URLs are promises
Good housekeeping keeps the web alive.
When we publish a resource to the web with a URL, we are (or at least, should be) implicitly making three promises:
- We will keep that same resource at that same URL, otherwise…
- If we move it elsewhere, we will automatically point browsers and other user agents to the new location using a HTTP 301 permanent redirect or HTTP 307 temporary redirect as appropriate.
- When the resource is no longer published we will positively indicate this by using a HTTP 410 Gone status code at this URL.
Running a website isn’t just being a content farmer, it’s being a URL farmer too. Every case of link rot is avoidable.