Deciding URL Structure
In moving graphicpush over to a new host, I now have the capability to run clean URLs from the .htaccess file. That’s all good and fine, but deciding what kind of URL structure to use has raised an interesting internal debate.
If you noticed some slight weirdness with graphicpush.com last week, it’s because I moved the site to my Dreamhost account. While I adored Fatcow for their stellar customer support and incredible spam filter, their system was simply too tightly wound — I could not run TXP the way I wanted because .htaccess was locked down.
The rewrite rule in the .htacess file is what allows Textpattern (and other software) to create pretty URLs out of messy stuff like
index.php?id=233. Dreamhost, unlike Fatcow, supports rewriting extensions, so for the first time in years, graphicpush will benefit from clean, semantic URLs.
Which brings up an interesting conundrum — what kind of URL to have. Changing the structure is simple in TXP, so I’ve been messing around with different options.
This is the traditional structure I use in all non-blog sites. 99% of the time, it makes sense for corporate environments — sites are split into big sections (about, services, contact, etc.) and a URL like www.hyperglobalmegacorp.com/about/company-history makes perfect sense.
But graphicpush doesn’t work like that. The articles don’t fall within semantic sections because they are all lumped under one general “articles” section name. There are a bunch of smaller sections across the site (contact, advertising, icons, archive, etc.) where having the clean directory structure is preferred (e.g., graphicpush.com/icons/), but not for the main content.
This technique seems common in blogs, especially the Wordpress and MT crowd. While the faux directory structure makes general sense on an organizational level, and gives the casual browser an idea of when the article was published, it just seems like noise. Year/month/day seems redundant, especially when I publish the date right below the title of all my entries.
Believe it or not, this is what I am going with for the time being. Since all of the articles are only one level off the homepage, the directory structure makes sense. My site has one giant section: the content. Why obfuscate that?
I’m looking for arguments either way. I truly understand the appeal of the date structure, but it seems too “bloggy” to me. The third option seems better. The best, obviously, would be www.site.com/category/article-title, but that has yet to be supported in TXP.