URL matters, so does the web

This content is over 9 years old. It may be obsolete and may not reflect the current opinion of the author.

Obviously, for a web developer like me, looking at the URL of a website is a habit for daily surfing. Hostname represents the source and authenticity, path represents the bookmark-ability and Awesomebar search-ability, and protocol represents the security of the connection. Interestingly, URLs are for People, not Computers, cited from a Microsoft research (paper in PDF) that 24% of the people do the same thing too. That’s way more people than casual/professional web makers.

A lot of people thinks URL doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve never been able to understand why businesses put QR code, Facebook Page name, or Twitter ID over their website address if the ad space is that valuable. People also said URLs, which implies typing the address, is bad for discovery, compare to the “app store” approach, particularly on mobile. This has been the predominant reason for Mozilla to introduce Open Web Apps and Marketplace, I am told. Yet I’ve never been able to comprehend how the ratings, labels, and icons in an app store entry could replace genuine information given in a nicely crafted URL. Web and it’s URLs is more than a distribution model. Way more.

Maybe I don’t understand mobile, or how apps worked, but clearly the statistics implies bring the URLs with the web to mobile could benefit at least 24% of people. I am hoping to see such platform to emerge.

The said post was shared by A List Apart: The Full Feed. RSS is not dead too, by the way.

Edit: add link to the original research.