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
- Are some URLs better than others, and if so why?
- What URLs do search engines like and don’t like?
- 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: Nouns and verbs. By Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman, August 5, 2003.
- Article URLs week: Principles is a well done one-week series exploring what makes friendly, permanent URLs by examining typical article URLs at numerous news sites. Try to read the entire series if you possibly can. By Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman, August 5, 2003.
- Article URLs week: Recommendations completes a week long series about URLs. Recommendations include: make URLs permanent, readable, hierarchical and hackable, brief, and clean. By Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman, August 2, 2003.
- Cool URIs Don’t Change is an insightful, helpful article about what to consider with planning your URIs. By Tim Berners-Lee.
- Naming and Addressing: URIs, URLs, .... By Tim Berners-Lee, 1993; revised and updated by Dan Connolly July 9, 2002.
- URL as UI provides a user-friendly approach to URLs. By Jakob Nielsen, March 21, 1999.
- URNs, Bibliographic Citations in Web Authoring provides a helpful overview of the relationship between URLs, URIs and URNs, the usefulness of URN. By Ben Meadowcroft.
URLs for Search Engines
- Generating Simple URLs for Search Engines explains how to work with dynamically generated URLs, URL rewriting, and more. Helpful information.
- Search Engine Friendly URLs with mod_rewrite is a recent tutorial at DevArticles that explains how to use Apache mod_rewrite to create search engine friendly URLs. By Eric 'phpfreak' Rosebrock, April 7, 2003.
Friendly, Future-proof URLs with Movable Type
- Should you just leave the old pages there if your URLs change or if you decide to create more friendly, future-proof URLs?
- What are reasonable choices for setting up redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs to avoid losing visitors and search engine placement?
- What can be done about redirects with Movable Type?
- What happens to your URLs if you change from Blogger to Movable Type?
- 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, stopdesign.com. 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, khakipants.com.
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