Why WordPress Adds -2 To Your URL (And How To Remove It)

If you’re a WordPress user, you may have encountered a puzzling issue: the mysterious appearance of “-2” (or a higher number) in your post or page URL. This can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you’re trying to maintain a clean and organized website.

In this blog post, we’ll look into why WordPress adds “-2” to your URLs and explore effective methods to remove it.

Join +3 860 subscribers!

Why WordPress Adds a Number Like “-2” To Your URL

WordPress uses titles to generate the URLs by default. If two or more pages, posts or media objects have the same title, WordPress will append “-2” (or higher numbers if necessary) to the URL to make it unique.

This is a built-in feature designed to prevent URL conflicts. For some reason, there is no notification or guidance when you try to save a duplicate URL in WordPress.

Why is there a "-2" in my WordPress URL?

Let’s remove this annoying number!

Why Does It Matter?

You might wonder why this matters so much. After all, the “-2” in your URL doesn’t necessarily affect the content or functionality of your posts or pages. However, there are a few reasons to address this issue:

  • SEO Implications: Search engines like Google use URLs to understand the content of your web pages. A messy URL with unnecessary characters like “-2” can affect your SEO rankings and make it harder for your website to appear in search results.
  • User Experience: Clean and readable URLs improve the user experience. Visitors are more likely to trust and engage with a website that maintains a sense of order and organization.
  • Branding: Professionalism matters, and a clean URL structure is part of that. A consistent and uncluttered URL format contributes to your website’s branding and overall image.

How to Remove the “-2” from Your URL

Now that you understand why WordPress adds “-2” to your URLs, let’s explore how to remove it. As you probably already noticed, you can’t just remove the number in the permalink and re-publish the page – the number will stay in URL as long as the slug is occupied by another page, post or media library item. Follow the three steps below to solve the problem:

Step 1. Identify What’s Occupying the URL

First, we need to identify the page, post or media object that is occupying the original URL (without the -2).

  1. Start by adding the URL with the unwanted number in your browser address bar
  2. Now simply remove the -2 (or whatever number that you want to remove) and press enter
  3. Now you should see the page, post or media file that is occupying the URL.

Step 2. Change the Occupied URL to Make it Available

Now it’s time to change the URL (also known as slug) of the page, post or media object that is occupying the URL that you want to use.

Changing the URL of a Page or Post

If a page or a post is occupying the URL, just follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in to the WordPress dashboard
  2. Navigate to the page or post that occupies the URL that you want to use
  3. Hover the page or post title in the list and click the Quick Edit link
  4. Change the URL in the Slug field to something else.
  5. Click the blue Update button to save your changes.

Can’t find the page? Take a look in the Trash folder and click Delete Permanently if you find the page or post in there. In some cases, a deleted page can occupy a URL.

Pro tip. Make sure to update all your internal links to the page or post after changing the URL. If the page is public and indexed by search engines, you should also create a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL to not lose traffic and SEO ranking.

Changing the URL of an Image and Other Files in the WordPress Media Library

If an image, video, pdf file or any other object in the Media Library is occupying the URL, just follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in to the WordPress dashboard
  2. Go to Media » Library
  3. Find the image that is using your desired URL and click it
  4. Click Edit more details if you are not automatically redirected to the Edit Media page
  5. Click the Screen Options tab in the top right corner to expand it
    Click the Screen Options tab in the Edit Media page
  6. Tick the checkbox to the left of Slug
    Tick the checkbox to the left of
  7. Now, scroll down to the bottom of the page and change the media file Slug (also known as permalink and URL) to something else to make the original URL available for your other page or post.
    Changing the image URL (also known as permalink and slug) in WordPress
  8. Scroll up and click the blue Update button to save your changes.

Pro tip. Using the Media Library search feature in the top right corner can save you a lot time and scrolling.

Step 3. Remove the -2 (or any Number) in your Page or Post URL

Now when we’ve updated the “evil twin” it’s finally possible to remove that annoying number in the URL of your page or post. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Pages or Posts (depending on what type of content that you want to edit)
  2. Hover the title of the page or post that has an unwanted number in the URL
  3. Click the Quick Edit button
  4. Now just remove the “2-” (or any other number) in the Slug fieldRemove the number 2 in the URL
  5. Click the blue Update button to save your changes.

That’s it! Visit your page or post in frontend to validate that everything works as intended.

Pro tip. Make sure to update all your internal links to the page or post after changing the URL. If the page is public and indexed by search engines, you should also create a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL to not lose traffic and SEO ranking.

That’s all for today!

The appearance of “-2” in your WordPress URLs may seem like a minor issue, but it can have real implications for your website’s SEO, user experience, and overall branding. Understanding why WordPress adds “-2” to your URLs and how to remove it is crucial for maintaining a professional and organized web presence. By implementing the solutions mentioned in this blog post, you can ensure that your WordPress website displays clean, effective URLs that enhance both your search engine visibility and user engagement.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Subscribe to DiviMundo on YouTube and join our Facebook group for more crisp content on WordPress and web design.

👉 Related post: How to Disable Automatic Image Title Generation in WordPress

👉 Free course: Create a website from scratch with Divi

Related posts

2 Comments

  1. Thank you very much, it was very useful!!!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Affiliate Disclaimer

All content on DiviMundo is funded by you – our beloved readers. Some of the links are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission. But it will never cost more for you. Thanks for your support!

Victor Duse, founder of DiviMundo