In the previous tutorials we have set up the Homepage, Contact page, About Us page and Legal Pages. These are the basic pages of any website.
In this tutorial I will show you how to set up Hub Pages on WordPress. This tutorial is split in the following sections:
- Why you need a Hub Page for Silo Structure
- Determining the Hub Page Broad Topics
- Creating Your Hub Page in WordPress
- Creating Content for your Hub Page
- Adding Hub Pages to the Site Navigation Menu
We will create a topical relevance structure within your site, with the broad topic Page (Hub Page) linking out, through sub topic links, to the detailed content pages.
This is known as the Silo structure.
For those of you who followed my Site Structure tutorial, I explained how you should set up your content pages using Silo structure so that the content of the website’s Niche is categorized by the main topics.
Why To Include Hub Pages
To structure your website in topical relevance your WordPress website needs to be categorized by Topic Hub-Pages.
Therefore, each of the broad topics within your site will have a dedicated Hub page. In this hub page you will then list all the relevant sub-topic articles.
So, from this dedicated hub page you will then link to the sub-topic content Pages.
To understand better, picture your website structured in the following way.
In this Tutorial I will show you how to create your Hub Pages. This will be the final step in our WordPress website set-up.
After this, you then only need to concentrate on publishing new content to write for each of the sub Topics in your Niche, and not worry about the website structure, which will be already pre-set.
To explain how I create Hub Pages, I will be using my own site’s (WPWebsiteWiki.com) silo structure as an example.
Determining the Hub Page Broad Topics
The broad Topics on my website are
- Domain Names
- Content Creation
To follow a Silo structure, I will create a separate Hub-Pages for each of the topics above.
Tip: Notice that the broad Topics listed above are the same as the items I included in my Homepage Navigation Menu as I explain the Navigation Menu tutorial.
This creates internal links from my Homepage to the Hub-pages which is part of the Silo structure SEO benefits.
To choose the exact wording of your Hub-page titles I suggest you check your Keyword Research tool and identify the most searched terms for the topic in question.
including Topic Links in the Hub Pages
Hub-pages do not need to have complicated layouts.
What I like to do for my hub page is write an article that briefly mentions the sub-topics of the broad topic. I will not go deep into the details of each sub-topic at this point, however.
Why? Because those sub-topics will then be covered in a lot of detail within separate content pages.
Remember, the idea of the hub-pages is to act as a parent page for the broad topic in question and then link to the various sub-topic content pages within your website.
For example, in my Domain Names Hub-page, I will give an overview of what a domain is, a brief history of domains, and maybe talk about the regulations. I will also briefly mention
- how to go about buying a domain name,
- what to look for when choosing a domain name and
- exact Match domains vs Brandable domains
Now these 3 sub-topics of the Domain Names broad topic can be quite detailed and important, so I will have a separate tutorial for each of these sub-topics.
In this case, therefore, I will write a short paragraph about these sub-topics in my Domain Names Hub Page and then link to the different detailed tutorials from here.
The Hub page is practically a normal Content Page which acts as the main hub between the Homepage and the detailed tutorials.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the content for the hub page ready yet. I didn’t either when I first created them.
In fact, when creating the hub pages, I did not write a full article. All I did was write an intro and insert a bullet list of the sub-topics I wanted to link from this hub page.
As you keep growing your site with new content, remember to include a bullet point for every sub-topic page you publish that relates to this hub-page, and link to the relevant published pages.
Importance of Hub Page in URL structure
You’re probably asking yourself ‘if I’m not writing the content on the hub page why do I need to prepare it now?‘
The reason is that the WordPress Silo site structure requires these hub pages to be published immediately when creating the site, as they will form part of the URL structure of all your subsequent sub-topic content pages.
Let’s clarify this with an example.
Let’s say I write an info article about the sub-topic How to Buy a Domain Name. This falls under the broad topic, Domain Names for which I created a Hub Page on my site.
For the content page, I want my URL structure to look something like this;
The /domain-names part of the URL is my broad topic hub-page. If this is not published before I write the sub-topic article on how to buy a domain, the above URL structure will not work!
It might sound complicated now, but it’s not, really. You will get used to this once you start setting your Silo structure up.
Remember, this SILO structure really helps with Search Engine Optimization for your website, since it creates topical relevance by grouping the different broad topics within your site nicely into silos.
