Url Master Module Product Information
Want more technical information? This page delves more deeply into the features and specifications of the module - what it does and how it works.
Improvements over standard DNN Url Rewriting
There are three primary areas where the Url Master module exceeds the
functionality of the standard DotNetNuke Friendly Url Provider / Url Rewriter.
1. Friendly Url Generation
Almost all the Urls on a given page in a DotNetNuke site are generated by the
configured Friendly Url Provider. The provider is the software
module responsible for taking requests from all parts of the DotNetNuke
framework and installed modules and returning Urls that conform to a set
standard, based on the names of pages within the site. There are
only two options with the standard DNN provider : human friendly urls (no
TabId's in the Url) or 'search friendly Urls' (pagename/tabid/xx/default.aspx).
The Basic Friendly Url Settings used to enable the module
With the Url Master module, here's the options you have for generating your
Friendly Urls from your DotNetNuke page names:
- Generating language-specific Urls - instead of having different language
versions of your site specified by /language/xx-YY with the same domain name,
you can use separate domain names [example.fr/example.com or fr.example.com /
en.example.com] or you can use customised native-language names for your Urls
[hello.aspx / bonjour.aspx] In both cases this will remove the
/language/xx-YY from the Url automatically.
- Customising Urls - a big problem with many sites is the ideal Url for the page
(based on keywords/keyphrases) is not the same as the ideal name for the page.
Multiple word Urls optimise the search keywords in the Url, and don't need to
make visual sense. The Page Name is used in generating the menu for the
site, and absolutely needs to read and look correct. The Url Master
module allows you to create your own customised Urls for DotNetNuke pages, and
they don't have to have anything to do with the page name. You can
optimise the keywords in the Url and optimise the Page Name for the menu and get
the best of both worlds.
- Replacing spaces in the page names with a specified character. You can
include a hyphen '-' inbetween two word page names in your site. This
makes the Urls easier to read for both visitors and search engines alike.
- Conversion to lower case Urls. If you prefer, you can convert all the Urls
in your site to use a lower-case version. This is a popular SEO strategy
to eliminate duplicate content from multiple-case versions of the same Url.
- Replacing accented characters with characters in the standard ASCII set.
Where you might include an accented character in a page name (like café) you may
want to use a plain character in the Url, to prevent it being generated as
caf%C3%A9 This can be done automatically without creating custom urls for
every page with a diacritic character in it.
- Friendly Urls for module-specific Urls. The standard DNN provider reverts
to /pagename/tabid/xx/key/value/default.aspx format for modules that use
the Url to show different content, such as the blog or forum modules. The
Url Master module keeps the Urls to a minimum size, showing only the parts of
the Url that the module requires. The same example Url will look like
/page-name/key/value.aspx with the Url Master module enabled.
- Converting unfriendly User-Profile Urls - standard User-related profile pages,
popular with social networking and community sites, are usually shown with some
type of Url which includes the page name, an identifier and the User id.
The Url Master module can work with all types of User Profile Urls and generate
friendly Urls like example.com/user-name. This works with both
DotNetNuke user profile pages or those in third-party modules like forums or
social networking suites.
- Choosing the page extension - with Url Master you can choose what page
extension, if any, to use with your site. You can use .aspx, .htm or any
page extension, or just remove the extension altogether.
Creating Custom Urls and Redirects
2. Url Rewriting
Url Rewriting is a term given to the process of the website using one type of
Url, and the underlying code on the site using another. The main use for
Url Rewriting is to hide the technical implementation of the site from the
everyday Urls used to view pages on the site. A common misconception that
Rewriting applies to the replacing of the Urls within a site with different Urls
- while it is related, that's not what rewriting means.
The Url Master uses a powerful Url Rewriting solution to support all the
different Friendly Url options shown above, and combines with a sophisticated
set of Url filters to control how and where the Url rewriting is used and
applied. This allows you to use much greater control over when and where
Url Rewriting is used with custom applications and modules.
3. Url Redirection
Redirecting Urls is the process of accepting one particular Url and forwarding
the visitor onto a different Url. This is of particular use in
Search Engine Optimisation, because through the use of the 301 redirect, you can
inform search engines where content has been moved to new Urls. This is of
paramount importance when upgrading the Urls on a site to more friendly
versions, as all of the visits, link value and rankings for your established
Urls need to be carried over to the new Urls.
The standard DNN Url Rewriting scheme has very little ability to redirect Urls.
The Url Master module can redirect Urls in a variety of ways:
- Custom Redirects - when you decide to move a page, you can setup a custom
redirect so that any links for the Old Url are redirected to the new Url
- Automatic 'Unfriendly' Redirects - when you implement the Url Master module, the
old style Urls are all replaced with the new style Urls. As a result, you
need to redirect all the visitors and search engine rankings for your old Urls.
The Url Master module can do this for you automatically, so you don't have to go
through and enter a long list of custom redirects to successfully transition the
- Domain-based Redirects - the Url Master module can enforce a particular domain
to be used for a DotNetNuke portal just by selecting one of the available portal
aliases in your list. This is perfect for enforcing www. redirects, or for
moving your site from an old domain name to a new domain name.
- Language-based Redirects - the Url Master module can specify custom Urls for
specific DNN pages/languages. It can also automatically redirect incorrect
domain/language combinations for those Urls, and redirect old, indexed
Multi-language Urls to the newly generated Urls
- Deleted pages - when a page is deleted and left in the recycle bin, then Url
Master can catch any requests for that page and redirect them back to the home
page of the site, preventing a 404 error for the page
- User Profile redirects - if you decide to implement the User Profile Urls, then
the module will redirect all the old Userid-based Urls to the new, friendly User
The Test Url Changes Tool
Features you need
Test your changes before applying
The Url Master module contains a powerful and useful Testing utility.
Before you apply changes to your site, you can try out different options and see
how your Urls will react. You can click on pages in the site and see
how they will look with the selected changes to the Friendly Urls. You can add
in extra parameters from modules, determine how the Url Rewriting will affect
the result and build confidence in how the site is going to react to your
Just like fingerprints, there are no two DotNetNuke installations alike. By the time all the options
get combined, third party modules are installed and lots of content is
generated, each installation is unique. Rather than a one-size-fits-all
approach, the Url Master module contains a large set of advanced configuration
settings to allow the module to be tuned to the needs of the site. This is
done through a variety of options, including a set of Regex filters. The
filters work by switching parts of the module on and off by comparing the
requested Url with the filter. By working with these filters, it is
possible to fine-tune the site to work with just about any module that has been
designed for DotNetNuke.
Other advanced configuration include the ability to use customised 404 handling
pages for certain requests, event, error, performance and debug logging to work
through any custom situation and easily work out the best settings.
Installation and Use
The Url Master is designed as an easy-to-install extension for DotNetNuke.
It requires no special access to the website administration for almost all of
the options, and is designed to be used by people who don't have an in-depth
understanding of how their website works. The options all have
context-help to further explain what the operation is for, and the module is
backed by both downloadable instructions and a Knowledge base, which contains
easy to follow procedures on comon tasks.
You don't even need to add the module to a page in your site : just install it
and new pages/modules appear in the Host and Admin menu items. From there
it is only a few clicks away from configuring the module with the most common
options. You can transform the Urls for your site in under 10 minutes and
with no special access.