PrestaShop, as a robust e-commerce platform, offers flexibility in customizing URLs. However, one of the frequently debated practices is the removal of IDs from URLs. While this might seem aesthetically pleasing, it carries significant risks and drawbacks. This article aims to illuminate the reasons why keeping IDs in URLs is crucial for the proper functioning of a PrestaShop site.
Technical Implications of ID Removal
Routing Complexity and Error Risk: Removing IDs leads to more complex routing systems. This can result in errors in resolving URLs, especially in cases where product or category names are similar or change.
Performance Impact: Removing IDs can negatively affect performance. Each query must traverse a potentially large table to find a name match, which is less efficient than using a unique ID.
Maintenance and Update Difficulties: Keeping URLs without IDs can complicate updates and maintenance, especially when adding new features or migrating to newer versions of PrestaShop.
SEO Consequences and User Experience
SEO Myths: There's a myth that IDs in URLs harm SEO. In reality, search engines are fully capable of understanding and indexing URLs with IDs.
Clarity and Consistency: IDs in URLs ensure consistency, reducing the risk of duplicate content. This also helps users and search engines better understand the site's structure.
Navigation and Tracking: With IDs, tracking user behavior and analyzing site traffic is easier, which is beneficial for optimizing the user experience.
Integration and Compatibility with Modules and Extensions
Compatibility with External Modules: Many modules and extensions for PrestaShop are designed assuming the presence of IDs in URLs. Removing these IDs can lead to incompatibilities and malfunctions of these modules.
Simplification in Custom Module Development: Developers of custom modules benefit from the standard URL structure of PrestaShop, including IDs. This simplifies the development and maintenance of modules.
Ease of Integration with Other Systems: IDs in URLs facilitate the integration of PrestaShop with other systems, like CRMs or inventory management systems, which may require unique identifiers to reliably synchronize data.
Things to remember
While the removal of IDs from URLs in PrestaShop might seem attractive for aesthetic reasons, the technical implications, consequences for SEO and user experience, as well as compatibility and integration issues with modules and external systems, suggest it's better to retain them. By respecting PrestaShop's standard URL structure, a more stable, efficient, and maintainable platform is ensured.