Page Order in WordPress

When it comes to maintaining your WordPress website, amending the page order from the default '0' for all pages is often an overlooked function.

If you've got plans to build a large website, or perhaps you've already got the headache of sorting through hundreds of pages to find what you're looking for, page ordering can help you organise your website pages into a logical system without having to install another plugin to do the job.

Here is just two examples of when using page ordering can save you a lot of time and effort:

  • Membership site - Membership sites can use a lot of pages and the more membership levels you create, the easier it is to lose the pages you're working on.
  • Lead/Sales Funnels - if you are testing out different lead magnets, trip wires (low cost one time offers), sales pages, you want to keep everything together.

Even if you're not planning to create the above examples anytime soon, setting up a page ordering system in the beginning can save you a lot of time later on when you do decide to expand things.

Once you've decided that you want to use page ordering, then there are two places where you can find and change the page order of each page. Firstly, on the page itself.

When creating a new page, you'll see on the right hand side a sidebar with options on it. If you scroll down to 'Page Attributes' you will see 'Order' with the default '0' in there.

'0' is the most important page on your website and anything with this attribute will be placed at the top. It's not quite so useful when every new page automatically gets given the same importance.

Now, before we go into creating a numbering system, there is another way to edit the page order for pages already created - quickly.

Go to the 'Pages' page. You will see a list of all your pages, and when you hover your mouse/cursor over a page, different options will show up (see below)

WordPress Page Order

Click on 'Quick Edit' and the screen below will open up...

Page Order Quick Edit

Using this techique you can quickly add your page ordering system to each page.

Now, to create your numbering system...

If you've only got a few pages, and you don't want to add that many more, then you can leave the pages you edit the most with a '0' and only change the page order for those that won't need updating, such as your privacy policy, contact page etc. Choose a number such as 100 or 1000 so that they fall at the end of the list of pages.

Once you've done so, when you refresh the page, you'll notice that the pages are no longer in alphabetical order. The page you edited will have moved to the bottom of the page.

It will now be a lot easier to get to the pages that require your attention most often!

For website with lots of pages, it's best to keep '0' for pages you are currently editing. If you get into the habit of automatically changing the page order of new pages to '100' or if they won't be edited again, or very often, give them a higher number.

When you do have a website with lots of pages, you probably use the page hierarchy to keep pages together, such as for membership sites. For example: courses (parent) > Tutorial 1 (sub page) > Lesson 1 (sub-sub page). When setting up a new course for a membership, use '0' page order to keep the pages at the front of your pages list so they're easier to find, then once you've published the pages, use 'Quick Edit' to change the page order to something higher.

Personally, I like to use a 6 digit system for my page numbering which I use in three batches of '00' as I figure I'd not have more than 100 sub-pages in anything but more than likely more than 9 (hence the '00'.) I then use the first set of digits' to category such as '99' is admin (terms and conditions, privacy etc) and courses is '01'. Then I use the next set of digits for the subcategories, and the last set for the individual pages. 

If that sounds like a lot of work - it can be if you don't need it. I plan to need it!

Once you know HOW you can use a certain system, the possibilities are endless - so how are you going to use page numbering in your business (or are you not?)

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