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What’s In an URL?

There are big URLs, little URLs, long convoluted database generated URLs. I’ve always leaned a bit towards the side of the fence where web site addresses that indicate what their content points to is a bit more useful than long meaningless ones. But it may not even matter.

I was struck by this today visiting one of our colleges’ web sites that looks like it has moved to a new (capital letters coming) Content Management System, which makes for a nice looking site (good navigation, some dynamic content, flash headers), but ugh, department URLs that end up looking like:

http://……../ndex.php?page=32&subpage=905&sublink=8002

What does that really tell you about the content it links to?

I’m not familiar with the technology, but can think a bit about how WordPress is set up— It too generates URLs as ugly as those above, but uses some under the hood server technology (mod_rewrite) to turn them automatically into Pretty Permalinks (see more info on Permalinks), and the options for posts and pages and categories to create your own “slugs” provides much more meaningful public URLs.

Then again, it may juts not matter.

Also, on the WP front, I cam copying D’Arcy Norman’s lead in using the WP-Cache 2.0 plugin which essentially creates cached copies of WP generated pages to save time and punding on the database. Hopefully, the front page will pop up more quickly. Or it may just go up “poof” in smoke.

It’s all an experiment. All of it.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.