I am working on a project that had me was writing about browser plug-ins and I needed to link to the main page for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Add-ons, for Firefox’s Extensions, and lastly for Greasemonkey for Firefox.
I actually looked up those three in opposite order than I have them listed above. Greasemonkey’s URL was pretty good although it’s a shame it’s not greasemonkey.com/.net/.org; the .com resolves to a 403 forbidden page, the .org resolves to a list of advertising links, and the .net resolves to Grease Monkey International, a franchiser of automotive preventive maintenance centers! Whatever the case, I feel pretty good that this URL is going to have really good persistence. It should be around at least as long a Greasemonkey is relevant if for no other reason than to return a 301:
The second URL for Firefox extensions was not so good, but I still think there a pretty good chance it will still resolve a year from now:
Then there is Microsoft’s horrific URL for Internet Explorer Add-ons. What were they thinking? I’ll bet this URL doesn’t resolve three months from now let alone in a year of five:
URLs like this one from Microsoft are a crying shame. Sadly, Microsoft is one of the few companies that can get away with this without be negatively affected. On the other hand, most companies haven’t a clue how bad URLs like this can affect them.
That said, I’d love to get your input:
- Why is Microsoft’s URL so bad? Help me find and explain all the reasons why companies should care not to be so careless when designing their URLs. Why is it bad for users, and why is it bad for Microsoft?
- Design the Ideal URLs. Assume you have no constraints at all – no badly designed content management system and no inflexible server technology — and suggest the ideal URL for each of the above three resources. Heck, you can even change domain names if you want to. So what would be the best URLs for each of the three above?