Slight Updates

I recently made two minor, yet highly significant (to me) changes on this site.

The first is that I reversed the layout of the default title tag. For the past year and a half, the title shown in the browser bar has been the WordPress default. It is incredibly ugly and I’m ashamed I left it the way it was for as long as I did.

When fixing it, there were many options I considered. Including:

  • Shawn Blanc: Slight Updates
  • Shawn Blanc :: Slight Updates
  • Shawn Blanc – Slight Updates
  • Slight Updates :: Shawn Blanc
  • Slight Updates | Shawn Blanc

The final one in the above list is still a good option in my mind, but as you can see, it currently reads like this: “Slight Updates – Shawn Blanc”.

They say that by putting the article title before the weblog’s name it makes for better SEO. Which is nice. But my main reason for updating it (aside from the ugliness of the default) was that I figure everyone already knows they are on Shawn Blanc’s website, and even if they don’t, it’s not like my name is very important. Therefore, let the article title get the most attention.

Secondly, I have modified all the permalinks. Until now, the each have had a simple “…/year/article-name” structure, like this:

http://shawnblanc.net/2009/slight-updates

I remember purposefully setting them up that way in order to keep the URL as short and sweet as possible. When I am reading other weblogs I often glance at the URL to reference when the post was published. And I now feel that having my posts liked by their year of publication alone leaves a bit to be desired by the reader.

Comparing two articles — one written on December 31st, 2008 and the other on January 1st, 2009 — it may seem as if they were written an entire year apart, instead of one day. And similarly, two posts — one written January 1st, 2008 and the other on December 31st, 2008 — may seem chronologically near, but are actually not.

Thus, the permalinks now look like this:

http://shawnblanc.net/2009/01/slight-updates

By adding the month of publication to the URL it is still short, and there is now an added reference to aid the savvy reader. Additionally, the new permalink structure is a three-in-one tool for reading. You can peel back the layers of the URL to dig deeper into this site.

If you delete the article name from the URL you will find yourself at the archive listing for the year and month of that article’s publication date. If you then delete the month from the URL you get the archive listing for the whole year.

Implementing the new permalink structure for all posts was as easy as selecting a radio-button in the WordPress Dashboard. Old links will be kept intact and redirected Automattically.

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