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XF 1.5 Need to change the permalink structure in complex environment

#1
Hello,
I have a website investireoggi.it and I have a forum within it, investireoggi.it/forum/. Actually I am using a very old vBulletin version, but I bought Xenforo few weeks ago, and now I am trying to migrate to your platform.

Due to the fact that I am running an entire website, with a Wordpress installation, I installed Xenforo in a folder called boards.
Now I need to "cut" /boards/ from forums and threads permalink.

So I need to:
  • still show my website "wordpress based" homepage at investireoggi.it
  • show the xenforo based forum at investireoggi.it/boards/
  • show a single section of the forum at investireoggi.it/boards/sectionname.number/ therefore without /forums/ (in alternative I can accept the url investireoggi.it/forums/sectionname.number/ so therefore without /boards/)
  • show a single thread at investireoggi.it/boards/threadname/ therefore without /threads/ (in alternative I can accept the url investireoggi.it/threads/threadname.number/ so therefore without boards)

In few words: I need to have 1 less /../ in the permalink of sections and threads, for a couple of real SEO reasons, and I need to do this in my website that is not only a forum, but an entire website, therefore I don't think I can install Xenforo in the root directory.
Is there any way to do this?
Even a complex way, I just really need to do it.
Thanks in advance.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#2
You can use the Route Filters function to rename routes but you can't remove them globally, although you can for specific pages/URLs.

https://xenforo.com/help/route-filters/
https://xenforo.com/community/threads/route-filters.47946/

Ultimately if you want the /boards/ portion of the URL removed, you would have to install XF in the root, which obviously won't be possible if you have WP installed there.

If you just want to remove /boards/ from an individual forum and thread, that will be possible by following the guides linked to.
 
#3
Hello Brogan, thanks.
I red about route filters, but I have to say that I did not understand them well. I also tried to create some filters but I did not succeed in what I need.

Let's say I have 10 sections (or forums).
investireoggi.it/boards/forums/section1.1/
investireoggi.it/boards/forums/section2.2/ .. and so on

I need to remove /boards/ from all my 10 sections (or forums), therefore I need to have
investireoggi.it/forums/section1.1/ instead of investireoggi.it/boards/forums/section1.1/
and so on for the other 9 sections(forums)

And, most important, I also need to remove /boards/ (or /threads/, it's the same for me) from ALL my threads, not only some specific threads.
All of them.

Is there any way to do it? Any way, for SEO reasons it would be a suicide for my website to introduce a suplimentar /../ in the url of the threads. The permalink structure of the rest of my website is websitename/channel/article-name/

Example:
My website article: investireoggi.it/sports/manny-pacquiao-vs-mayweather/
If my threads should be like
investireoggi.it/boards/threads/manny-vs-all/
this would tell Google that on my website threads are less important than articles, and this would downgrade all my threads in Google indexes. This would be an enormous problem for me, 45% of my forum traffic comes from Google Organic.
I really need a solution.
Thanks
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#4
And, most important, I also need to remove /boards/ (or /threads/, it's the same for me) from ALL my threads, not only some specific threads.
All of them.
As stated, it's not possible to remove routes globally - you can only rename them.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#5
If you are installing XenForo in a directory called /boards/, you're always going to have /boards/ in the URL no matter what you might do beyond that via things like route filters. If you want to change that, you're going to need to do custom development (within and outside of XF).

The only other option I could recommend is using a subdomain.
 
#6
Could you tell me better what do you mean with "you're going to need to do custom development (within and outside of XF)"?
What shall I do? And how deep shall I mod your software?
I have my Senior PHP developer but I need to understand what to do and how long is such custom development.
Thanks.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#7
Honest, I'm not sure what would be involved. You'd need to modify how XenForo generates at least some URLs and you'd need to ensure those URLs get routed to XenForo (from outside the directory), while ensuring that the other URLs and paths used by XenForo don't break. Personally I wouldn't know how easy or hard it'd be until I ended up implementing it.
 
#8
Thanks Mike.
Anyway, from a SEO perspective, and in my opinion, the permalink structure is wrong and it is one of the responsible of the loss of traffic that many boards are facing.
The rest of the world is changing, but the boards softwares remains the same. Websites try to use every aspect of SEO, permalink structures of CMS like Wordpress can be very efficient and with few /../ and all this means that forum threads in a website don't have the same SEO power of site articles of that same website.
So articles win over threads, in the same website. And this weakens the forum, and strenghtens the rest of the site.

I hope all of you software productors will try to move in this direction.
5 years ago I hacked vbulletin in order to shorten the urls, I was able to do this through vBseo, but I am not really sure, I had another developer and I don't remember well that we did. Anyway it worked, my threads permalink are websitename/forum/threadname-forumsectionID.html

Thanks anyway, I'll try to study this customization with my developer. If anyone who reads this thread has a good idea please tell me, I am willing to do custom development with other good coders.
Thanks