called ‘Haddocks’ Eyes’.”

“Oh, that’s the name of the song, is it?” Alice said, trying to feel interested.

“No, you don’t understand,” the Knight said, looking a little vexed. “That’s what the name is called. The name really is ‘The Aged Aged Man’.”

“Then I ought to have said ‘That’s what the song is called?’” Alice corrected herself.

“No, you oughtn’t: that’s quite another thing! The song is called ‘Ways and Means’: but that’s only what it’s called, you know!”

“Well, what is the song, then?” said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

“I was coming to that,” the Knight said. “The song really is ‘A-sitting On a Gate’: and the tune’s my own invention.”

The distinctions that the White Knight is making also apply to naming a page (or post) on a website. There‘s the name of the page, what the page is called, and what the page really is. Here‘s a quick primer to naming a page.

There are three elements to naming a page: the title, the label, and the link. It’s important to understand the relationship between the three, especially when you’re changing the name of a page you created previously. Search engines such as Google pay attention to each of these when creating their page rankings.

Title: The title usually appears at the top of the page when you’re viewing it on the website. It also usually appears in the top of your browser’s window, and if you bookmark the page, you’re bookmarking that title. For example, the title of this post is “What page did you just create?”.

In WordPress, when you create a new page or post, type the title you want into the field at the top that says “Enter title here”. It’s helpful to title each page with a unique name so that you can find it when you need to edit it, and so that the WordPress database can store the content properly. If you don’t want the title to appear on the page, there are ways to modify WordPress to hide it.

Label: If your page is part of your navigation menu, the label is what will appear. The label does not have to match the title, but they should be related so that users and search engines can find your information easily. For example, if I were to add this post to my menu, I might change the label to “Creating page names”.

To edit a label in WordPress, go to the section called Appearance, then Menus. In the box called “Menu Structure”, click the arrow next to the item you want to edit. The field called “Navigation Label” controls what appears in your navigation menu.

Link: The link, or URL, is what you type into a browser window to view the page. It is all lower case, and can’t contain any spaces or punctuation. It does not have to match the title or the label. For example, the link for this post is “what-page-did-you-just-create”.

In WordPress, the link is called the “permalink”. When editing your page or post, the permalink appears just under the title, along with a button you can click to edit it.

I hope this information helps you escape from whatever looking glass you may find yourself inside of.

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