ASP.NET Site of the Day : Mission Australia

Now, here's something interesting. The Mission Australia site is an ASP.NET site. Mission Australia is a non-denominational Christian organisation with a vision to spread the love of God and meet human need.

So it's kinda cool that they have an ASP.NET powered site.

But what's really cool is that it's driven by a CMS developed by Aussie company Clear Blue Day.

Now, what's interesting to me is that every page is driven by the same .ASPX page with a really long ID - for example check out these urls (if you dare) :

As Rove would say -- “What The....?

Comments (6)
  1. Uwe says:

    Personally, I don’t like non-rememberable URLs. Secure QueryStrings is something different than using a single page to dispatch everything.

    Jakob Nielsen would agree 🙂

  2. G’day Frank – I’ve appreciated your "site spotlight", and it’s a shame some of the bigger name sites *aren’t* using ASP.NET yet, as it would be cool to see what could be done (like, telstra, government sites).

    Cheers mate!

  3. Mitch Denny says:

    Those URLs are shockers. What is funny is that they appear to have taken the time to trim down the url up to the page part, but the query string is out of this world.

    They should check out the source for .Text which has some interesting mapping techniques. Under the covers it is one page also, but appears to be many.

  4. Peter says:

    Hi Frank

    Thanks for the site of the day props.

    The site actually had a lot of unique elements, and the long URLs are one of them. Perhaps a strange logic to some, but the reason is that pages and locations are distinct entities with regard to the way the CMS works. i.e. a page must be assigned a location, and it can be multiple locations, for it to actually exist


  5. Brad says:


    I was the Senior Developer on the development of the Mission site. Thanks for your thoughts on this URL thing.

    Peter is correct. Each page is unique, as is each navigation point.

    The CMS allows you to create a heirarcical navigation structure to which, you assign pages you create elsewhere in the CMS. The navigational structure is stored in a single table with an ID/Parent type set up, and then extracted via a recurive stored procedure. (That took me two late nights to get right) 🙂

    One page can be assigned to multiple navigation points.

    This issue of long urls is a moot point. Who remembers URLs beyond the home page of a site anyway. I typed ‘Long URLs’ in google and it’s querystring looked like this…

    ‘stefandemetz’ suggested we have a look here…

    I went to and on to MSDN and found myself here…

    Anyone who remembers this url, has not grasped the concept of ‘bookmark’.

    The truth of the matter is that the Querystrings on the Mission site did not ‘need’ to be that long. That many characters gives you something like 2^36 (67108864) combinations. I could have just used the Navigation points ID value from the database, like…

    … but as people would not remember page n=320 over page n=230 anyway, then the length of the querysting is of no importance. Plus making it more complex simple makes people less likely to play with it. (not that the system doesn’t pick up on that. A faulty ‘n’ value finds you on the home page).

    I would be keen to find a way to do it without the querystring at all, however, that seems to me to be impossible, if you want your pages to be bookmarkable. Anyone here know a way to do that?


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