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Friendly URL’s

Interesting piece on how to make more friendly URL’s by Waferbaby. The article is slightly dated; she writes,

Why? Why should you go ahead and change a perfectly happy link to one that points to a directory (virtual or otherwise)?…

  • EXPANDABILITY. What if you, or the company you work for, decide to upgrade (or simply change) your site to use a different technology?for instance replacing your PHP?built site (about.php) with a system developed in ColdFusion (about.cfm)? If you stick to a directory structure URL (/about/), the page?s web address remains consistent, regardless of how the site is actually put together. And that?s gold; links don?t break, time is not wasted, and joy abounds. Build a neat directory structure from the get?go, and you’ll be thanking yourself down the track.
  • You may not want to expose the particular technology you?re using on your site to the rest of the world. By using a neat directory structure, you don?t have to. You may not want to expose the particular technology you?re using on your site to the rest of the world. By using a neat directory structure, you don?t have to…You don?t even need to actually use physical directories on the server; you can map the URLs on your site in any way you like, using mod_rewrite (a personal favorite).
  • Actually zope/plone also has URL remapping capabilities, as does the more sophisticated content management systems out there. The real concern I have is archivability. If you change server scripting languages, it’s a lot harder to remap if all your prefixes end in .asp or .php than a simpler backslash.

    On another note, I recently discovered that archive.org doesn’t do a particularly good job of archiving content. The solution? Use Alexa web browser, which will automatically report the URL to archive.org so that it caches data. I was offline for 2 months; ok, that was awful. But imagine my dismay to learn that after a month or so of being offline, all the google caches of my content had disappeared. I was unreachable. And although archive.org archived some of my content, most were 6 months out of date, and one important web page wasn’t cached at all. Using alexa ensures that this won’t happen.

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