Your URL Does Not Matter

I've written for this website for five years now. Lately, I've been debating if I should move to a style of URL.

I've written before, especially in my about page, that I've thought about changing the URL of War on Pants. I ultimately decided against it for a multitude of reasons: it breaks links that point to the site, it is the domain of my primary email address, et cetera.

What are the benefits of changing the URL? It would change what people type in to the address bar in their browsers, but that's not really a benefit. That got me thinking: does anybody actually type an address manually anymore?

If you work in a tech field, you may think that the answer is obviously "yes." I thought this, too, but after spending a day being conscious of it, I realized that I don't, either.

People use their bookmarks or click links. The location bar of a browser is a relic of the past, almost as if it should be relegated to an "Advanced" tab of some menu. At the Apple store, a purported geniusgenius asked my wife to log in to her email and brought up the page for her on a nearby PC. Even he typed "gmail" into Google and clicked the top search result.

It seems to me that search has long since become the default navigational technology of the web, with the main user-focused enhancements coming from predictive and historical results, automatic collections of commonly-used sites, and so forth. By contrast, hyperlink navigation and explicit curation of bookmarks are for the tiny minority. Humans just don't use the web that way.

- Burying the URL by Matt Gemmell

Think about the last time someone told you about a website. Chances are they emailed or social network-ed a link to you rather than reciting a URL.

How did it become this way? I think dynamic web pages are the primary reason. Once WordPress became common, a search engine became a requirement to find a page. People may remember, but there's no chance of remembering

Of course, WordPress isn't really to blame, as e-commerce uses extremely long URLs that are impossible to remember and extremely prone to transcription errors.

->Amazon Christmas list
Source: Elisa Kreisinger<-

When creating a website, put some thought into the URL. Once your site has been established, don't change it without a very good reason. The cons far outweigh the benefits because, ultimately, URLs are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

genius Did the world make fun of this title enough to change it yet?