Mixed Case URLs for WordPress: Anyone?

I’ve noticed a trend on the web lately. I’ve seen several websites (digg, for instance), that use very elaborate URL designs. Now can someone tell me why can’t WordPress do this? There’s a post slug field that should do what I tell it to, but it lowercases and “sanitizes” what I write.

Instead of the usual

noscope.com/journal/2005/11/mixed-case-urls

why not an elaborate style:

noscope.com/journal/Mixed_Case_URLs_for_Wordpress:_Anyone

it seems pretty simple, not?

16 thoughts on “Mixed Case URLs for WordPress: Anyone?”

  1. AkaXakA says:

    There should be a file in the wordpress core that selects and sanitizes the title into a slug. Once you’ve found that I imagine it’d be pretty easy to change it to your liking.

  2. Sujay says:

    Eh, I dunno. Isn’t short and simple better? Digg’s article URLs usually always look clunkier to me.

  3. Tristan says:

    Sure, why not? I prefer short to get the idea across quickly, but if you, say, wanted to clean up the structure of your permalinks to have fewer directories and needed more uniqueness…

    In any case, yes, it should be rather easy to do. Just find the function in WP that’s overprocessing them and clean it up.

  4. I can see how this idea may be attractive from a designer’s point of view (“typographical control” on URIs, yay!).

    But if we consider them as a tool (something used to get at a piece of information out there), mixed-case and such “fancy” URI loose a lot of appeal to my eye. Not only do I need to remember a string of text, but also its case… And no, don’t get me started on bookmarks: cumulate over 500 of them in any browser (even the “good ones”), and they’re a nightmare to manage.

    Imagine: “Oh yes, I’ll find it on http://wordpress.org/about/. Or was it wordpress.org/About? Or wordpress.org/AbOuT?”

  5. Joen says:

    I’m thrilled to have this kind of discussion ensue, but I have to be honest. I’m not going to use this plugin myself — I’m perfectly happy with the URLs I have.

    However, I think the idea of allowing such URLs is a healthy one, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be possible. I have several other projects in queue, where I can see this work.

    Serge,

    Imagine: “Oh yes, I?ll find it on http://wordpress.org/about/. Or was it wordpress.org/About? Or wordpress.org/AbOuT?”

    You make a good point.

    But on one hand, if this ever makes it to a plugin, it’ll be a conscious choice.

    I could support this choice because really, who types in the whole blog permalink URL by hand anyway? Say I want to visit this very page. I wouldn’t type in http://www.noscope.com/journal/2005/11/mixed-case-urls from memory, I’d either visit from a feedreader or type in noscope and hit CTRL + ENTER.

    Not to belittle your point, because it’s a good one, but it’s a sacrifice I could make if I felt it helped the location.

  6. AkaXakA says:

    Case changes wouln’t have any effect, just like in urls.

    Furthermore, most users don’t really notice what’s in a locationbar, especially if it’s a few levels down.

  7. Joen says:

    Case changes wouln’t have any effect, just like in urls.

    Well, usually case matters on Apache/UNIX setups (like mine). I just tested and you’re right, it works even so.. but that’s gotta be some wordpress or mod_rewrite tolerance issue…

  8. AkaXakA says:

    Ah, but the cruft after index.php/… is all handled by wordpress. Your mod_rewrite for clean urls (that make it journal/2005/bla instead of journal/index.php/2005 like mine) just hands it over to wordpress.

    So we can safely scratch case-sensitivity problems off the list.*

    *Although, if you generate the files (like MT?) then you could, maybe, have problems, but I don’t know how MT handles cruft free urls.

  9. dave says:

    You could do this via a WP plugin, it would just involve learning the hooks and rewrite rules and working with them. There is a tendency for people to like underscores because they look almost like spaces, but in terms of SEO (ooo nasty word), dashes are a lot more friendly.

    If you use underscores, Google (maybe other search engines) treats the string as characters, if you use dashes, the string gets treated as full words. The main reason to point this out is that Google places emphasis on what you have in the title and address fields. That said being found via search engine may not matter.

  10. Joen says:

    If you use underscores, Google (maybe other search engines) treats the string as characters, if you use dashes, the string gets treated as full words. The main reason to point this out is that Google places emphasis on what you have in the title and address fields. That said being found via search engine may not matter.

    I know this argument, and I was going to add it as a downside to these fancy URLs… but are you sure this is still the case with Google? I have a few old MT URLs with underscores that work just fine with Google. Take this one for example, and notice the highlighted strings.

  11. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Take this one for example, and notice the highlighted strings.

    The thing is, would you still find it if you searched for horizontal scrollbar bug. The answer is yes which implies that google distinguishes words seperated by underscores (as well as dashes) in urls.

  12. AkaXakA says:

    The answer is yes which implies that google distinguishes words seperated by underscores (as well as dashes) in urls.

    Yep. Search robots have caught on and most search engines support _ as well as –

  13. Joen says:

    Yep. Search robots have caught on and most search engines support _ as well as –

    Now there’s just the question of how many extra symbols are supported in the string.

    I know colon is. How about ; and !, maybe even $ ? I imagine both ? and # won’t work since they have their own URL purposes.

  14. AkaXakA says:

    Hehe… /journal/That_%R$E%#%&%$#&*(_URL

    Mmmm coded swear-urls 🙂

  15. Joen says:

    Hehe… /journal/That_%R$E%#%&%$#&*(_URL

    I say bring it on! 🙂

  16. Backlink Saver says:

    The problem is, that my old pages had mixed case. I just moved them to WP and had placed the correct case in the slug and after all that work, they are now all lower case.

    So, google will not see the new pages as the old ones.

    Sure way to lose backlinks.

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