The URL is the address displayed in the browser's address bar. In this article, you can read what your URL is made of and how you can control what your URL looks like.

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What is a URL

The URL is the address displayed in the browser's address bar. The address is made up of the domain name, a folder structure to the page, and the page itself. For example:


"https://www.test.nl/who-we-are/your-name"


The structure of the URL is used by visitors and search engines. The URL should be concise, readable and related to the content. Avoid a long URL, for example, do not use numbers as this is very user-unfriendly and confusing. It can even deter visitors.


Sitebox always generates the URL based on the folder structure and file name of the page. You can create a good URL by keeping the folder structure in the 'Structure and Pages' module neat and clear. You can change the file name per page.


Please note that if you move a webpage in 'Structure and Pages' by, for example, dragging it to another folder, the URL will also be adjusted automatically.



The index page

In your folder of webpages, you will find two types of pages. The index page and other pages. For the index page, the file name (index.html) is not appended to the URL. For all other pages it is.


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


If you want to set an index page for a new folder, you can do this in the following way: 


Select the folder in which you want to create an index page and click the action button  'Add' on the right-hand side of the page:


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


In the pop-up screen, enter the name of the folder under 'Title'. At 'URL' put 'index.html' completely in lowercase. At 'Description' you give a description of the page.

A description is mandatory for accessibility compliance.

Then choose the correct template at 'Template' and click on 'OK':


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


The index page icon  is now in front of your new page:


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.



Create a shortened URL

If you have created a structure of multiple folders and sub-folders, your URLs may inadvertently become very long. Then when you have someone on the phone and you want to refer them to the webpage, it doesn't sound as good when have to say:


"https://www.website.nl/entrepeneurs/permits/permitx/applyforpermitx"


It would be a lot easier if you could stick to:


"https://www.website.nl/applyforpermitx"


You can, and you don't have to move your webpage in 'Structure and pages' to do this. You can make a 'Redirect' for this, or a shortened URL.


To do this, go to the module 'Redirects'. You will find the module under the header 'Website': 


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


You can also maintain a folder structure in the 'Redirects' module as you do in 'Navigation' and in 'Structure & pages'. This can help you quickly find the shortened URLs for a specific page. Especially because it is possible to create multiple shortened URLs for a webpage.


You create a new folder on the left side of the page with the action button 'Add folder'. Select the folder in which you want to create a shortened URL and click the action button  'Add' on the right-hand side of the page:


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


In the pop-up screen, enter the shortened URL under 'Referral'. At 'Target page' you enter the full URL of the webpage.


The choice at 'Redirect type' depends on the purpose of your redirect. If you want to create a shortened URL, choose '302 temporary redirect'.


Click 'OK & Publish'.


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


Now when someone uses the shortened URL, he or she will be automatically redirected to the full URL.


Attention! If you create multiple shortened URLs on your webpage, make sure that each shortened URL is unique. A shortened URL cannot point to two different web pages. If you are not sure if a shortened URL is already in use, try it out in your web browser. If you get a message that the page is not found, the shortened URL is not yet in use.



Permanently move a webpage

It is possible that you have created a webpage in a certain folder. After a while you decide that you prefer to put the page somewhere else. That's why you moved it. The page now has a different URL. 


Het kan ook zijn dat je de informatie op twee of meer webpagina's samenvoegt tot één pagina. De vernieuwde pagina is misschien niet verhuisd, maar de oude pagina's bestaan niet langer.

It may be that people or search engines do not realize that the old URL no longer exists. That is why it is smart to leave a 'moving notice'. You can do this by having a visitor from the old URL forward to the new URL.


To do this, go to the module 'Redirects'. You will find the module under the header 'Website':


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


You can also maintain a folder structure in the 'Redirects' module as you do in 'Navigation' and in 'Structure & pages'. This can help you quickly find the shortened URLs for a specific page. Especially because it is possible to create multiple moving notices for a webpage.


You create a new folder on the left side of the page with the action button 'Add folder'. Select the folder in which you want to create a transfer and click on the action button  'Add' on the right-hand side of the page:


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


In the pop-up screen, enter the old URL next to 'Referral'. At 'Target page' you enter the new URL of the webpage.


The choice at 'Redirect type' depends on the purpose of your redirect. If you want to make a move, choose 301 permanent redirect at 'Redirect type'.

Although a comment is not mandatory, it is smart to add a comment to a permanent redirect. This means that any future webmaster knows what happened.


Click 'OK & Publish'.


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


Now when someone uses the old URL, he or she will be automatically redirected to the new URL. 


Attention! The old URL is now no longer usable. If you later want to use the old URL for a different webpage, you must delete the redirect. Otherwise, the visitor will continue to be redirected to the webpage that you have indicated at 'Target page'.



A canonical URL

A canonical URL is a preferred URL.


Sometimes you may have created a webpage that appears duplicate on your website, or that a webpage looks so much like another page that search engines see it as a duplicate webpage.


In many cases it is smarter to prevent a webpage from appearing twice on your website, but sometimes this cannot be prevented.


The search engine then chooses which of the two web pages the search engine will refer to. If you don't want this, you can choose which of the duplicate web pages search engines refer to.


Example: You have a website with delicious recipes. You have classified these recipes in different types. So you have a vegetarian recipes section and a burger recipes section.


You have now written a recipe for vegetarian hamburgers and are not sure where you want to place the recipe. That's why you put the recipe on your webpage twice. These are the URLs:


"https://www.website.nl/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/vegetarian-hamburger"
"https://www.website.nl/recipes/hamburger-recipes/vegetarian-hamburger"


Since you think a vegetarian food lover is more likely to be interested in the recipe than a burger lover, you'd prefer that the person be referred to the URL by the search engine:


"https://www.website.nl/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/vegetarian-hamburger"


To do this, you can indicate at the webpage for hamburger recipes that the URL for the recipe in vegetarian recipes is the preferred URL.


To do this, go to the 'Structure & pages' module. You can find this module under the header 'Website':


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


Within the module 'Structure and pages', click on the webpage that should not be given preference in search engines. Now click on the action button  'Edit' on the right-hand side of the page:


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.


Click the tab 'General' and type the URL of the page that should be giver preference in search engines at 'Canonical URL':


Screenshot showing the steps described in the text. Click the image to enlarge it.

If you don't want to add anything else to the page, click 'OK'. If you want to publish the page immediately, click on 'OK & Publish'. You can always adjust the page later or take it offline.



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