What’s in a Web Name?¶
Individual content items on a Plone web site have discrete web addresses. Plone creates these automatically, based on the Title that you supply.
What’s in a Web Name?¶
The Title of content items, including folders, images, pages, etc., can be anything you want – you can use any keyboard characters, including spaces. Titles become part of web address for each item you create in Plone. Web addresses, also known as URLs, are what you type in a web browser to go to a specific location in a web site (Or, you would click your way there), such as:
Web addresses do have restrictions on allowed keyboard characters, and spaces are not allowed. Plone does a good job of keeping web addresses correct by using near-equivalents of the Title that you provide, by converting them to lowercase, and by substituting dashes for spaces and other punctuation.
To illustrate, let’s take each of these two web addresses and split them out into their component parts:
www.mysite.com/about/personnel/sally/bio ^ website name ^ a folder named About ^ a folder named Personnel ^ a folder named Sally ^ a folder named Bio
In this example, Plone changed each folder title to lowercase, e.g., from Personnel to personnel. You don’t have to worry about this. Plone handles the web addressing; you just type in titles however you want.
And, for the second example:
www.mysite.com/images/butterflies/skippers/long-tailed-skippers ^ website name ^ a folder named Images ^ a folder named Butterflies ^ a folder named Skippers ^ a folder named Long-Tailed Skippers
This example is similar to the first, illustrating how there is a lowercase conversion from the title of each folder to the corresponding part of the web address. Note the case of the folder named Long-tailed Skippers. Plone kept the dash, as that is allowed in both title and part of the web address, but it changed the blank between the words Tailed and Skippers to a dash, in the web address, along with the lowercase conversion.
The web address of a given item is referred to as the short name in Plone. When you use the Rename function, you’ll see the short name along with the title.
What’s in a Title?¶
The title of a content item not only affects the short name that is used in the URL of the item.
It is also displayed, with a twist, in the title bar of the browser window, or in the browser tab.
The twist consists in the fact that what is displayed consists of the item title and the site title, separated by an Em dash.
The site title is set in the site control panel (
http://yoursite.com/@@site-controlpanel), but for the purposes of this section it is not necessary to have the permissions to access it.
For example, the title for the item at https://www.cia.gov/about-cia shows in the browser tab or title bar as:
About CIA — Central Intelligence Agency.
The part to the left of the Em dash, About CIA is the item title, while the part to the right, Central Intelligence Agency, is the site title.
The site title is appended to the item title, with an Em dash, automatically. Technically, this is what the
<title> HTML element is set to.
Why is this important? In and of itself, this behavior of a Plone site might often be overlooked. However, it becomes important when looking at the results provided by a search engine, such as Google. When Google lists a page from a Plone site, the title used is the same one just described (item title — site title).
Often, you might want the homepage of your site to be listed in Google search results with just the site title. But you can not leave the homepage item title empty, so how to achieve this? Thankfully, there is an easy solution: make the homepage title exactly identical to the site title.
In the CIA example above, if the homepage title were set to Central Intelligence Agency, then Google would list it simply as:
Central Intelligence Agency