Do you use dates in your URLs?

Several of my clients are jumping into the world of blogging and I reached out to my most excellent colleagues (Hi Max & Brian) to help get some WordPress blogs designed, installed and setup for me.

Since these are new blogs, the question of subdomains vs. subdirectories came up (more on that later, still researching a few things) as did the question of blog URLs including dates or not.

URLs Dates or Not?

This blog is currently setup with year and month in the URL. Nearly all news sites I’ve seen use the full date in their posts. I’ve had a blog since May 2006, so I have a pretty good archive of posts that include the date in the URL. If I were to change mid-stream to a no-date structure, I think I’d have a lot of redirecting to do.

Although I just made the change for my personal blogs and posts seem to be redirecting properly from the old date format URLs… H’mm, am I bold enough to try making the change on my 7 year old blog just to “see what happens?”

Here are links to a few differing viewpoints on dates in URLs:

And a quick video from Matt Cutts about it. Basically he says you don’t need the date, but that it can be a good usability feature to have the date easy for your visitors to find. However, the date doesn’t have to be in the URL, it can be in the post content. Google doesn’t use the URL to determine “freshness” of information.

 

So, if you are starting a new blog, will you use dates in your URLs or not?

3 thoughts on “Do you use dates in your URLs?

  1. Max

    My WP installs automatically put dates in each post, unless I actively turn that off. I like the “prettiness” of not having dates in URL’s — often the post title is more relevant to my users than the date it was published (I suppose unless it’s VERY old). After all, Google only reads something like 65 characters for a URI slug anyhow. Thanks for the shout out, Joanne, really valuable post.

    Reply
    1. AskJoanne Post author

      I agree leaving out the dates is the way to go. Do you know if I change my setup now if I will have to manually 301 redirect the old pages, or does the WP configuration somehow handle that?

      Reply

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