Hello I am thinking about the url structure of a photo gallery website and could use a little advice on the subject.

For each entry in expression engine we would have a url_title like the following:


This url structure is fantastic for search engines but not so good for duplications. If I was to add a new image adding to say a 2000 collection there is a likely possibility of a duplicate.

So my thoughts are to use an add-on such as MX Title Control CE to append the entry ID like so as a pattern for photos:


This way every entry would be unique.

What are your thoughts on this? I can see that iStock follow a similar approach.

I would value a professional opinion regarding future proofing the setup and from an SEO standpoint.



1 Answer 1


Perhaps I'm not understanding the problem but you seem to be conflating the Entry title, and url_title of the entries. You'll find that EE will append a number to the url title of any identically titled entries within the same channel.

From an SEO standpoint are you talking about the URL (which would be unique by it's very nature) or the Meta title of the 'page' that displays the image?

MX Title control will change the title of the entry but if you're only concern is what's being displayed on the front-end templates (say within an H1 tag) then you could simply append the entry id when you output the entries info. e.g.


The same could be done when you output the meta title.

You may also want to consider something like SEO Lite which makes adding custom Meta data simpler.

  • Thanks for your reply. I am referring to the http:// path. Friendly urls. If you look at say iStock they seem to add the fileID onto of the url title For example: website.com/photos/lying-on-the-beach-45 the lying-on-the-beach part is the generated url_title based on the title of the photo record entry. Hopefully this makes more sense. It has nothing to do with Meta data in the head of the document. Thanks Dec 4, 2014 at 11:29
  • If you try to create 2 entries within the same EE channel both named "Lying on the beach" then the URL title of the second will be "lying-on-the-beach1". Likewise, if you made another entry it would be "lying-on-the-beach2". So you don't need an add-on to make this happen. Only if you wanted to append the entry_id would you need something like Title Master.
    – foamcow
    Dec 4, 2014 at 11:41
  • Ok I understand there will never be an instance where two url_titles have the same value. But for consistency sake it would be nicer to append the entry_id onto the url_title which is how I have it set-up at the moment. Just wanted to make sure this approach was a good one. Dec 4, 2014 at 12:30
  • Just as a corollary, I would avoid using Title Master for this sort of task; it used to be a really helpful tool, but now appears to have been thoroughly abandoned by its developer.
    – RickL
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:10

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