Watch those permalinks

Filed as News on November 29, 2006 10:00 pm

Permalinks are great, they clean up the ugly ?id=X structure and makes URL:s easy to read and, if necessary, remember. However, if you put special characters in your title and don’t review the permalink before hitting that lovely Publish button, you’ll get an URL that’s even worse than the default ones.

You see, permalinks are usually converted from the post title automatically, and if you’ve got special characters in there it’ll either remove them entirely (that’s the good solution), or replace them with lots of funny characters (% and such). If the latter is the case, you’ll get an extremely long and clunky permalink that looks like shit.

So here’s the tip! Check your permalinks and beware of special characters – Microsoft Word will give you tons of those if you copy-paste from there. What’s the use of permalinks if they look awful?

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  1. By Paul Stamatiou posted on November 30, 2006 at 3:12 am
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    Permalinks are great for a number of reasons, but most importantly for usability issues.

  2. By Thord Hedengren posted on November 30, 2006 at 3:26 am
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    Yep. And if you want them to actually add to the usability of the site, you better watch out for what kind of characters you put in them. :)

  3. By Kamrul Hassan posted on November 30, 2006 at 12:09 pm
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    TDH,
    problem is once someone already using default structure or having a shared hosting (3-4 domain under one hosting), it’s a mess when you want to change the Permalink.

    As you know it takes Google ages to find and update, and also the people who are linking those posts.

    Any thoughts on that?

  4. By Thord Hedengren posted on December 2, 2006 at 8:44 am
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    Actually, I haven’t had any problems with shared hosting and permalinks. I guess you could have, though.

    You should definitely have the correct permalink setup from the start. If you change your permalink structure after a while you will have invalid links. The easiest way to sort that out is to create an informative 404.php page for your theme that explains to visitors who follow an old link why they are not finding what they where looking for.