Manual:Short URL

From mediawiki.org

According to World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, good page addresses should never change.[1] Short URLs which hide complex programming code from the page address are good for your audience. Please take a few minutes to devise a stable URL structure for your website before getting started, to reduce problems later.

Introduction

Goal

MediaWiki's default installation path usually looks something like this:

/var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/w (installed as root user)
/home/johndoe/public_html/mediawiki/w (installed with a shared hosting provider)

MediaWiki's default page addresses looks like these examples:

http://example.org/w/index.php/Page_title (recent versions of MediaWiki, without CGI support)
http://example.org/w/index.php?title=Page_title (recent versions of MediaWiki, with CGI support)

Using the methods outlined on this page, we can configure something like this:

http://example.org/wiki/Page_title This is the most common configuration, same as in Wikipedia, though not the default because it requires server side modifications
http://example.org/view/Page_title
http://wiki.example.org/view/Page_title
http://example.org/Page_title (not supported!)
http://wiki.example.org/Page_title (not supported!)

Advantages & disadvantages

URLs without shortening have one minor advantage; they don't require configuration, so no matter in which hosting environment you end up, you can re-create that. However every widely used webserver is capable of being configured to use short urls, practically every paid web host should support this feature. Any host that doesn't offer you this feature is not worth your money.

The advantages of short URLs are that they hide all technical details, as is best practice for URLs[1] – among other things this means they can be kept stable when the underlying software changes. They are also easier to read, remember and manipulate for visitors.

Guides

Our official guides for short URL configuration for different web servers. Pick your webserver's configuration from this list. If you don't know what server software you are using, then it is most likely Apache

  • Apache - How to configure short URLs on Apache.
  • ...

Other how-to mini-guides

These guides are old and are almost entirely bad advice. These will eventually be deleted one by one as our official guides above are created for different webservers.

Anyone is welcome to create a how-to solution page and list it below. Please use a sensible name for the page, one that fits in with the below names. When each unique solution has its own page, readers can skip complexity they do not want. Keep it simple, readable, short, with a separate page per separate solution.

To help others find out which Short URL methods really work, after trying each method please edit the page and increase the "worked" or "didn't_work" numbers for that guide and make a brief (or long, your choice) description on what went wrong by clicking the link on your number.

URL like - example.com/wiki/Page_title

Root access

These methods require that you have access to the server configuration. If you are on a shared host, you most likely don't; see the "no root access" examples instead.

URL like - example.com/Page_title

Warning Warning: This is probably only appropriate if your domain is only being used for MediaWiki, but even then it is typically not recommended, as this setup can leave some titles unusable. See Manual:Wiki in site root directory and Cool URIs don't change.

How to create example.com/Page_title URLs:

URL like - example.com/sub_directory/wiki/Page_Title

URL like - wiki.example.com/Page_title

Warning Warning: This is probably only appropriate if your domain is only being used for MediaWiki, but even then it is typically not recommended, as this setup can leave some titles unusable. See Manual:Wiki in site root directory and Cool URIs don't change.

How to create wiki.example.com/Page_title URLs.

Troubleshooting

No Skins

With Ubuntu 8.10 and Mediawiki 1.11.2 (and maybe later versions) if you use the Mediawiki sanctioned directions your skins may fail to load. To fix this, create a symbolic link in /var/www pointing to /var/lib/mediawiki with the value of $wgScriptPath in LocalSettings.php. If, for example, $wgScriptPath is set to "/w" then you need to run the command "sudo ln -s /var/lib/mediawiki /var/www/w".

Alternatively, try setting $wgLoadScript to the original file. If you source url is /wiki with the short url /w, set it to /wiki/load.php.

Purging cache

If you notice that your changes to $wgArticlePath in LocalSettings.php are not being reflected in mysite.com/wiki/Main_Page, it may be due MediaWiki's caching of the links according to previous settings.

Go to mysite.com/wiki/Main_Page?action=purge to force MediaWiki to regenerate the cached links.

Also you can:

  1. execute the MySQL query "TRUNCATE objectcache;", or
  2. Ensure $wgCacheEpoch is updated (if $wgInvalidateCacheOnLocalSettingsChange is enabled all you have to do is edit LocalSettings.php to purge it)

Redirect visitor of your domain to your wiki

Drop a index.php file in your web root directory with the following lines:

<?php
header( 'Location: http://yourdomain/w/' ) ; # header of web site index is located elsewhere.

Another option is to use a redirect in your Apache config file if you have mod_alias enabled:

   RedirectMatch ^/$ /wiki

Tricks

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cool URIs don't change by Tim Berners-Lee.