Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure

A blog, by tradition, is an online journal.

We write the posts, and when we enable post titles, we choose the post titles. When we enable post pages and post titles, the URLs of the posts are a function of the dates, and the titles, of the posts.

We can choose the titles of the posts, but the Blogger post editor chooses the URLs. This is a key component in the Blogger Infrastructure. The static page editor ("Edit Pages") uses the same engine as the Post Editor, and Static Pages (aka "Pages") use a similar basic URL structure.

Here's the title of this post
Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure
Here's the URL of this post
  • - The blog URL.
  • 2009 - The year of the post, when originally published.
  • 08 - The month of the post, when originally published.
  • blogging-directory-and-url-structure - The original title, compressed.
Here's the title of one static page in this blog
Leave Comments Here
Here's the URL of the static page
  • p - The static pages tag
  • leave-comments-here - The original title, compressed

Simply changing the title of a published post does not change the URL.
When you publish a dynamic or static page, the post or page is given a URL, possibly based upon the title when published. If you later change the title, the URL does not change. If you want to correct the URL to match a changed title, you have to create a new page or post, with the correct title. You can, optionally, redirect one URL to another, within the blog.

Posts with duplicate titles can not cause duplicate URLs, because of a URL suffix.
Bloggers sometimes like to reuse post titles. If I published a second post in this series, tomorrow, (today being 2009/08/27), I would end up with a possible duplicate URL. Blogger can't let that happen - two posts cannot share the same URL.

Here's the title of tomorrow's hypothetical post
Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure - Part Two

Here's the URL of tomorrow's post
  • - The blog URL.
  • 2009 - The year of the post, when originally published.
  • 08 - The month of the post, when originally published.
  • blogging-directory-and-url-structure - The original title, compressed.
  • _28 - The suffix, to prevent a duplicate URL.

Having published tomorrow's hypothetical post, I end up with two posts with similar URLs. One post (today's original) has a non suffixed URL, the second (tomorrow's duplicate) has a suffixed URL.

Posts with duplicate titles in different months do not need a suffix.
Adding to the confusion, if I were to publish a post using the same title - but next month, or next year - I would have 2 posts with different URLs, without suffixing. Since the year and month are part of the URL, any post in a different month has a different URL.

Long ago, "Archiving" was a selectable option, with Blogger blogs.
  • Never.
  • Year.
  • Month.
  • Week
Now, there is no option, and all blogs archive on a monthly basis. It's possible that older blogs, created when this option was available, may archive differently, and have a different duplicate URL filter / suffixing strategy.

Simply deleting a post does not let you publish a new post with that same URL.
If I were to then delete today's original post, I'd end up with tomorrow's duplicate with a suffixed URL, period. Once you delete a post (or a static page), a new post (or static page) with that same, identical URL can not be re created, by simply re publishing - so delete duplicate posts (static pages) very carefully.

If you want to publish a new post, replacing an old post, publish the old post to draft - then delete the draft copy, if you need to do that.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Susan said...

Thanks for explaining that. If you want a certain url you can publish a post with one title, and then go back and change the title. Why? Because sometimes with a blog you have a short-term plan and a long-term plan. Entertain your followers with a catchy post title and then later change it to what Google searches would be looking for. But, you might want the second plan to be what chooses the url.

Salman said...

Great post.But How to change the URL structure of Blogger like this

Blogging Tips

Chuck said...


The best that you can ever do, using the Blogger infrastructure, would be
That would require publishing to an external (non Google) server using FTP.

Pathofseo said...

Hiya, Now I have got the option of Creation of page but still I got /p/ in the url. Hope the same facility will be soon available in the future.