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  • Linking to products best practice

    If you go to the "advanced" tab in the product information in the admin there is a field called "Link to this product:" which displays a link such as this:
    Code:
    http://www.mydomain.com/shop/product.asp?itemid=1
    But if you visit the actual product through the site it brings up the nicely adjusted link such as this:
    Code:
    http://mydomain.com/My-Product-Name_p_0-1.html
    If I am linking to this does it matter which one I use? Is there a better choice? My instinct is to use the link with he provided product name since 3dCart was nice enough to make this possible.

    I guess my concern is whether or not that system generated link (with the product name) would ever change. I assume the first link given in the admin above will always be active as long as the product is left intact.

  • #2
    mueller,
    Good Question
    I have changed some product names and see the html link changes as well.
    Example:
    name: "Small Bench" has html link, "Small-Bench_0_1.html"
    new name: "Child Size Chair" html link becomes: "Child-Size-Chair_0_1.html"

    However, if you change a Category name, the html link name does not change--but the cat name in the breadcrumb does. Maybe this could be fixed to change like the products do.

    It would be very helpful to be able to access a list of all links. Since I have a limited number of products I put mine on a spreadsheet but after changing some of the product names, realized I forgot to update the spreadsheet, so my list is no longer accurate. With 1000's of products I can't imagine how you would find an html link to a particular product without going to the page.

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    • #3
      dynoJean, that is great info. Even though I don't anticipate changing our product names often if ever, it sounds like the best practice in this case would be to use the system link and not the "named" link. While we also only have a few products, we do link to them throughout the site and I would not want to go looking for each of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just did a little more experimenting with this:
        This is a product, "Small Condiment Spoon", I have in more than one category.

        Category: Spreaders-Condiment Spoons
        Html link: Small-Condiment-Spoon_p_5-16.html

        Category: Kids Cooking Tools
        Html lnk: Small-Condiment-Spoon_p_21-16.html

        Apparently the product "number" is 16 and the categories, in this example, are 5 and 16.

        Then another place this product is listed--the Product Index asp page (with all products)
        Html link: Small-Condiment-Spoon_p_5-16.html. I'm guessing it's using the "5-16" because that's the first category into which I put the product.

        So I'm back to your original question, mueller: What is the best link to use for linking from outside the site or other pages on the site.

        EDIT: One additional experiment: If I type any made up set of words with the same ending numbers, e.g., "Hills-and-Valleys_p_5-16.html", it will still go to the Small Condiment Spoon product page.

        So apparently the ending code does and will remain the same no matter what you name your product.
        Last edited by dynoJean; 04-01-2006, 09:11 PM.

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        • #5
          One additional experiment: If I type any made up set of words with the same ending numbers, e.g., "Hills-and-Valleys_p_5-16.html", it will still go to the Small Condiment Spoon product page.

          So apparently the ending code does and will remain the same no matter what you name your product.
          Ahaaa, now we are getting somewhere. It appears that you are on to something with that last note. What do you see for the link if you go directly to the product page by clicking on the link in the "product information" page in the admin?

          Also, do you know what the link listed under "Link to this product:" on the advanced tab of the product edit screen is for?

          Comment


          • #6
            What do you see for the link if you go directly to the product page by clicking on the link in the "product information" page in the admin?
            Top of the page in admin panel is: Catalog ID 16 - Small Condiment Spoon

            Under the Advanced tab, the link to this product is: shop/product.asp?itemid=16

            No matter which variation you use, they all go to the same page. I think this asp page is the "real" product page but less SEO friendly.

            Comment


            • #7
              So I guess the question becomes one of SEO best practices and not 3dCart best practices. In that case I assume if you were to link from a page to a specific product you would want to use the SEO friendly page with the name in it, but that worries me if it could change. However your discovery of the fact that they will still get there if the suffix stays the same may negate that worry.

              I will have to ponder this a bit and see if I can think of any gotchas that I am missing.

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              • #8
                The product links have 3 pieces of data.

                1) Name (Which is not important to the software)
                2) Item ID
                3) Category ID.

                Example:

                My_cool_product_p_5-5.html

                If I had this product in more than 1 category, then I would have other file names such as:

                My_cool_product_p_5-6.html
                My_cool_product_p_5-7.html
                and so on.

                Since there is differences between a product in 1 category and the other (the category crumb, the category specials, the fact that the item could have a different template, and different options, etc. )

                As far as what link you should use, I recommend you use the link that makes the most sense for the page you are linking from. If the product was in:

                Accessories
                and
                Pens

                Categories, and you were in the pens section, you would probably link tot he one that has the crumbs/options for pen category.
                ----------------------------
                Gonzalo Gil
                3dCart Support
                800-828-6650 x111

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                • #9
                  Now that makes sense. Thanks Gonzalo. :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GonzaloGil
                    Example:

                    My_cool_product_p_5-5.html

                    If I had this product in more than 1 category, then I would have other file names such as:

                    My_cool_product_p_5-6.html
                    My_cool_product_p_5-7.html
                    and so on.
                    Thanks, Gonzalo, for the reasoning for which link to use. One thing tho, I have to disagree with your numbering example.

                    My products that are in multiple categories are named as I posted above, i.e.,
                    Small-Condiment-Spoon_p_5-16.html
                    Small-Condiment-Spoon_p_21-16.html

                    I also need to correct myself here when I said:
                    However, if you change a Category name, the html link name does not change--but the cat name in the breadcrumb does. Maybe this could be fixed to change like the products do.
                    The html link name for Categories did change when updated in admin. Apparently I needed to close and reopen my browser.

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                    • #11
                      I now have an additional question on this. What is the best way to get the proper link to a product. I was using the WYSIWG editor in the admin and using the linking tool to link to a product. I noticed that the link it uses is actually in a different format than all of the above.

                      E.g. - product.asp?itemid=1

                      I am really careful about being consistent and it seems like a bit of a bad practice to have many different links to get to the exact same page.

                      So, how does the linking tool in the admin get it's link and is THIS the one we should be using or is it better to forgo the tool and manually use one of the formats above? :confused:

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                      • #12
                        The linking utility outputs ASP links, we will fix this on 2.2, the ASP links will work fine however, and should you have HTML mode on, the link will then redirect to the HTML page (if you have 2.1).
                        ----------------------------
                        Gonzalo Gil
                        3dCart Support
                        800-828-6650 x111

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The linking utility outputs ASP links, we will fix this on 2.2, the ASP links will work fine however, and should you have HTML mode on, the link will then redirect to the HTML page (if you have 2.1).
                          Thanks Gonzalo. I definitely have HTML mode on, one of the reasons I am moving to 3DC :D

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