Webvanta Blog: Techniques for Effective Websites

Webvanta Platform Upgrade: Flexible URL Generation

Webvanta Platform Upgrade: Flexible URL Generation Image

In any system that uses database-driven pages, you need to pass database identifiers along with the URLs. For example, suppose you have a database of products. In typical (non-Webvanta) systems, you'd see URLs like:

   www.mycompany.com/product.asp?pid=123456

In this case, a URL parameter is being used to pass a product identifier code to the page.

In the Webvanta system, we've always incorporated these sorts of identifiers into the URL itself, which is better for caching, and also added a URL-safe version of the item name after the ID. This results in URL strings like:

   www.mycompany.com/product/123456-baby-stroller

We've now introduced several features that make URL generation much more flexible, so you can get rid of the item ID entirely as long as the product names are unique. Now, for example, that URL can be:

   www.mycompany.com/product/baby-stroller

In addition, you can now pass any number of variables into a page, and still have that page be fully cacheable (and appear to be a static page from a robot's perspective). So now you can have URLs like:

   www.mycompany.com/products/retail/furniture

And have the values 'retail' and 'furniture' passed to the page as variables, which you can then use to select the appropriate content.

We've published three new support articles that explain all the details:

These features are available immediately for all new sites. If you want to use the new features on an existing site, it may need an upgrade; please create a ticket if this applies to you.

In July, we'll be updating our SmartThemes to use the new approach.

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