General information / introduction

Starting with ePages 6.0.6 it is possible to configure alternate and shorter URLs calling single shop pages.

Default URL:

http://www.myshop.de/epages/DemoShop.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/DemoShop/Products/lt_0401107001

New Short URL:

http://www.myshop.de/Leatherman-Pocket-Survival-Tool

The Short URL follows the schema [ShopDomain]/[ShortUrlId]. The merchant can generate Short URLs for all pages that are based on objects of the ContentObject class. These are:

  • product

  • resource

  • category (also promotional products)

  • content pages

  • forum

  • guestbook

  • blog

  • picture gallery

  • business hours

  • sitemap

  • terms and conditions

  • privacy policy

  • customer information

Once configured, the Short URL is the preferred URL being communicated to the internet. Short URLs can be used without restrictions in regards to license or shop types.

It is not possible to use Short URLs for:

  • my account

  • basket

  • registration

  • sign-on for newsletters

  • extended search

  • order form

Note: Short URLs can only be used in shops that have their own domains!

Advantages

Results in search engines contain - besides page details and content - the URL of the page. Having the URL short and informative is helpful and recommended:

Short URLs are

  • partially displayed in bold-face if the search term is part of the URL

  • easier to handle in e-mails and texts

  • similar to short domains, and easier to remember

  • much more comfortably integrated into external pages

How does it work?

  1. Webserver: new incoming request for http://www.myshop.de/Product1

  2. Webserver: URL rewrite to http://www.myshop.de/epages/.shorturl?URI=Product1

  3. RequestRouter: forward the request to the application server pool being defined for domain www.myshop.de

  4. Servlet: find StoreDB and ShopID for domain www.myshop.de

  5. Servlet: requesting data for parameter Product1 from StoreDB

  6. Database: returns StoreAlias, GUID or ObjectID for valid parameters. Data are sent to the default storefront servlet and processed as usual. For invalid parameters, HTTP404 "Not found" is initiated.

Avoiding duplicate content

Duplicate content causes trouble with most search engines - there is more than one URL pointing to the same page/content. To avoid issues by having i. e.

http://www.meinshop.de/epages/DemoShop.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/DemoShop/Products/lt_0401107001
http://www.meinshop.de/Leatherman-Pocket-Survival-Tool
http://server/epages/DemoShop.sf/?ObjectPath=/Shops/DemoShop/Products/lt_0401107001&ViewAction=ViewProductViaPortal&Locale=de_DE&et_cid=1&et_lid=1

ePages Short URL feature comes with template changes, so called canonical links (html tag <link rel="canonical" href="…" />).

All pages with a defined ShortUrlId in the used language gets the canonical link added to the html head:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://[Domain]/[ShortUrlId]" />

As a result, the search engines use and count only hits for the defined canonical URLs and show only those URLs in the search results list as a native index.

Changes and standard functions

; BBO : The shop needs its own domain.

; MBO : A message is displayed on the home-page pointing to the Short URL option once the domain is available. Next, the shop administrator can decide to have the Short URLs generated automatically or manually:

  • Automatic: Short URLs will be generated for all possible objects, see introduction above. Existing Short URLs will not be changed.

  • Manual: A detail page is displayed where object- and language-related short URL names can be defined. Overwriting an existing Short URL has to be confirmed. </dl>

ShortUrlID rules

ShortUrlIds may not be longer than 255 characters.

  • Valid characters are: a…z, A…Z, 0…9, "-", "/"

  • Invalid characters are the others including ".", "," and " " (space)

  • ShortUrlIds may not start or end with "/"

  • Some special- or language-dependent characters will be replaced/translated automatically, but this should be used as an exception only to avoid duplicates

Apache Configuration for non-standard installations

If Short URLs cannot be activated or generated, check the following settings.

Skip Short URL Rewrite for Specific Hosts

File /etc/apache2-epages/envvars defines with environment variable APACHE_SHORTURL_EXCEPT hosts on which short URL rewrite is not applied.

Example:

APACHE_SHORTURL_EXCEPT="localhost 127.0.0.1"

A request from a host defined in APACHE_SHORTURL_EXCEPT (separated by spaces) does not lead to short URL rewrite.

After changing /etc/apache2-epages/envvars Apache must be restarted (reload is not sufficient).

Skip Short URL Rewrite for URIs

File /etc/apache2-epages/extra/httpd_mod_rewrite.conf defines on which short URL rewrite is not applied. It is not necessary to change the default:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/icons_closed/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/epages/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/Monitor/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/WebRoot/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/robots.txt
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/cgi-bin/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/favicon.ico
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/monitor.pl
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/Maintenance/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/WebSecure/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/ShopExport/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/rs/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/api/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !\.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !\.cgi
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/webservertest/