Inside NPR.org

Plumbing

Friendlier URLs Come To NPR

Ever notice the URL in your browser address bar? (That's the www.something.com address you use to navigate to a Web site.) Today at NPR we are making that URL more useful for NPR.org users and for search engines.

Instead of a providing only a rather obscure URL with a unique ID number, we are now adding plain-English words that can describe the page at a glance.  This type of "semantic" URL makes it easier to find what you are looking for in search engine results. Our blogs started featuring these more readable URLs months ago. Today's release expands their use to the other sections of our site.

The main pages of our site now use very readable URLs such as:

http://www.npr.org/sections/books/

http://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/

http://www.npr.org/music/genres/jazz-blues/

http://www.npr.org/series/kitchen-window/

Some page titles might not be unique and, in those cases, we keep our unique IDs in URLs and add semantic information.  For example, we keep IDs in pages that use the names of people such as:

http://www.npr.org/artists/16152990/loretta-lynn

http://www.npr.org/people/4646803/adam-davidson

Also we keep IDs in some of the ongoing series and aggregations we use throughout the site, such as:

http://www.npr.org/series/128245649/the-human-edge

http://www.npr.org/series/15667984/favorite-sessions

For a regular story, we now include the date of the story, the story's unique ID and the headline:

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/11/12345678/title-made-url-friendly

We don't plan to apply these changes to all past stories, so readable URLs only show up in stories from today onward.

What about your bookmarks?  Don't worry, the old URLs will continue to work. They will now be automatically redirected to the new URL.

If you are a developer relying on our old URL structure, you will have to update your code.  Semantic URLs are available in our API in link elements with type = "html".

We hope these changes make it easier for you to find what interests you the most!

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Inside NPR.org