Best practices regarding the path (URL) of a page

Example of a page path

When providing the path of a page, you should inasmuch as possible abide by the following practices, especially for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes.

1. Remove function words such as articles, prepositions and conjunctions

Examples of function words in English and in French include the following:

  • English: a, an, and, as, at, before, but, by, for, from, is, in, into, like, of, off, on, onto, per, since, than, the, this, that, to, up, via, with, etc.
  • French: le, la, l’, les, de, du, d’, des, sur, sous, avec, donc, en, et, y, ou, mais, là, sauf, un, une, ni, dans, à, au, aux, car, après, avant, donc, vers, par, etc.

Exceptions to this include fixed expressions, where removing a function word can change the meaning. For example, "En bref" and "À propos", which mean "About" in French, have fairly different meanings from "bref" (brief) and "propos" (sentiments, remarks). So in these two cases, "en-bref" and "a-propos" are acceptable.

2. Lowercase your text, remove accents and separate words with hyphens

The path of a page should be in lowercase letters, should not contain any accented or other complex characters (e.g. Chinese characters), and words should be separated by hyphens to improve readability. Do not use underscores or other symbols to separate words.

This means that if you had a page called "Administration and governance", your page path should resemble something like "administration-governance".

3. Verify the hierarchy of the path

If your page falls under another section, you must ensure that your path reflects this fact. For example, if you had a page called "Administration and governance" that needed to be placed under an "About" page, the path that you would have to enter into the field would be "about/administration-governance".

4. Verify the French path and translate it if necessary

Although Drupal will automatically generate paths for non-complex pages based on the title, you should verify that the French path generated respects the rules above.

For webmasters working with complex pages (aka Panel Pages), make sure that you have properly translated the path into French. See the article How to translate the path of Panel Pages for more details.

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