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The e-commerce.

Changing the URL format


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Hello one and all,


My first post.


I'm not very good with forums, and haven't had any joy searching for an answer to my question, which is;


Why would/should I want to change the URL format?


I ask this, based on having read toyicebear's post, 'SEO, Meta Tags, SEF Urls and osCommerce', (and others of a variety of subjects), with a view to working towards a visible and secure site.


I'd like to ask for answers in the format an idiot could understand please, I'm an absolute novice!

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When you say "change the URL format", you mean "SEO" or "SEF"? The short answer is, you don't have to. It used to be that search engines such as Google had a hard time dealing with "dynamic" URLs (e.g., /index.php?cat=123&prod_id=456). Nowadays, all of the major search engines (and most of the lower tier engines) can deal with that. That is, "Search Engine Optimization" or "Search Engine Friendly" URLs don't really do much of anything to improve your listings on Google, etc.


These days, SEO/SEF URLs ("static" URLs) just "look better", and many people have gotten so used to them that they consider dynamic URLs to be raw and unfinished looking. Very few people will actually be typing in a deep URL to a specific page -- just your top entry page, if that, so it doesn't save much actual typing of funny characters like ? and &. It becomes a social thing, sort of like getting your baby boy "snipped" -- maybe it's a religious custom, maybe it's just family custom, but there's no real "need" behind it (whether or not there originally was).


Pros of SEO/SEF: neater looking, might help on some lower-tier search engines, less typing with no funny characters (in the rare instance that someone actually wants to type in a deep URL), can be used to hide the page technology (.html instead of the actual .php) providing a very small increase in security, hiding the page technology can let you change platforms in the future without invalidating existing bookmarked links (not really applicable to a specific application such as osC)


Cons of SEO/SEF: extra work needs to be done translating/creating the page link (outbound), extra work needs to be done translating a static link to a dynamic link (inbound), more opportunity for bugs in both phases, not built into osC (add-on needed, which is a potential bug and conflict problem itself)

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