This silo architecture makes it easier for google to clearly identify what your website is about when crawling it and ranking it.
A silo structure also helps your visitors find their way around your site much quicker, which means, a better user experience for your site users.
Now let’s start with the actionable work.
Creating Your Hub Page in WordPress
Go to the WordPress dashboard and click on Pages > All Pages
Click on NEW, insert a title for the Hub Page (which should be one of your broad Topics) and click on PUBLISH.
Now open the published hub page in another tab to see what the default page looks like.
This is how my first Hub Page was looking:
As you can see, by default, my Header Hero and my Author Box Elements are included already.
For my Hub pages, however, I do not want to include the Page Hero section, which shows the author and date published. I also will not be including the Author Box in the end.
I therefore need to ensure these are excluded from my hub pages, and also adjust for the double Heading. Here’s what I did:
- Add the Nometa Tag (with Nometa, the Header Hero and Author box are removed from the Hub-Page as explained in this tutorial)
- Choose a ‘No Sidebars’ Layout. Sidebars are becoming obsolete in most websites anyway.
Now that these are gone, I am basically starting a page from scratch, as you can see below.
Check Hub Page Title and URL Slug
In the page editor of my hub page I’m going to check that my title is correct.
IMP: While you can change the title after the publish date, it’s important that you never change the URL slug.
Because changing the URL would invalidate any links that were previously built to the page (it’s quite bad for SEO). For this reason, the slug for the hub pages should be kept as simple as possible.
As you can see below, I decided to opt for the Hub Page title ‘Finding Your Domain Names’ as this is more appealing from a visitor perspective, and I can always change this in the future if required.
My Permalink slug, however, is short and very keyword focused, being just ‘domain-names’. This should never be changed.
So, it’s not a problem to have a different slug from the actual title, as long as the main keyword is included in both.
Add Header Image to Hub-Page
Now click on the + sign in the edit page so that we create our first block.
My first block will be an image.
Click on MEDIA LIBRARY and choose a picture from there. If you don’t have one yet, then upload it into your WordPress Media Library.
Tip: For my pictures used as Headers for Pages I like to use Canva and size them at 1000 pixels by 300 pixels. They look nice when they cover the whole wide space of the page. This is the same width as the container size I am inserting across my site.
This is how my Page Header is looking now. As you can see, I have the Page Header on the top and the feature image just below it.
Alternative Style for Sub-Page Header Layout:
An alternative style which I prefer to use for my Hub Pages Header layout, is to have the Page Title overlaid on the image instead of on top of it.
This requires a bit more time to do, however, in the end I find it looks nicer.
To do this I will edit the page from my current page editor.
Tip: If you go for the title overlay, make sure that the image you choose will allow for the title to be easily readable.
If the image you choose already has words on it, or has a mix of light and dark colors, it can be difficult to adjust it so as to make the wording contrast to the image and stick out.
In the page editor, click on the IMAGE BLOCK and from the block pop-up bar, choose the ADD TEXT OVER IMAGE option.
Now start typing your Page Title in the space that appears on the image.
Make sure you change it to a Header, make it an H1 and Align Center.
I have also adjusted the font size from the settings to make it bigger.
Now click on the image again and play around with the Cover settings on the right-hand side.
For my header image I have adjusted:
- the Focal Point Picker which adjusts which part of the image shows in the center.
- the Overlay – Opacity to make the image slightly lighter.
- The Minimum Height: to make the image slightly shorter, I set this at 260 instead of 300.
Tip: Once you finalise your Page Title and Image block you can copy this block and paste it in a new hub page, to save time.
When creating my Hub pages, for example, instead of creating this block from scratch every time, I just copied the first one I created and pasted it on the other 3 Hub pages.
This way my styling settings remain the same and all I have to do is change the title and image for each Page.
If you decide to insert the Page Title over the image, you will now notice that you have two Titles on the Hub Page. You can adjust this by removing the default page title at the top.
To do this, go to the Page settings on the right hand-side of the page (make sure you chose the Page tab at the top of the settings column, and not the Block tab). Scroll down to the Disable Elements section and click on the CONTENT TITLE selection.
The Title will still be shown in the WordPress Page Editor in your screen; however it does not show on the actual website page that visitors see.
This is how my actual hub page looks now that I have adjusted for the above settings.
Creating the Content for your Hub Page
Now let’s get back to the next section of the hub page which will be made up of various headline blocks and content paragraph blocks.
