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I have my own server so have full root access i.e. I don't have to rely on htaccess, so what is the preferred method?... and how do I combine 301 with the code?
I think the task of changing established URLs would be huge (301s, internal links etc)... can I set this up in such a way that only new pages are extensionless?
It would really depend on how your current site is laid out. Essentially you'd just set up the new schema and 301 the old structure to the new.
In the long run if it will be help then 301 and go for it. I'm not quite sure how you would only drop the extension on new pages only...
Should I head on over to the Apache forum and go for a definitive thread? I'd like to see a step by step 'Cruft Free URLs For Dummies' tutorial.
[edited by: Asia_Expat at 2:46 pm (utc) on Jan. 26, 2009]
The perfect time to drop file extensions from your URLs is *when* you do a site re-design and are already facing the task of changing these extensions or base URLs. Instead of changing them (for example) from .html to .php, just drop them altogether, with the knowledge that this will be the last time you'll ever have to change them due to a site-technology change.
A URL on the Web is not a file, and therefore does not need a file extension. It is the server's job to convert URLs to filepaths, and most modern servers offer multiple ways of mapping URLs to filepaths -- usually with support for doing so conditionally as well.