Tech Update - A shortened on-site URL should be a temporary redirect

20 Feb 2019

This week Helen Grimbly, Support Lead at Sitemorse has been looking at queries raised about shortened URLs.

Helen Grimbly

Helen Grimbly, Support Lead

URLs are sometimes shortened for reasons such as to make the URL more friendly, memorable and take up less space. A shortened URL should be set as a temporary redirect.

A permanent redirect indicates that the original target URL is wrong, and it should be updated to where it is redirecting to. However in the case of shortened on-site URLs, the original target is OK and has been given as a shortened URL for mainly aesthetic reasons.

Sitemorse lists any URLs found that are '301 permenant redirects', under Code Quality -> url/fetch/moved, indicating that those URLs should be updated. If a shortened URL has been listed, then it is likely that URL needs to be corrected to be a temporary redirect.

Example shortened on-site URL: 
"https://example.com/widgets" redirects to 
"https://example.com/catalog/products/widgets" 
- The shortened URL may be present for a long time, but it should be a 'temporary' redirect in that where it redirects from is correct - just a shorter URL and doesn't need updating.