In this video, we'll go through the various settings for Pathauto, and some best practice settings for each.
We'll also take a look at the "Settings" tab.
- Verbose: This will
- Separator: This defaults to a "-" and will replace spaces in words as well as punctuation when creating the URL. Some people prefer to use an underscore, but Google says they recommend hyphens instead of underscores.
- Character case: Windows servers do not differentiate between upper and lowercase URLs (example.com/Page is the same as example.com/page). Linux servers however, do differentiate between upper and lowercase URLs (example.com/Page and example.com/page are two separate pages and can have different content.) I recommend this be set to "Change to lower case" to avoid potential problems with upper and lowercase URLs.
- Maximum alias length: This is the maximum characters allowed in a URL alias. 100 should be plenty.
- Maximum component length: This is the maximum characters allowed in an individual component of the URL alias. Again, 100 should be plenty.
- Update action: You have three options here
- Do nothing. Leave the old alias intact: This will continue to use the original alias, even if you change a component used to generate the alias. (ie: title)
- Create a new alias. Leave the existing alias functioning: This will create another alias for the content, and keep the original alias functional. This may have negative affects to your SEO, as search engines may see the two pages as containing duplicate content even though they are actually the same page. We'll talk about how to set this up properly using the Redirect module in the video Why to use Redirect.
- Create a new alias. Delete the old alias: This is the recommended setting as you won't be negatively affected by duplicate content. You will however loose any SEO juice built up for a page if you change the alias, as search engines will see it as new content. So, the recommended approach to updating aliases is to use the Redirect module because it will setup 301 redirects, that allow you to update a URL alias, and transfer any SEO juice to the new page. Again, we'll take a look at that in the video Why to use Redirect.
- Reduce strings to letters and numbers: This setting will filter your alias to include only letters and numbers found in the ASCII-96 set. You would not want to use this if you need non-ASCII-96 characters, such as letters with accents in your url.
- Strings to remove: strings listed here will be removed from your URL alias. With the default settings, an article titled "Lady and the Tramp" would create an alias "/lady-tramp". For this reason, I like to clear this box, and not remove any strings so that the alias would be "/lady-and-the-tramp". This is entirely a personal preference, and you can leave the defaults, delete them, or even add your own strings.
- Punctuation: This section allows you to decide what to do when punctuation is included in URL alias components. You have three options
- Remove: This will just remove it from the URL alias
- Replace by separator: This will replace the punctuation with the separator you set above.
- No action (do not replace): This will leave the punctuation in the URL. This is not recommended for most punctuation marks as they may cause undesired affects. By default, we're removing most punctuation, but you can keep or replace anything you'd like.