ABC Friendly URL Module

What is this module?

The ABC Friendly URL Module, allows you to create shortened URLs for your site, which can be used for general ease of use and remembrance to marketing initiatives. For example:

Let's say you have a really long URL that you want to share, such as:

http://www.abc.org/NewsMedia/Newsline/tabid/143/entryid/5049/top-construction-projects-safety-diversity-programs-honored-at-excellence-in-construction-awards.aspx

Just looking at this URL, it is:

1. Hard to remember,

2. hard to type

3. and hard to find.

You'll definitely want to create a friendly URL before sending this out or placing it on marketing material. So, you zip on over to the Friendly URL module and create the following link:

www.abc.org/eictopprojects

This URL fixes the three usability criteria above.

How does it work?

Quite simply, it redirects a made up shortened URL to a real URL or page on your site.

1) If the URL entered doesn't exist or it does exist but it is not enabled, the end-user visiting your site will receive a custom and friendly HTTP STATUS CODE: 404 Page Not Found message.

a. This workflow will also be enacted if the overall module is not enabled for the specific DNN portal. Since DNN can host multiple websites, each must be enabled independently.

2) If it does exist and is enabled, then the browser will receive a HTTP STATUS CODE: 307 Temporary Redirect, which the end-user never sees, and the end-user will be redirected to the page accordingly.

What does HTTP STATUS CODE 404 Page Not Found mean?

The 404 status code tells the browser that the requested resource could not be found but may be available in the future. Subsequent requests by the client are permissible. In other words, the site couldn't find the page but feel free to try again later.

What does HTTP STATUS CODE 307 Temporary Redirect mean?

The 307 status code tells the browser that the request should be repeated with another URL; however, future requests should still use the original URL. This is different than the HTTP STAUS CODE 301 Permanently Moved response behavior (see below). Because we're temporarily redirecting the URL, the end-user's browser won't cache the URL and remember it, just in case you decide to make any changes to it.

STAUS CODE 301 Permanently Moved: is a response which indicates this and all future requests should be directed to the given URL. This also causes the end-user's browser to cache the URL and where it redirects. Because of this, if you disable the module and/or URL or change where the URL should redirect, the user will still be redirected to the URL they entered originally. It won't be until after the user clears their local cache and cookies, that the browser will recognize the updates.

Installation

Because this module utilizes DotNetNuke security groups, you'll need to be an administrator of your website to:

A) use it,

B) and add it to a page.

Please follow these steps exactly as they appear:

1) Login to your website with an administrator account.

2) Click on the "ADMIN" link on the DNN Control bar. This will take you to the ADMIN page of your site.

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

3) Hover over the PAGES menu item on the DNN control bar.

Screenshot 3

a. Under ADD NEW PAGE, enter the following:

i. Name: ABC Friendly URLs

ii. Template: Leave blank

iii. Insert: Select "CHILD OF"

Admin should be selected in the final drop down.

Should look like this:

Screenshot 4

b. Click "ADD PAGE".

4) This should redirect you to your newly created page. If there are any modules on this page, feel free to delete them as this page will only be visible to Administrators.

5) Add the ABC_FriendlyURLs module to the page.

a. Hover over MODULES on the DNN Control Bar.

b. Under "Module Selection", change the Category to All Categories

c. Select the ABC_FriendlyURLs module from the Module list. It should be somewhere near the top.

d. For PANE, select the pane appropriate to your template where the module can span the entire width of the page. In the example shown, we selected the TopPane. For mobile friendly templates, the Content Pane may work for you.

e. Click the "ADD MODULE" button.

You should have something similar to:

Screenshot 5

Or

Screenshot 6

6) Your page should now look similar to the following:

Screenshot 7

7) If you're not using a mobile friendly template, you'll want to remove the left hand navigation. To do so, hover over PAGES on the DNN control bar and change the SKIN drop down to either read:

a. ABCNational - index

b. ABCChapter - index - no sponsor

c. Click "UPDATE PAGE".

