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Looking for advice, recommendations or suggestions for the most appropriate page structure for a website.

I am migrating a website which has about 1000 pages in the structure of /service/location/ – There are 4 services and about 250 locations

I leaning away from creating them as pages as it will just clog up the Pages section of the site making it cumbersome to find and edit core pages.

I was thinking of using categories and posts but this customer wants to do some blogging so I’m leaning away from clogging up the posts section as well.

I was thinking of a custom post type BUT the custom post type will add a slug at the beginning (e.g. /custom-slug/service/location/ ) which will mean that I will need to 301 redirect the 1000 URLs on the new site from /service/location/ to /custom-slug/service/location/).

I am leaning towards creating 4 custom post types (the 4 services) and then creating the 250 custom posts per customer post type – but I don’t like the thought of having 4 extra menus/sections in admin (I could probably get over it – but I’m thinking that there’s got to be a cleaner way) OR Just dealing with Categories and posts and ignoring over the “clogging up” issue…

Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions? Is there a more appropriate way to do this?

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You can make CPT's have "slugless" permalinks fairly easily:

register_post_type( 'service', [
    'hierarchical' => true,
    'public'       => true,
    // Other args, no need for "rewrite"
]);

// Change service to top-level permalink.
add_permastruct( 'service', '%service%', [
    'with_front' => false,
    'paged'      => false,
    'feed'       => false,
]);

// Remove all default service rewrite rules.
add_filter( 'service_rewrite_rules', '__return_empty_array' );

... which should be wrapped in a function and hooked to init. Then to "catch" these post types, we need a little pre_get_posts magic:

add_action( 'pre_get_posts', function ( $wp_query ) {
    if (
        $wp_query->is_main_query() &&
        $wp_query->is_singular() &&
        $wp_query->get( 'pagename' )
    ) {
        if ( ! $post_type = $wp_query->get( 'post_type' ) )
            $post_type = [];
        elseif ( ! is_array( $post_type ) )
            $post_type = [ $post_type ];

        $wp_query->set( 'post_type', array_merge( $post_type, [
            'page',
            'service',
        ]));
    }
});

Make sure to then flush your rewrite rules (just load Settings > Permalinks in the admin).

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