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Clean URL's


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Daniel

Community Member, 4 Posts

7 May 2008 at 4:12am

Edited: 07/05/2008 4:13am

Referring to: mysite.com/SEO/Clean/Semantic/URLs.

I've read quite a few requests and discussions about this. It seems to me that there is atleast some kind of consensus that this is more or less a critical feature so I wont do any argumentation for it. I'm just wondering what's the official status of this on behalf of the silverstripe developers? Is this something being looked at or is it rather being overlooked at the moment?

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Liam

Community Member, 470 Posts

7 May 2008 at 4:39am

From what I've heard them say, it's more than likely not going to happen, only possibly for the blog module I believe. This is due to the amount of work restructuring the code vs the add benefits.

I'm with you, in the sense that I would really, really like to see this added, but I'm done getting my hopes up. For sites where I need this feature, I use another CMS.

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Daniel

Community Member, 4 Posts

7 May 2008 at 7:21pm

Edited: 07/05/2008 7:23pm

Silverstripe is by far the best CMS i've tested up till now. However, this unfortunate "issue" is definitely a show stopper. And I'm sure I'm not the only one that had to scrap the idea of using silverstripe because of this.

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Daniel

Community Member, 4 Posts

7 May 2008 at 9:25pm

Edited: 07/05/2008 9:29pm

Ok i took some time and elaborated my view on this:
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Reasons for why Clean URLs are a fundamental part of modern Web Development and why Silverstripe should seriously consider implementing such a feature.

Search Engine Ranking

Although the science of SEO is somewhat obscure there are a numerous SEO experts pointing out that the use of clean URLs does improve your search engine ranking. A reason for this is that search keywords are <strong>bolded</strong> out in search result URLs which evidently will increase readability for a user scanning through for keywords. As a result she is more likely to click it. An URL listed as “mysite.com/articles/planting_a_tree/” would appear more credible than for example: mysite.com/?s=214&a=00001242

The use of clean URLs also have a great deal of importance in terms of good usability in terms of URL “hackability” and versatility. Moving from “mysite.com/articles/planting_a_tree” to “mysite.com/articles” is very usable because people without understanding for how the web is built will still get some kind of understanding of the websites structure. A clean URL is versatile because it's easier to remember, write down, use for print(on a flyer for example) and find again, if you lose it.

The problem Silverstripe faces

I guess that it would be fair to say that Silverstripe has a simpler implementation of clean URLs which is a step in the right direction, but should consider making it fully implemented.

Having to explain to our clients that they have to custom hack the meta-data URLs in the cms to make them logical in an SEO and usability perspective is NOT convenient.

A structural example of this could be a company that has offices in three different cities, every city with three subpages: Contact, Employees, Events. A logical structure could be:

/office
-----/stockholm
----------/staff
----------/contact
----------/events
-----/gothenburg
----------/staff
----------/contact
----------/events

and so on...

If a client created these pages through the cms the subpages would come out something as “/staff”, “/staff-2”, “/contact”, “/contact-2”. There's not a chance on earth we could convince client that they would have to custom hack every each of the sub-pages meta data to create at least a somewhat logical URL, it's bad enough having to convince them to learn a CMS in the first place ;)

Our conclusion: This is really a pitfall and a show stopper, and we wont be able to use it for production.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources:
http://www.mc2design.com/blog/why-you-should-or-should-not-use-clean-urls

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Fuzz10

Community Member, 787 Posts

7 May 2008 at 10:44pm

Good thread !

Agreed, we bump into a lot as well.

<subscribe to thread>

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Sam

Administrator, 685 Posts

8 May 2008 at 1:46pm

The part of this oft-requested feature that makes it so hard is the inclusion of "/" in the URL.

Perhaps a simpler solution would be to change the URL generator, so that if you created a sub-page of stockholm called "staff", that the default URL would be "stockholm-staff", instead of "staff-2".

What do people think? Would this give us 95% of the benefit for 5% of the work?

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Liam

Community Member, 470 Posts

8 May 2008 at 2:05pm

It would be better for sure and something I think should be included, but not what I'd prefer.

The reasons for including proper hierarchy in the URLs have been listed numerous times, so I won't beat a dead horse and repeat them, I just wish SS would have been built with this in mind from the start, as now it's too large of a problem to fix.

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Daniel

Community Member, 4 Posts

8 May 2008 at 8:06pm

Edited: 09/05/2008 1:56am

Sam:

I'm aware of the implications on fixing this. It's most likely a fundamental part of how the sapphire core works and would require a lot of rethinking and re-factoring. What I fail to conclude however, is why the issue is overlooked because of this particular reason. As i said before SilverStripe is by far the most impressive CMS project I've come across. I believe that you are a team of highly skilled developers and that's why I fail to see the equation why many of your main competitors (ModX, Joomla, Drupal(to some extent), EPiServer(commercial), even wordpress....) has succeeded in doing this, whilst silverstripe hasn't, when it has repeatedly been declared as a very popular request.

Yes, it's a very fundamental thing to change, and will take a lot of time and work on behalf on you, the developers. But it also is a fundamental feature of web-sites today and I think the benefits will be huge for both SilverStripe as a company and for your customers and users. If this is something that isn't taken into serious consideration sometime soon, it will grow into a bigger problem, because the usage of Clean URLs is something that is increasingly becoming somewhat of a web-business norm, and the demand for it will most likely grow for an unforeseeable future.

(Offtopic:)

I got this error a few times before when replying to this post (reloaded the page and it worked again)
Fatal error: Call to a member function setField() on a non-object in /sites/ssopen/www/forum/code/Forum.php on line 647

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