Screenshot 7 A

Screenshot 7 B

8) At this point, everyone's page should look like this:

Screenshot 8

Using the ABC Friendly URLs Module

The module is very easy to use and only has three components. They are:

1) Enable Friendly URLs for My Site. This allows you to turn on and off all URLs at once.

2) Add Friendly URL. This allows you to add a new friendly URL to the system.

3) Navigating and Editing Friendly URLs. This allows you to find and edit an existing URL.

We'll talk about each of these in detail.

Enable Friendly URLs for My Site

Because performance is paramount for a website, each website can elect whether or not they want to use Friendly URLs. This reduces the overhead of unnecessary calls and memory allocations which make the module work, keeping it light and efficient.

You can choose to enable your site immediately or after you have created a few friendly URLs. To enable your site, check the "Enable Friendly URLs for My Site" check box. If the save was successful, you'll be prompted that your site was either active or deactivated.

By default, all websites are deactivated until you check the box. Once enabled, all friendly URLs will be active immediately.

1) Activated:

Screenshot 9

2) Deactivated:

Screenshot 10

Add Friendly URL

There are only three things you need to know when creating a new friendly URL.

A) Friendly URL Name. For example - calendar

B) Actual URL. For example - https://www.abc.org/en-us/events/calendarofevents.aspx

C) The Friendly URL name must be unique. Which means your site cannot use a Friendly URL already in use.

To get started:

1) Click the "Add Friendly URL" link.

Screenshot 11

2) Fill out the appropriate information as outlined in items A and B above. The fields will also have help text displayed to remind you of what to enter.

Screenshot 12

Should look similar to the following:

Screenshot 13

3) Click Save New Friendly URL. Once saved, you'll be redirected back to the Friendly URL page and a save message will appear. If this was your first URL, you should now see the list of all URLs in your website. If you entered a friendly URL already in use, you'll receive an error saving.

a. Successful Save:

Screenshot 14 - Note, in this screenshot the website has not enabled friendly urls.

b. Failed Save:

Screenshot 15

As you can see from screenshot 14, additional information is added automatically including the username who created or modified the friendly URL. By default all Friendly URLs added are set to Active. If you wish to deactivate a URL, edit the Friendly URL, uncheck the Active checkbox and click Update Friendly URL.

Navigate and Edit a Friendly URL

Step 1, Navigation

From time to time, an instance may arise where you need to edit a friendly URL currently in use. These reasons could include:

A) You need to turn off the Friendly URL.

a. Marketing campaign has ended.

b. The page you're redirecting to references out of date material.

c. The page no longer exists.

B) You made a typo in the Friendly URL Name or the Actual URL.

At this point in time, you may have a number of Friendly URLs listed on your site, which means you need to find the right Friendly URL to edit. There are a couple of ways you can find the Friendly URL.

1) Sort the column headers from Ascending to Descending order (and vice versa). Then use the paging at the bottom to navigate.

2) Adjust the page size to display more results. Depending on how many URLs listed, you could then use the paging at the bottom.

3) Utilize both 1 and 2.

By default, the URL list will appear in ascending order of the Friendly URL column. When you change the sort order, you'll notice an arrow icon will appear. This indicates the sort direction you selected. All of the columns visible are sortable. So if you need to find friendly URLs from a particular username, you can do so by sorting on the Modified By column.

Friendly URL sorted in ascending order:

Screenshot 16

Friendly URL sorted in descending order:

Screenshot 17

When using the paging at the bottom, your currently selected page number will be in red with a box around it.

Page one selected:

Screenshot 18

Page 4 selected:

Screenshot 19

Step 2, Editing

Once you have found the appropriate friendly URL, click the "EDIT" icon in the far left column. This will take you to the Edit Friendly URL screen.

1) Click on the edit icon

Screenshot 20

2) The Edit Friendly URL screen is now visible.

Screenshot 21

This page is almost identical to the Add Friendly URL screen. The only difference is the Active checkbox is available.

3) Edit the appropriate fields and click Update Friendly URL.

a. Successful Save:

Screenshot 22

4) My changes have been saved and instantly take effect. In this case, I deactivated the CPOY Friendly URL.

Screenshot 23

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