URLs Set in Stone

By Deane Barker on January 5, 2005

I’ve often wondered whether or not you should change blog posts once they’re published. While I often do just because I’m anal, part of me thinks that a blog post is a historical record and should be frozen in time.

It’s sort of that way for the titles of posts on Gadgetopia since they’re used for the URL. For instance, I screwed up the title of this post (it should be “ALT Attributes,” not “ALT tags”), but I can’t change it because that would change the URL. I’d have to put in a redirect because it gets a lot of traffic.

As annoying as it is on the surface, there’s something…pure in this that I like. The title of this entry is frozen in time. It is how it was originally published. Just like a newspaper publisher can’t take something back once it hits the newstand, I can’t change this title.

This got me to thinking that it would be an interesting…experiment, to MD5 hash the entire body of an entry and use the result as the URL. This means that you couldn’t change one single character of the entry after it was published without completely changing the URL.

I find this idea intriguing. Not enough to try it, mind you, but still interesting to consider.



  1. Try this for purity:

    “I find this idea intriguing. Not enough to try it, mind you, but stil interesting to consider.”

    “still” is the written with a double-L :-P


  2. You see, that why I could never do this. The stress of not being able to go in and fix something like this would overwhelm me.

  3. Yeah, and “expirement” should be “experiment.” At least I’m presuming that’s what you meant.

  4. I think the typos in this post pretty much answer your question. There is nothing wrong with fixing a thing or two in a post.

  5. “You see, that why I could never do this.”

    Come on, DB, now you’re not even trying…

    What if your pages have comments added to them (like yours/mine do after you go to the comment page URL)? Wouldn’t that break it all to hell anyway, or are you only considering the page based on the original entry?

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