Article URLs week: Day 3
Today, in the third installment of Article URLs week, I’ll focus on sites that use dates poorly.
Dates need to be arranged in year/month/day order, because that is the only hierarchical way to do it — months come inside of years, and days come inside of months. (In addition to improving your URL design, hierarchical dates simplify your life by making your operating system sort files in a logical order.) Also, four-digit years are permanent and two-digit years are not. “2003” is okay, but “03” will create a Y2.1K problem.
- ClarionLedger.com: B+
This site would have gotten an A if it used a four-digit year.
- statesman.com: C
Other Cox sites now also use a URL scheme with repeated parts. But the bigger problem is the non-hierarchical and impermanent
0703for the month and day rather than
- Charleston.Net: C+
Using month/day/year is even worse, but this URL gets serious bonus points for being hackable one level up to the day’s articles (check out the calendar-based interface to the archives).
- DallasNews.com: C-
This would be a nice slug-based URL if it had the date right. It doesn’t, and it also isn’t hackable.
- Boston.com: D+
211for? If you didn’t guess, today is the 211th day of the year. This is much more confusing than using months and days, and without a
2003in there somewhere, this URL is not permanent. Finally, while I like slug-based filenames, using the whole headline is just too long.
Now that I’ve managed to criticize Boston.com, tomorrow we’ll focus on some of the other top news sites to see how they do.