Switching back to the original WordCamp URLs

Earlier this year we changed the URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org structure for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. websites, migrating from year.city.wordcamp.org to city.wordcamp.org/year.

There were two primary reasons for the change: 1) At the time, we thought that it was the best way to work around some obstacles that prevented us from securing the sites with SSLSSL Secure Socket Layer - Encryption from the server to the browser and back. Prevents prying eyes from seeing what you are sending between your browser and the server. certificates; and 2) Over the years, many organizers had expressed dissatisfaction with the original URLs, especially related to SEO issues.

@matt has raised some concerns about the new structure, and has asked us to move back to the original one.  His concerns are:

  • Subdomains are more consistent with the rest of WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/’s infrastructure (e.g., core.trac.wordpress.org)
  • Using subdomains gives us more flexibility and forwards-compatibility. For example, they allow us to point different camps to different servers in the future, opening up possibilities like giving each camp their own isolated virtual server where organizers could have full control, rather than having a centralized platform.
  • The Systems team now has more capacity to help with getting the large number of SSL certificates that we’d need.
  • We should switch now before something happens that locks us into the current structure.

Matt has worked out a plan with the Systems team to ensure that we maintain the ability to secure traffic with SSL. We’ll be able to use the new Let’s Encrypt certificate authority to automate the generation and installation of certificates for each individual domain. The plan to have landing pages at the city.wordcamp.org URL will also be unaffected by the move.

There’s no potential timeline for the project yet. Let’s Encrypt is still being developed, and once they are ready it will still take a significant amount of work on our end.

We know this is a significant change, so before we start the process, we’d like to give everyone a chance to share feedback, ask questions, etc. Please leave a comment and follow the discussion if this is something that you’re interested in.