URL Guidelines

26 Jan 2009 - 4:52pm
5 years ago
15 replies
578 reads
Maxim Soloviev
2007

Hi guys,

We work on CMS product and one of the discussions right now is about
best way to
use Page Title to compose it's default URL (users can change it though).

Everyone agrees that using dashes in URLs to separate words is a good thing.
So page with title "Help us fight breast cancer" will get by default
URL "help-us-fight-breast-cancer".

What we are debating about is what to do with short page titles, for
example "Our Team", "About Us" etc.

Should it be
1. "our-team", "about-us" for consistency purposes
OR
2. "ourteam", "aboutus"

We will certainly educate customers that it's better to use "about" in
URL instead of "about-us" (for example) but we want to make sure that
defaults we provide are good enough.

What do you think?

Thank you :)
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

Comments

26 Jan 2009 - 5:09pm
Jeremy Michael Cerda
2008

Go for consistency

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37663

26 Jan 2009 - 5:21pm
AlinutzaV
2009

Hi Maxim,

The URLs still play an important role in google algorithms, As nobody
will google "about us" nor "aboutus" it's less important if you
have the url one way or another

The solution would be to have the company title there or the keywords
they are using. For instance if it's a IT company you can have
something like companyname.com/our-it-services for about us and
companyname.com/our-it-development-team

Hope that helps,
Alina
http://user-experience.iterating.net

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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26 Jan 2009 - 7:34pm
Maxim Soloviev
2007

Greg,

I think underscore can cause problems when URL is highlighted.
Because of usual text-decoration:underline applied someone might not
notice underscores, just a thought.

Rules I was initially thinking about:
Dashes will replace spaces when creating default URL when one of
conditions below met:
1. Page title (and basically URL) contains 3 or more words
2. Page title contains 2 words but it's length is longer than 12 characters.

And that's where my question about consistency came from - is it all
that important for URL? Does users tend to remember URLs of particular
pages at all? I tried to find any studies/researches related to
usability of URL but couldnt :-/

--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

26 Jan 2009 - 7:55pm
Alex ONeal
2008

Some notes:

- Eye-tracking research shows users spend nearly 25% of their time in
search results looking at the URLs, so it's clearly part of their
decision-making process, not just helpful for search engines. Jakob Nielsen
posted this research in 2007; my guess is this number would not go down and
might even go up, as users become more savvy.
- Most SEO and usability people agree that hyphens are preferred to
underscores. A few believe neither should be used.
- Consistency is certainly helpful if you expect to have returning
visitors - once they learn your site rules, they'll be better able to
remember/guess pages, or recognize them in search results
- If there are already underscores in URLs, the htaccess file can be
edited to convert these to hyphens.

bests,
Alex O'Neal

--
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is
now.

26 Jan 2009 - 8:50pm
Maxim Soloviev
2007

> Do you have editorial guidelines for the page titles?
No, we dont. We just recommend them to be short and descriptive.
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

26 Jan 2009 - 9:38pm
jaketrimble
2008

I like periods (about.us or our.team). But if you choose to use
dashes, keep it consistent.

-Jake

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37663

27 Jan 2009 - 12:51am
msweeny
2006

Hello Maxim

My hat is off to you for acknowledging the usefulness of distinct terms in
URL file names separated by hyphens (underscore is ignored by the search
engine). For your question, I would ask why your short URLs cannot be made
more descriptive. Instead of about-us.aspx, why not
about-<insert-name-of-company-here).aspx?

marianne
msweeny at speakeasy.net

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Maxim
Soloviev
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 1:52 PM
To: IXDA list
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] URL Guidelines

Hi guys,

We work on CMS product and one of the discussions right now is about best
way to use Page Title to compose it's default URL (users can change it
though).

Everyone agrees that using dashes in URLs to separate words is a good thing.
So page with title "Help us fight breast cancer" will get by default URL
"help-us-fight-breast-cancer".

What we are debating about is what to do with short page titles, for example
"Our Team", "About Us" etc.

Should it be
1. "our-team", "about-us" for consistency purposes OR 2. "ourteam",
"aboutus"

We will certainly educate customers that it's better to use "about" in URL
instead of "about-us" (for example) but we want to make sure that defaults
we provide are good enough.

What do you think?

