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How to create short URLs in MM5 for Custom Pages

Search Friendly Links - Custom MM5 Pages

With MIVA Merchant 5 you can create your own Page templates by clicking "Pages [Add]". Let's assume we create a custom page for our stores' shipping policies with the Page Code of "SHIP".

MIVA Merchant will then create the following link to our new page like this:

http://www.ourdomain.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SHIP&Store_Code=OurDomain

But we would prefer a search engine and visitor friendly URL, like this:

http://www.ourdomain.com/s/shipping+policies.html

So, how do we achieve that?

1. Add a new entry to the .htaccess file

Add the following to your .htaccess file:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/s/(.*)	[NC] 
RewriteRule (.*) /mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SHIP&Store_Code=ZZ [L]

so it now looks like this:

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine On
# 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/p/(.*)/(.*)	[NC] 
RewriteRule (.*) /mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=%1&Store_Code=ZZ [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/pc/(.*)/(.*)/(.*)	[NC]
RewriteRule (.*) /mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=%1&Category_Code=%2&Store_Code=ZZ [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/c/(.*)/(.*)	[NC] 
RewriteRule (.*) /mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=%1&Store_Code=ZZ [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/s/(.*)	[NC] 
RewriteRule (.*) /mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SHIP&Store_Code=ZZ [L]

What does all this mean?

/s/ the "term" we have used to denote a link to our custom shipping policies page. The slashes "/" are separators

2. Replacing the MM5 link to the new page with the search engine friendly link

Replace your existing link to your custom page (you probably have placed it in your global header), with:

<a href="/s/shipping+policies.html">Shipping Policies</a>

As previously, you will note that the .htaccess file does not include the extension ".html" and as previously, this is possible due to a feature of mod_rewrite that ignores the last rule if it doesn't "match" the condition.

Note: how I have added a "+" between "shipping" and "policies". This is to both eliminate the space and to create a link consistent with the links to the product and category pages (where the "+" is automatically added).

This is how the search engine friendly link to your custom page will display (see bottom of image):

Search engine friendly link to a category

compared to how the original MIVA Merchant link displays (see bottom of image):

MIVA Merchant standard link to a category

Avoid Costly Mistakes & Hassles

We continue to get work fixing up stores whose owners have tried implementing search engine friendly links using either Sebenza's Ultimate SEO Links or other modules or following the tutorials above and failing to do so completely and/or correctly.

Consequences: Search engines fail to index your site the way you want (even when you submit pages and have Google site maps). Consequences of that: you lose your traffic and it takes many months to get back even if we fix it for you but you may never get it back it the mistakes remain unfixed.

So, avoid the mistakes in the first place - we can create search friendly links for you for a cost of between $265 - $395 approx. If you have the Sebenza module installed, the price will be at the lower end of the scale and your links will be slightly better (slightly shorter).

We can create them in your choice of formats, including:

  • as per the Sebenza Ultimate SEO Links module - including the product and category names
  • as per the tutorial above - including the product and category names
  • as per your existing MM4 Copernicus Search Friendly Links
  • as per your existing MM4 Pixel Composer SEO Links
  • another format that you may prefer

Just contact us and let us know what you need and we'll give you a firm price.

Tips, Tricks and Traps

  1. Inconsistent Link Behavior e.g. shows http:// sometimes and https:// at others:     Have you included:    <base href="&mvt:global:basehref;">     in your template?

Back to the MM5 Search Engine Friendly Links Tutorial

We are trying to make this Search Engine Friendly links for MIVA Merchant 5 tutorial as useful as possible. Please let us know of any errors, omissions or unclear instructions.

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