Dynamic URLs: a different model

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The dynamic url/static url "should I mod_rewrite" subject marches on
without resolution. At Tips' suggestion I watched Matt Cutts' various
videos. And something occurred to me.

Most  pages, whether dynamic or static (not counting top-level home
and various forms) consist of various combinations of the following:

1) an optional display header
2) an optional display footer
3) global links (links every page has, like Home, Checkout, etc)
4) page specific links (a link set specific to this page)
5) one or more display areas, which could be wrapped inside p or div
tags or
    table cells

The display areas are the most important parts. You could
argue they are the only important parts of the site. Links lead
to informative displays.

So it helps to think of a website as a domain of displays.
Each such display (text and matching images, sound bytes, etc)
could and should have a static instantiation, available to bots or
customers from
a static site map. Then there is no mod_rewrite/dynamic url issue to
worry about.
For each item in a shopping cart or for each informational
page in a site, there could and should be a single static page
that can be navigated to from a static site map.

Each such display area could *ALSO* be found by a keyword
query mechanism (show me all the shotguns for sale at Cabelas).
Dynamic pages generated as the result of queries like that
might exist as sets of thumbnails links in semi-infinitely variable

But if each such link ulitimately lead to a display area that was
identical to its static counterpart, then you would have a system that
offered all
the benefits of dynamically generated pages with all the SEO benefits
of static pages, because, for each possible leaf-level display area,
you have it both ways.

That way you get to have your cake and eat it too.
All you need is a CMS that (once loaded with data) can
write out the site map and all the static pages, and also
be available process interactive search queries--to spit out variable
lists of links and thumbnails, as query results, that ultimately lead
to the
same displays found on the static pages.

If you had a CMS that did that, you'd have something.
If you followed that development model, there would be no
link dynamic link problem to worry about, and you wouldn't have
to fiddle with mod_rewrite and its pepto bysmol regular expressions.

Re: Dynamic URLs: a different model

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For some sites it's very possible to have only static HTML pages (files).
My site is an example of such. If I update my site, I run a program that
spits out all the pages and propagates changes when necesseray. Then I
upload the files, and bang. Advantage is that my site can handle serious
peaks in traffic, and survives even when the database is down (I don't use
one). Disadvantage is that it can't be updated realtime (which for now
isn't an issue because I don't allow real time comments for the moment).

On the other hand when the MySQL or other database engine runs reliable
and there is no huge amount of traffic or huge peaks, or when real time
updates are required there is little reason not to use a dynamic site.


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I am sure there are additional headaches you overlooked ;-) If you can't
do the mod_rewrite, hire an expert.

John    Need help with SEO? Get started with a SEO report of your site:

    --> http://johnbokma.com/websitedesign/seo-expert-help.html

Re: Dynamic URLs: a different model

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This is what I do for large sections of my site,
 I use the database and a script to create my pages
and then simply view source, save as to create the page.
Do you use a program to name and save the pages
for you John, or do you have to do it manually?

Like you say the big advantage is these pages are a lot
quicker and more reliable when getting lots of traffic, my
site is on an Access database using ASP and it is really
struggling to cope with the traffic I receive.


Re: Dynamic URLs: a different model


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I wouldn't. I do SEO all over the page.

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Duplicate content?


Re: Dynamic URLs: a different model

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I do things this way, but display the content
differently on the static pages to the dynamic
pages, with only the snippet of content being
the bit that is duplicated.


Re: Dynamic URLs: a different model

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If I'm making a very fast small "static" HTML site I just use a quick PHP
template something like this:

  $title = "your title";
  $description = "your meta description";
  $keywords = "your meta keywords";

  $content = <<<EOF

<h1>hello world</h1>
<p>some body text</p>


include 'header';  // prints the <html><head> with the $title, $description,
include 'nav';  // horizontal nav if you want it
echo $content;  // the content in this file
include 'sidebar';  // a sidebar that appears on every page
include 'footer';  // the footer code for every page

Something like that (off the top of my head).  To make new pages just change
the $content variable and save with a new file name.  Use .htaccess to set
the server to parse PHP in HTML files.  No need to use mod_rewrite.  If you
want a sitemap, just run a script in the directory: "for each file in
directory, print <a href="$file">$title</a>" (or something).  It's a bit
rough, but works for a fast search-engine-friendly template solution.

To change an individual page, edit that particular file.  All of the
headers, nav, sidebar and footer code are kept in separate files.  To change
the design, just edit those include files and the CSS file.


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