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Microsoft URL Rewrite Module

Hi i have created a website at: www.wbd4u.co.uk and although some may disagree with me using 'Godaddy hosting' it was advised by some experts that this maybe a good site to start.  So for the time being I will continue to use them as I have not had many serious problems with them although they can be slow on response times!!

Q1. Ive got access to godaddy's: Search Engine Visibility ie SEO service and within this I have gone through its process with a few minor issues Im currently working through.

The main problem I have is within SEO Visibility, Ive been advised of the following and wanted to know if someone could help as this does NOT mean a THING to me at all!!!??

- Windows hosting accounts using IIS7 support the Microsoft® URL Rewrite Module, which rewrites complicated URLs into more user-friendly URLs based on rules specified by the webmaster in the account's web.config file. - Yes I can confirm my Windows godaddy account IS using IIS7 by default anyway!!

- For example, the Microsoft URL Rewrite Module could rewrite

http://www.coolexample.com/Vehicles/Category.aspx?Category=Cars
http://www.coolexample.com/Vehicles/Category.aspx?Category=Trucks
http://www.coolexample.com/Vehicles/Category.aspx?Category=Vans

as

http://www.coolexample.com/Cars
http://www.coolexample.com/Trucks
http://www.coolexample.com/Vans

Q2. NOTE: Since a web.config file controls a folder and all of its subdirectories, installing an application in both a folder and one of its subdirectories can cause errors, e.g., installing WordPress in the root and a subdirectory. To host multiple applications, each should be installed in its own subdirectory. - This paragraph presumably means I should logon to my 'File Manager - root directory' where i should create a 'folder' specific for the above files and I should then name the file 'web.config'!!!?

Do i just open a 'notepad' file and just do something like this?

- http://www.wbd4u.co.uk/services/Category.aspx?Category=Cars - Not sure what to put after 'http://www.wbd4u.co.uk/sevices/?????????.aspx???????=??????
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mikey250
Asked:
mikey250
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4 Solutions
 
Steve BinkCommented:
Since you have to do this through the web.config, you'll want to read the actual instructions for it:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms972974.aspx

This is a bit easier if you had access to the IIS MMC.  Alas, that is not an option for shared hosting.
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Tony McCreathTechnical SEO ConsultantCommented:
It sounds like your using WordPress on IIS7. This means you want to set up friendly URLs in wordpress and get the Rewrite Module to support them.

This article is a bit out of date WordPress wise but you should still be able to follow it:

http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/466/enabling-pretty-permalinks-in-wordpress/
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mikey250Author Commented:
Hi I will read that 'url' and hope it is step by step like my initial thread.
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mikey250Author Commented:
I do not really understand what 'WordPress' is as such but from my point of view I am not using this at all.  I have read some comments about using 'WordPress' and it stated that there maybe errors if used, but I am not so I ignored.  It also stated somewhere to confirm that my godaddy hosting was using IIS7 which my account is by default.

I gather this 'WordPress' is some program that would be installed on my pc and I would add my relevant details like using 'Office 2010 for example and upload or something.  I will look at the url YOU sent just to understand a bit more anyway.
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Steve BinkCommented:
Wordpress is a blog software with decent CMS capabilities.  It also benefits from rewriting, but it is not necessary to use Wordpress in order to generate rewrites.  Judging by your first post, you are probably not using it.   (Wordpress is written in PHP, not ASP.NET)

Rewriting is exactly what you explained in your original question: making a URL like /Vehicles/Category.aspx?Category=Cars look like /Cars.  You can check with GoDaddy to make sure they have the URL Rewrite Module v2 installed for their IIS7 installation.  Given the server is ready, the link I posted previously provides the background and instructions for creating rewrites in your web.config file.
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Tony McCreathTechnical SEO ConsultantCommented:
Sorry,

You mentioned WordPress in a quote so I assumed you used it.

I should have realised not, as you talk about .aspx files.

@routinet referenced an old article (2004) that is before the implementation of the Routing Module you reference. So I wouldn't follow that.

But his advice is right. You need to read the instructions. We can't teach you how to implement this for your own system, as we don't known how your system works. Setting up Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs needs to be integrated with your whole website to work. The routing part is actually the simplest bit.

One step you have to do is make every URL link on your website generate and use the SEF URLs and not your original URLs. If you don't do this then playing with rewrites is a waste of time as nothing will link to what your rewriting.

If you can do that then you next need to create a rewrite scheme that takes those SEF URLs and points them to the real URL that can process the page. This is where you play with the web.config file to set things up. What you do is very much dependent on all the real URLs you have and how the SEF ones will map to them,


It's hard to find a good article on it. This may help:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc668202(v=vs.90).aspx

Saying all that, the SEO difference between your original URL and the SEF URL you want is very small. If this is going to be a big learning curve to implement, I wouldn't bother.
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Steve BinkCommented:
Tiggerito is correct - the article I posted is pretty out of date.  Disregard it.  I'm a fair bit embarrassed it got past my QA.  :/

In any case, it looks like we can all agree on the need for some RTFM.  Here are some better links...I should have used this source originally.

http://www.iis.net/download/urlrewrite (Main site, specifically the "Articles" section at the bottom)
http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/665/url-rewrite-module-20-configuration-reference/  (How to configure rewrite directives)
http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/461/creating-rewrite-rules-for-the-url-rewrite-module/ (examples in both GUI and web.config)
http://developer.mindtouch.com/en/kb/Installing_MindTouch_Core_on_Windows_%28IIS%29/Rewrite_web.config_for_IIS7 (a nice, live example)

Yes, a lot of information.  No one said site design and administration was easy.  :)

I'd also like to expand on Tiggerito's point about SEF URLs.  While the extra "google juice" provided may be small, it adds up over time...I'm not terribly in-depth with SEO knowledge, and my point of view may be more newbie than pragmatism, but I believe it is worthwhile.  It is also true that setting up SEFs for an entire site can be a management nightmare, and it gets worse over time as you add more resources.  This is where software like Wordpress and Joomla come into the picture.  A good CMS can make this process a *lot* easier for you.  If you are not very familiar with administration, or are looking for an easier way to manage this kind of SEO feature, start looking at some CMS packages.  You'll thank yourself for it in the long run.
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mikey250Author Commented:
Ok thanks I will look at this new info although I wont at this moment in time use 'Wordpress'.  But from what Godaddy told me and Experts on this site, it appears I could leave ignore this really.  It is just an OPTION within my godaddy hosting that allows me to do this for all the other main SEO/Visibility stuff has already been done.
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