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Trailing slashes on static page URLs - yay or nay? (4 posts)

  1. hydrurga
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    I'm posting this because I can't seem to find a clear answer to this issue on the web.

    My WordPress sites currently consist of mainly static pages. My URLs are of the form http://www.mysite.com/about/ (single top-level page) or http://www.mysite.com/more/history/ (single second-level page).

    Given that these URLs point to a specific page, I find the trailing slash a bit incongruous. The main options for single static pages are:

    http://www.mysite.com/about/
    http://www.mysite.com/about
    http://www.mysite.com/about.html

    Does anyone have any ideas of the practical pros and cons for each option (excepting choice, aesthetic or historical reasons)? I imagine that there may be various practical reasons for each - SEO, redirects etc.

    Pete

  2. cubecolour
    ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ
    Posted 8 months ago #

    Tom McFarlin wrote an article about this which may give you some insight http://tommcfarlin.com/trailing-slash-in-wordpress/

  3. hydrurga
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    Thanks cubecolour - much appreciated.

    As regards SEO, the Google article linked to by Tom McFarlin's page is very interesting. The upshot of it is that using either a trailing slash or no trailing slash is ok on an SEO level, along as you choose one as being your canonical form, remain consistent, and 301 redirect from the non-canonical form to the canonical form (if a 301 redirect can't be used then a rel="canonical" is treated similarly).

    On an HTTP specification level, it appears that the preference is for pages not to have trailing slashes, but index files to have them (the latter being a moot point perhaps given that an index file can also be considered to be a page on the web).

    For interest's sake, I had a quick look at how some major sites, including WordPress-generated sites, handle their URLs. These include such sites as the BBC, New York Times, Reddit, Guardian etc. My conclusion was that:

    The home page is almost always in the form www.mysite.com

    Topics can either be www.mysite.com/news or www.mysite.com/news/

    Single pages are most often www.mysite.com/news/article99, although some of the larger sites, even if using WordPress, use the form www.mysite.com/news/article99.html

    Pete

  4. hydrurga
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    For anyone who's reading this thread, I've also just come across the following W3C page that is an excellent read on how to "future-proof" your URIs. Useful when choosing your slugs, or writing a non-Wordpress site where you have to decide whether or not to make your URIs extensionless or not.

    http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

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