If you have ever been stupid enough to mess around with changing your slugs in WordPress as I do at times depending on what I’m doing with my them and architecture, you may have run into this message when you update them. – “Item Not Updated“.

This is frustrating until you learn just how easy it is to fix. Just remember to make sure you have your links redirecting correctly and navigation taken into consideration before changing anything. It’s generally best to leave things alone if you can. Sometimes it just pays to go through some hassle to get the most out of your taxonomies.

Why Can’t I Change My Slug?

What has happened is that you at one time created the slug you are trying to change it to. This created an entry in your WordPress database. When WordPress goes to create a new identical entry, it makes sure it doesn’t already exist. Since the slug does exist in the database, the operation fails.

How Do I Fix This?

Luckily this is a very easy fix. Before you continue here, make sure you make sure you don’t have any posts or pages using this slug already. This means that you can’t have the same slug for a tag as you have for a category.

*** Back up your database!!!

Log in to phpMyAdmin, and click on the table, “wp_terms” on the left. This table holds the values of the names and slugs for all your taxonomies. Look for the slug you are trying to change your category to. Click the X to delete this old version of the taxonomy you are trying to use.

Check You Posts To Be Safe

Now you need to take a look at all your posts and pages to make sure you haven’t screwed up your links and/or architecture. Many times WordPress will redirect for you, but it’s always best to make sure.