Friday, February 1, 2008

User-Friendly URL Generation - A Must Have

One of the really good decisions we made early on was to make sure our WCMS captured and generated a human-readable URL structure. Quite a few WCMS systems still generate nasty, query-based URLs that look like :$^%$*^(7876**&(*&97659%8650

You really need to be able to look at a URL and know exactly what page on the site it represents. Real URLs that look like: give you a way to talk about site areas and particular pages with a common taxonomy that everyone understands.

When someone tells me, “We have a problem with the ‘hammer’ product page in the ‘tools’ section,” I know what they are saying and what page they are talking about.
Besides the fact the search engines can’t do anything with a long, query-based URL, the site owners usually can’t either. I love that I can look at a URL for a page on my site and instantly know where it fits in the site structure and what the content and navigation should be.

Keep the query string out of the URL.

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