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I am passing parameters ("product category" & "product name") in a url to a buy page.

Which is preferable in regards to the norm/standard for passed parameters in Web URLs?

https://example.com/purchase/?productCat=personalSign&product=secureEmail

alternately:

https://example.com/purchase/?pcat=ps&p=se

i.e. Is giving full visibility of the parameters necessary? Or are shortcode random character strings acceptable in current Web design?

I would be very interested to hear advice on URL and parameter structure, with user/research data supporting any theories.

  • 3
    A website where users don't need to read/understand whatever parameters are in the url is already more user friendly than one where this matters. So ultimately, pick something that makes your job as a developer easier and let users ignore the url. – user1884155 Jul 9 '14 at 17:33
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Parameters in the URL make the URL not clean just by using them. I would rather go with URL structure like:

https://example.com/products/secureEmail/ - to show the details of a product
https://example.com/products/secureEmail/purchase/ - to start the procedure of buying
https://example.com/products/secureEmail/purchase/?step=2 - to navigate to another step of the buying procedure

The product page should know about its category.

  • And from a technical standpoint, most frameworks today will let you route the URIs to the right controller and grab these segments as variables. – Tim FitzGerald Jul 10 '14 at 2:14

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