Duplicate Vanity / Custom simple URL for members. Ex: http://yourforum.com/[username]

This is a repost of a suggestion that has been made a couple times over the years - per the Guide to Suggestions there hasn't been activity on either for half a decade, so I'm creating this thread.

Our forum is populated by a great number of non 'tech savvy' individuals, particularly craftsmen who often do not have their own website, but definitely have facebook / twitter / instagram & other social media. As a result, you'll see their business cards have their social media links:

Joe Blow Knifemaker

Facebook.com/JoeblowKnives
Instagram.com/JoeBlowKnifeGuy
Twitter: @JoeBlowKnife

Xenforo lacking the ability for a simplified custom "vanity" URL for members is something that should have been implemented long ago. We want to encourage our users to stay within the community, and build our communities further, so why not make it easier for community personalities to draw their userbase to our sites?

http://yourforumname.com/index.php?members/Joeblowknives.1234567

should be

http://yourforumname.com/Joeblowknives

Simplified URLs increase sharing that information via emails, twitter profile, facebook and more - the more complicated the URL is, the less likely people are to directly enter it, and the greater the likelihood that errors will occur.

If implemented, please allow options to limit this feature by usergroup.
 
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Mouth

Well-known member
Good idea, except I see too much complication/conflict when you have pages or add-ons already using that URL route, or wanting to use it.

Eg. What if you want to create a page (or already have a page) with URL /Joeblowknives
 
The software already has the ability to prevent duplicate user names, I'm not sure how preventing duplicate URLs is impossible.
 

Mike Edge

Well-known member
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https://www.pucksters.com/pucksters/
Unmaintained, unsupported, and this should be core functionality in a world where we should strive to give our users ways to recruit more members.

I had to also use @xfrocks redirect addon to redirect /members/username to just /username and some custom coding to remove the userID number after the username on the redirect.
So you had to use an addon, another addon, and custom coding to create something that does this?
 

Mike Edge

Well-known member
Clearly you see this as a value added feature though, correct? Otherwise you wouldn't have jumped through as many hoops.
Since I'm building my site to compete with Facebook hockey groups next season, yes I sure do. That is also why I have member cards to auto hover rather then required to click the username, just like they auto on FB. My beta users are basically recommending features that duplicate Facebook, as for many, it is all they know.

On the flip side of the coin, most forums aren't trying to duplicate a social media platform, so it is debatable is it's valuable for core by the masses of forum owners.
 
We can't duplicate social media platforms, forums and social media serve two different purposes. Despite the differences in purpose, there's shared commonality in many aspects and there's little to no reason not to have similar feature sets that only serve to enhance usability & encourage customer interaction and growth.

Put it another way: what are the downsides of implementing this?

The upsides are obvious
 

xenfans

Well-known member
Fingers crossed nobody signs up with names like cpanel, mail, and other url tricks for managed vps and shared hosting forums.
 

xenfans

Well-known member
The list of forbidden URL alias grows slightly longer!
I can imagine, it's the same stuff for domains as for emails, giving vanity emails like "username: billing" allowing someone to take over billing@example.com, etc. same for example.com/billiing or paypal.example.com, etc. if there are scripts with defaults, for some it's worth to take these default usernames trying to get those domains etc to work for eh. those purposes. Not to mention cron, log www-data, root, postmaster (handy for force takeover domain transfers), etc.
 

erich37

Well-known member
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