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Now I'm going to be using them in sites created by a variety of site-builders... so there's no one tool they all use. I'm sure none of them routinely uses absolute URLs, because the main advantage would be in search related areas. Any suggestions about working methods to suggest to these site-builders to save them time and not drive them crazy?
If you use a webserver locally to view your pages, rather than just viewing them directly you may be able to use a local hosts file to resolve www.yourdomain.com to 127.0.0.1 (your local machine).
I'm not making the links absolute because of the big boys, Googlebot, Scooter, etc. as we never had a problem with them following any links. I'm doing this because our site has been hit by some personal bot's.
Mark - I know nothing about servers. If you can translate into non-tech terms for me, I'd feel much more solid abt conveying this to people I might be working with....
Son House - When I saw your user name, I had to check your profile. Yep, that's the Son House you meant. I once tried to do a film on southern blues for Columbia Pictures, and in addition to people like Mississipi John Hurt and Furry Lewis, Son House was one of the inspirations. Have you seen the incredible clip of him in Montery Pop?
Anyway, back to HTML... the site map is a good way to navigate, but not necessarily to test whether all the other links work. Also, if coders use something like DreamWeaver and drag and drop to create relative links, then we'd have to come up with search and replace routines to create the absolute path names.
I remember way back, before I took the subject seriously, hearing about some tricks that people used, maybe in the FTP stage. I want to make this is easy as possible for everyone, or else I'm going to get a lot of resistance to the idea.
My idea would require each of your coders to have a webserver to be running on their PC (or one somewhere on your network) so it is probably overkill unless you have that setup in place already.
There have been many discussions in the past about the benefits of absolute URLs, I am not sure the extra hassle is worth it. The only major spider I have ever suspected of having trouble with relative URLs is Slurp (It can follow them OK, but I think sometimes it just chooses not to).
I am actually having the opposite problem at the moment. There is a spider from mindspring.com that thinks my external links are internal ones and is generating hundreds of 404 errors on my sites.
For the rest, any sort of auto-replace routines that people have used??
Homesite comes (or at least it came) bundled with DreamWeaver, and the two companies (MacroMedia and Allaire) are now merged, so Homesite works hand-in-glove with DreamWeaver.