Thank you :)
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net
________________________________________________________________
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To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org Unsubscribe ................
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27 Jan 2009 - 3:39am
Nik
2009

In terms of users remembering URL's I guess it depends on the target
audience, but certainly some of our research on projects show the more
experienced users guessing common pages much as they would the URL of a
site. So a surprising number would guess at domain.com/contact to
immediately find the companies telephone number for instance.

Nik

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Maxim Soloviev
Sent: 27 January 2009 00:35
To: Greg Thomas; IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] URL Guidelines

Greg,

I think underscore can cause problems when URL is highlighted.
Because of usual text-decoration:underline applied someone might not
notice underscores, just a thought.

Rules I was initially thinking about:
Dashes will replace spaces when creating default URL when one of
conditions below met:
1. Page title (and basically URL) contains 3 or more words
2. Page title contains 2 words but it's length is longer than 12
characters.

And that's where my question about consistency came from - is it all
that important for URL? Does users tend to remember URLs of particular
pages at all? I tried to find any studies/researches related to
usability of URL but couldnt :-/

--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

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26 Jan 2009 - 8:36pm
Christopher Jones
2009

I would go for consistently using dashes between words:

about-us
our-team

In addition to being consistent, I believe the improved recognition
and readability improves the user experience.

Chris

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37663

26 Jan 2009 - 9:50pm
Martin Dube
2008

SEO perspective:
Why not using underscore: Because it concatenate (merge both words
into a single entity) which makes no sense to search engines robot
and the end. Wile the dashes keep both word seperated for search
engine bot. There was an issue with the amount of dashes you can put
in a string. Until 2007 (from what I know) Google bot stopped reading
after the 3rd dashes. But I think Google modified it's robot to
permit more than 3 dashes.

User perspective:
Simply using "chamelBackNamingConvention" in short URL could do the
job. That's my way.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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27 Jan 2009 - 6:48am
Danny Hope
2008

2009/1/26 Jeremy <jeremy.cerda at cerner.com>:
> Go for consistency

I agree with Jeremy here – keep the conceptual model simple and have
one rule with no conditions.

What about long titles? Same thing again – don't be tempted to
truncate the url – leave this under the users control.

--
Regards,
Danny Hope
http://linkedin.com/in/dannyhope
Twitter: yandle
07595 226 792

27 Jan 2009 - 2:06pm
Maxim Soloviev
2007

Marianne,

> For your question, I would ask why your short URLs cannot be made
> more descriptive. Instead of about-us.aspx, why not
> about-<insert-name-of-company-here).aspx?

It can be part of guidelines and users certainly can do it.
However I'm believer that the if there is way to make URL shorter
while keeping it descriptive - the better.

Imagine sending SMS to your friend with URL like
http://www.clear-solutions.com/about-clear-solutions/ instead of
http://www.clear-solutions.com/about/

It's not a big deal I guess but sometimes it can result in more
troubles for visitors.
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

28 Jan 2009 - 12:08am
Maxim Soloviev
2007

Just want to say thank you to everyone participated in this thread.
We will go with consistent usage of "-" in urls :)
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

27 Jan 2009 - 1:56pm
Sushil
2009

I have a question along similar lines...(I joined this group a few
minutes ago - so apologies if I'm breaking any protocol)

We're building a site for a non-profit that has activities in
multiple cities around the world and we want local chapters to have
the ability to have their own sites and their own url. The two
options are:
1. www.foundation.org/city-name (e.g. www.foundation.org/ny)
2. city-name.foundation.org (ny.foundation.org)

If we were to go with option 2 - we could end up with hundreds of
sub-domains but they may easier to remember and promote. The question
we're trying to address: Which works better from a SEO perspective
and a user perspective?

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37663

28 Jan 2009 - 1:40pm
Maxim Soloviev
2007

Sushil,

I would use cityname.foundation.org cause I think it's easier to
remember when you come back to website several times.
--
Maxim Soloviev
Director of Product Development
www.nakea.net

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Sushil <snachnani at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a question along similar lines...(I joined this group a few
> minutes ago - so apologies if I'm breaking any protocol)
>
> We're building a site for a non-profit that has activities in
> multiple cities around the world and we want local chapters to have
> the ability to have their own sites and their own url. The two
> options are:
> 1. www.foundation.org/city-name (e.g. www.foundation.org/ny)
> 2. city-name.foundation.org (ny.foundation.org)
>
> If we were to go with option 2 - we could end up with hundreds of
> sub-domains but they may easier to remember and promote. The question
> we're trying to address: Which works better from a SEO perspective
> and a user perspective?
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37663
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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