The first block under the Page Title and Image will be a Headline.
Click on the + button on the right under the image and choose HEADLINE; make it an H2.
IMP: It is important that you only have one H1 title in every page and this is usually the top Heading of each Page. The heading indicators, i.e., H1, H2, H3 etc. are important SEO signals for search engines to identify the main keyword and topic of each Page you publish.
For your first H2 headline, type something related to the main keyword you want to address in this hub page. The main keyword, in my case, is ‘Domain Name’.
I therefore include an H2 that says ‘These Guides will Help You Find the Perfect Domain Name for Your Website’.
I will center align this headline and make it Bold, or weighting of 500.
I also adjusted the top margin to have some space between image and H2 heading and decreased the font size to 24 because the sentence was quite long.
Press ENTER to go to your next block which will be a simple paragraph.
Here type a short intro for this page.
Note: in WordPress Gutenberg editor, if you just start typing in a new block, WordPress will automatically detect this block as a paragraph block. Therefore, you do not need to stay choosing the Paragraph block every time you want to insert a paragraph.
The way I like to structure my Hub pages is for the intro to lead to a bullet point list. In the list I will insert my main sub-topics.
I will then link each of these bullet points to the relevant sub-topic pages.
If you don’t yet know what the sub-topic pages will be, then leave the list empty and add the sub-topics at a later stage.
You can keep updating this list indefinitely, as you identify and publish more and more sub-topic articles.
To insert a bullet-point list in WordPress Editor, click on ENTER then type the following: /list and press ENTER.
Tip: In WordPress block editor when you type the slash ‘/’ in a new paragraph block, you will get a list of available blocks. This is a handy shortcut for inserting any one of the WP default blocks.
Now you have the bullet point list format, all you need to do is type in the sub-topics that you will be writing about and eventually linking from this hub page to the actual published sub-topic page.
It’s beneficial for SEO that the bullet point includes the main Keyword you want to target for that sub-topic page.
As you progress with more and more sub-topic articles, remember to go back to the Hub Pages and update the bullet point list and link it to link to the sub-topic article in question.
To do this click on the bullet point sentence, and from the block pop-up click on the LINK button to insert the relevant URL of the page you want to link to. (Remember that you will need to have published the actual sub-topic article before you can insert the link).
We use text links here and not banners because in-content text links can be more powerful for SEO value then banner links.
Now Click on the UPDATE button.
Once you finalize all your hub pages, go into the PAGES section of your WordPress dashboard and ensure they are organized properly.
To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard and click Pages > All Pages.
This is how my nested pages look for now:
As you can see, at this stage I had not yet created most of the sub-topic pages that will go under the Hub pages, however I did publish a few just to show you how they would look in the nested pages screen.
Adding the Hub Pages to the Navigation Menu
Once all the hub pages are published, you should include these hub pages in your Navigation Menu at the top of your website.
The main menu in my case will show links to the 4 Hub Pages.
To adjust your Navigation Menu, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance > Menus
Now select your NAVIGATION MENU from the top drop-down bar and insert the menu names according to the hub-pages you created.
If you have a very important keyword you are addressing in a sub-topic page, it makes sense to also include it in the navigation menu as a Sub-Menu item.
To do this, all you need to do is include the page under the main menu item and just drag it slightly to the right.
Ideally the ‘Navigation Label’ name you choose for your menu items is the same as the URL slug of the respective page.
For example, if I include ‘Domain-Names’ in the slug for this hub page, then the name in the Menu will be Domain Names.
This is how my Menu structure initially looks:
After you sort all your hub pages go back to your Homepage Edit screen and make sure all links to the hub pages are adjusted to reflect any changes you made to the URLs of these pages.
Hub Pages Done. What Next?
Congratulations, you finalized the main Pages of your website. If you followed all my WordPress Tutorials, you should now have an SEO optimized base on which to keep building your website.
In the next phase you will be adding more and more content Pages or Posts, as the need requires.
Keep in mind that the more content articles you include in your website the more keywords you can rank for and the more authoritative your website looks, both to visitors and to search engines ,like Google.
Writing professional and well researched content for search engines is an art that you will become proficient in the more articles you write and publish.
To get you started on the right track, however, I have prepared a list of tutorials showing how I address the content creation aspect of my websites.
Enjoy and have fun growing your website from here on.