OpenCart’s SEO URLs (How They Work)

Opencart is one of many ecommerce platforms make good use of SEO URL’s. In today’s ecommerce world, it has become widely accepted to introduce all of your URL’s in static form rather than dynamic form for SEO reasons as well as esthetic reasons. Some call dynamic URL’s “messy url’s and static url’s “clean.” It’s no secret why this is the case when you look at the two side by side:

Dynamic URL: (messy)

http://www.yourdomain.com/index.php?category=bakedgoods&subcategory=gingercookies

Static URL: (re-written) http://www.yourdomain.com/baked-goods/ginger-cookies

What do the search engines think and prefer?

Not only do all major search engines prefer to index your content with STATIC URL’s, they also look better and are easier to remember. Inevitably you will see “some” dynamic url’s scattered about a website because those particular pages are not “content rich” which is to say they don’t have content worth looking at or caching in search engines. A good example of this type of page might be:

http://www.yourdomain.com/index.php?route=account/login (opencart login url)

In Opencart you need to make SURE that you assign. SEO KEYWORDS to all of your products, categories, and any other content that gives you the option to do so. This is to ensure the best chance at allowing your content to be found. This “is” the idea, to be “found.” If you don’t want to be found then spam Google with thousands of Dynamic URL’s (not recommended). After you assign a unique SEO KEYWORD to worthy items, make sure to enable SEO URL from within the administration AND make sure that the re-write path is correct from with your .htaccess.

What is a static URL compared to a RE-WRITTEN static url?

There is really no difference. They register the same. One is static from the beginning, and the other is made static through a re-writing process.

How are Opencart url’s re-written?

Opencart uses a re-writing process made possible through APACHE – MOD – REWRITE. This is a module provided by APACHE. Opencart is primarily run on LAMP environments so this is why it uses the Apache Mod Rewrite. LAMP = (Linux-Apache-MYSQL-PHP).  While mod-rewrite makes it possible to have re-written URL’s show up on the web correctly, Opencart has it’s own function(s) to re-write the URL’s.  If you are interested in the code that takes care of this we recommend you check out the following two files:

1) catalog\controller\common\seo_url.php

2) system\library\url.php

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Joe Stenhouse

Joe Stenhouse

I am a web application developer that specializes in PHP, JAVASCRIPT, MYSQL, HTML, and CSS. We manifest exciting potentials within the world wide web through means of innovation.

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