Trailing Slash in URLs

A trailing slash is a forward slash (“/”) placed at the end of a URL. It signifies that the URL you are accessing is a directory, not a file. For example, has a trailing slash, indicating the /blog/ is a directory, not a file. 

From an SEO perspective, it’s generally recommended to maintain consistency in your use of trailing slashes and to ensure that your website’s server responds correctly to both versions of a URL.

Should you have a trailing slash at the end of URLs?

Having a trailing slash at the end of URLs is a matter of preference, but it’s a good practice for maintaining consistency and can have benefits for SEO and user experience.

According to John Mueller, the presence of a slash after a hostname or domain name doesn’t matter; you can include it or omit it in a root URL, and the result is the same.

However, when it comes to slashes in other parts of the URL, they are not the same at a technical level and Google treats them as a separate page. So, it’s crucial to be consistent in your usage to avoid potential duplicate content issues. But apart from consistency, Google does not have a preference.

Trailing slash on hostname vs trailing slash on path

Should you use canonical or redirect for trailing slash?

It’s generally recommended to use a 301 redirect to enforce a consistent URL structure. This is especially useful when you want to ensure all users and search engines access the same version of a URL, either with or without a trailing slash. Redirects are a more direct and effective method for this purpose. 

Using canonical tags is a softer method that suggests the preferred URL to search engines but still allows users to access either version. They are typically used to address duplicate content issues when you have multiple versions of a page. This can be beneficial if there are legitimate reasons for both versions of the URL to exist (e.g., different content based on user session or A/B testing). 

However, search engines treat canonical tags as hints rather than directives, so they might choose to ignore the canonical tag if they think another version of the URL is more appropriate.

In general, it’s often best to use a combination of both. You can implement redirects to guide users and search engines to the preferred URL, and also use canonical tags as a fallback in case the redirects aren’t respected for some reason.

How to add or remove trailing slashes on your WordPress website?

By default, WordPress adds a trailing slash to the end of URLs. This is the standard setting for most pages on a WordPress site. However, you can modify this setting based on your preference.

If you need to add or remove trailing slash in WordPress, navigate to “Settings -> Permalinks” and either add or remove the trailing slash from the “Custom Structure” field.

  • /%postname%/ will add a trailing slash
  • /%postname% will remove the trailing slash

Once you have made your selection, save the changes. Keep in mind that changing this setting will affect all of your site’s URLs, so make sure to thoroughly test and check for any broken links after making a change.

Navigate to "Settings -> Permalinks" and either add or remove the trailing slash from the "Custom Structure" field.


In the grand scheme of website management and SEO strategy, trailing slashes may seem like a minor detail, but they’re part of the larger picture of creating a seamless user experience and optimising your site for search engines.

Personally, I find URLs with trailing slashes to be more aesthetically pleasing and they give me a sense of completeness. No matter what is your go-to method, the consensus is clear: maintain consistency in your use of trailing slashes

This practice not only ensures that your website’s structure is user-friendly but also aids in maintaining a consistent appearance in search engine results. If changes are necessary, implement 301 redirects to guide users to the correct format and preserve SEO rankings.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.