Brainstorms and Raves

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Friday Feast #55: Friendly, Lasting URLs

Setting up a new website or a redesign for a client or yourself most likely includes considering the URLs for all the pages. If URLs are auto-generated by software, changing software might result in all those URLs changing, thus breaking incoming links and diminishing or ruining search engine placements unless redirects are set up. Some URL configurations can even prevent search engines from spidering at all, too. Today’s Friday Feast explores resources about friendly and long-lasting URLs. I’ll follow up soon about the URL choices I made and why for my recent transition from Blogger to Movable Type.

Articles, Tutorials about Friendly, Long-lasting URLs

  1. Are some URLs better than others, and if so why?
  2. What URLs do search engines like and don’t like?
  3. Can future-proof URLs be created with Movable Type and other software? If so, how?

The articles and tutorials below explore the answers to those questions and more:

URLs for Search Engines

Friendly, Future-proof URLs with Movable Type

  1. Should you just leave the old pages there if your URLs change or if you decide to create more friendly, future-proof URLs?
  2. What are reasonable choices for setting up redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs to avoid losing visitors and search engine placement?
  3. What can be done about redirects with Movable Type?
  4. What happens to your URLs if you change from Blogger to Movable Type?
  5. What happens to your URLs if you change servers with Movable Type?

The following links, while focused on Movable Type, also provide helpful information for website URLs in general.

  • Howto: Future-proof URLs in Movable Type provides information, tips, snippets for setting up Movable Type with future-proof URLs. Well done tutorial. By Már Örlygsson, June 22. 2003.
  • Importing/Exporting Movable Type is especially helpful information when you change servers or databases with an existing Movable Type website. This tutorial explains how to maintain your entry IDs when changing databases or moving servers, avoiding URL changes and other potential changes based on entry IDs. By Charles Cook.
  • Starting a Blog (with Movable Type). By Erik J. Barzeski.


Maybe your existing URLs aren’t as friendly as you’d like and you’d like to go ahead and make the switch. What can you do for your existing URLs to prevent dead links to your site and maintain the search engine rankings that you’ve worked so hard at achieving? Many will tell you that server-side redirects are the best choice, and I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps you don’t have that option, though. What’s possible on the client side? And what if you have hundreds of pages, not just a few?

  • Artificially intelligent IA explains how to use Movable Type to help create redirects for your old pages and create date-based directories and use the post titles for the individual entry URLs.
  • Redirection Complete explains how to use Apache’s mod_rewrite module to redirect users from the old URLs to the new URLs with his new directory structure. You’ll find helpful comments with that post, too. By Doug Bowman, Helpful for any URLs and includes Movable Type information.
  • Restructuring Default Archives also explains how to let Movable Type create an .htaccess file in the /archives/ directory that uses Apache’s mod_rewrite module to redirect folks to the new permalink. By Nathan Jacobs,

05:29 pm, pdt 8 August, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks (9) ·

Categories: Friday Feast, Information Architecture, Movable Type, SEO, Usability, Weblogs


Comments, Trackbacks: 9 so far. Add yours!

  1. Bookmarked. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and even tried doing something about, albeit unsuccessfully. I’ll definitely be coming back to this; don’t go changing the URL on me. ;)

    11:11 am, pdt10 August, 2003Comment by Dave S.

    comment #1 permalink ·


  3. Friendly, Lasting URLs - Brainstorms and Raves-...

    13 Aug, 2003Trackback from Links

    trackback #3 permalink ·

  4. Brainstorms and Raves gathers a number of resources to help you generate Friendly, Lasting URLs. [via daily Anil]...

    13 Aug, 2003Trackback from Radio Free Blogistan

    trackback #4 permalink ·

  5. Friday Feast #55: Friendly, Lasting URLs-: A great collection of links to articles about URLs — how to plan them, how to make sure they make sense, and how to make sure they stick around. Timely, considering my issues of...

    13 Aug, 2003Trackback from Gadgetopia

    trackback #5 permalink ·

  6. Long overdue (sorry for dumping so many links in one post). Design and Development: Information Pollution #26 - The myth...

    17 Sep, 2003Trackback from inluminent

    trackback #6 permalink ·

  7. ne thing bloggers definitely agree on (and perhaps the only thing) is that broken permalinks are bad. I think that...

    24 Sep, 2003Trackback from

    trackback #7 permalink ·

  8. Friendly, lasting URLs are easy enough to manage when you create the site architecture and URLs yourself, but with the increasing popularity of weblogs and content management programs there's been increasing interest in what can be done to ensure frien...

    28 Sep, 2003Trackback from Brainstorms and Raves

    trackback #8 permalink ·

  9. Friday Feast #55: Friendly, Lasting URLs - Brainstorms and Raves- Shirley E. Kaiser has a fine list of links to articles about what makes a good URL and what makes a bad URL. Not every suggestion is perfect, but there are some gems here and plenty to t...

    28 Aug, 2004Trackback from Diglet

    trackback #9 permalink ·

This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.


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