The URLs are new

This blog has had pretty long URLs for legacy reasons. Today I've made some updates to change that.

Redirects and RSS should all work, though some feed readers seem to surface old posts as unread, sorry for any inconvenience.

For context, this used to be my company's website. I only really ever updated the blog section, so I decided to make that the main thing. The old structure lasted just over 8 years and my hope is that the new one will break that record.

URLs are such a cool part of the web, especially if they're set up thoughtfully. Like, where you can add /london/bristol to get times for trains from London to Bristol, and /9:00 to that if you want the ones that leave from 9am.

I don't know of ways to give blog URLs very thoughtful structures, there isn't a lot of structure in this blog anyway. Anne van Kesteren's classic post on how to do blogs has some good pointers, like where an archive should live.

New blog post URLs

On this blog, a post URL used to be something like:

It's now:

The main changes are:

  • new host name, reducing lots of characters, easier to remember and put on slides
  • single language setup, removing the need for en
  • no more dates in the URL structure

I wasn't super sure about removing dates, so I asked on Twitter. I didn't have a specific reason for including dates before, it was a default of my CMS and I kind of liked it at the time.

Dates matter

A couple of people replied to my question that dates on blog posts are important to readers. Especially for blog posts that share technical advice, as they could go out of date.

Other reasons for including a date are:

But there are drawbacks too:

  • date is usually creation date, this could make posts seem old, while the author may be frequently keeping content up to date, this could be confusing
  • dates are really metadata, they don't belong in the URL
  • it's not as simple and readable

I've gone for simplicity. I do agree dates matter though, especially on tech posts, so I have the publication date in the post content near the title (I do use GitHub's <time-ago> Web Component to display it relatively). I also include dates when I make updates, though I add those at the end rather than near the title (I probably want to improve that).

That's all for today. I've also moved away from the CMS, so if you notice anything is broken, please do slide in my DMs or email my first name at

Thanks to everyone who replied on Twitter.

Comments, likes & shares (11)

How long should your URLs be? Should you include a date or not? Hidde just updated the URLs of his blog and shares what he changed and why: