In this short tutorial, we are going to show you how to easily remove the category base from WordPress using Squirrly. But first, let’s quickly go over some of the reasons why you may want to do this in the first place.
WordPress has a default feature called Category Base which adds the word category as base prefix to URLs for category pages. Removing the category base completely removes the ‘/category/’ from your permalinks (URLs).
This can make your category URLs more aesthetically appealing, more intuitive, as well as easier to understand and remember by site visitors.
– if the original slug was ‘yoursite.com/category/seo-best-practices’,
– the modified slug (after removing the category base) would be ‘yoursite.com/seo-best-practices’.
^^ as you can see, the modified link in the example above is now shorter and looks cleaner while still including the keywords which are important for SEO.
The method we present in this article also works for removing the category base (/product-category/) from all products categories (for WooCommerce websites).
One thing to keep in mind is this:
The steps we’ll walk you through here involve a free Add-ON for Squirrly SEO, so you will need to have the Squirrly SEO plugin installed on your site.
OK, now let’s get to it!
Step 1: Install the Squirrly SEO – No Category Base Add-ON on Your Website
(the ZIP file with the Add-ON will automatically download)
- 2️⃣ Save the ZIP file to your computer;
- 3️⃣ Log in to your WordPress site. Go to Plugins >> Add New.
- 4️⃣ Click on Upload Plugin and add the ZIP file from your computer by clicking on the Choose File button. Click on Install Now next.
(as shown in the screenshot below)
- 5️⃣ After the upload is complete, click on: Activate Plugin.
Step 2: Go to Squirrly SEO > SEO Settings
If you correctly followed the instructions from Step 1, you will see the Categories section appear at the bottom of the left Menu (as shown in the screenshot above).
Click on Categories, and you’ll see that Squirrly has automatically enabled a setting that removes the category base from all post categories and product categories (if applicable).
!! This setting will only affect POST categories and PRODUCT categories (for WooCommerce).
Switching the toggle left and clicking on Save Settings (as shown in the screenshot above) will reverse this setting.
Be careful when using this option, though, as deciding to reverse it after a while will result in pesky 404 errors, and you would need to manually create redirects to avoid that. Depending on the number of categories you have, this can be a time-consuming hurdle, which is why we recommend letting this option ACTIVE once you’ve enabled it for your site.
Also note that the settings you make here will only be ACTIVE as long as the Squirrly SEO – No Category Base Add-ON is active on your site.
If you modify the permalinks of your site, make sure you redirect the old URLs to your new ones. This way, you can make sure that visitors landing on the old category page will not run into an error or have a bad experience on your site.
✅ Once you install it on your site, you will be able to see the Add-ON plugin (Squirrly SEO – No Category Base) in your list of installed plugins. In case a new version will be available, a notification will appear in this section and you will be able to update to the latest version.
Deactivating or deleting the Squirrly SEO – No Category Base Add-ON will result in the Categories section from SEO Settings NO longer being available (you will no longer be able to access the No Category Base option and the settings you’ve enabled using this option will no longer be active for your site).