How category and product URL architecture works

When browsing through your website viewing products and categories, depending on the category structure, a particular category or product page can appear at different URLs.

For example, the 'base' URL for a product page might be

http://www.yourdomain.com/white-nike-air-trainers

But if a customer visits a category page and then clicks on a product, the actual URL of the page they're viewing might be something like

http://www.yourdomain.com/white-trainers/white-nike-air-trainers

Depending on the category path taken to view the product page, a particular product might be available at a number of different URLs. The same is also true for category pages.

Within the HTML document that makes up the product page file, we set something called a 'canonical link tag'. This tells Google, and other search engines, what the 'preferred' URL for the page is. This is so that these multiple URLs for the same page don't cause any problems with 'duplicate content'. You can read more about canonical links on Google's help guides here.

The reason the platform uses this URL structure is to provide a breadcrumb trail to your website visitors.

A breadcrumb trail gives users quick links back to previous pages that they were viewing, as shown in the example below.


Disabling the URL architecture

If you prefer that product and category pages are always available at their 'base' URL you can disable the default URL architecture.

To do so, select 'your account' from the left menu and then 'domain name'.

Select 'yes' for the setting labelled 'should we always show products/categories at their canonical URLs' and save your changes.

Once activated, this setting will mean that no matter what journey the user takes to land on a particular category or product page the URL of the page will always be the 'base' URL.

Warning!

Activating this setting, and disabling the default architecture for URLs will mean that breadcrumbs on your website will not work to their full potential and instead just show as Home > Page (without the intermediate steps being displayed).