Most of our website is currently made up of static pages so it looks something like this:
Other areas of the site aren’t quite so great:
Not terribly bad but it’s a little bit long – I wouldn’t like to read it out over the phone and because the URL is structured to mirror the department, when names change, the URL could change as well.
The site structure is quite deep which has led to some quite strange locations for pages, for example the copyright page linked to from every page on the site is within the Web Services area of the site:
For use in publications, there’s a whole bunch of “vanity URLs” like this:
And that will redirect you to the page you’re looking for. These are great – easy to read over the phone or type in but since most of them force redirect to the actual page, most people don’t know about them – if you copy and paste into a document you’re producing, you’ll get the long URL. But they’re also not universal – short URLs exist for some departments and services but not others and sometimes it can be hard to pick a good vanity URL.
When we look at some of our dynamic content however, things aren’t quite so great.
What’s wrong with this?
- Mystery “info” server – splitting page rankings on Google
- Tell the user what language we’re using for the page (ASP)
- Meaningless ID numbers
- EHU_news – why not just news?
- Nothing that search engines can pick up on for keywords
The first site I worked on for Edge Hill – Education Partnership – is a bit of a mixed bag:
It’s fairly readable with words describing the pages rather than ID numbers, but it’s hosted as part of the GO website despite being in the main website template. There’s also the “static” in there which is a by-product of the implementation rather than being an relevant to the URL. I’ve learnt my lesson and it won’t happen again.
Overall I think we score 5/10 – no nightmare URLs but lots of scope for improvement and next time I’ll be looking at some of the plans to change how our sites are structured and maybe get a little technical about how we’re implementing it!