Welcome to the Question2Answer Q&A. There's also a demo if you just want to try it out.
+3 votes
in Q2A Core by

@Scott, @pupi1985, Is it possible to make Q2A user page like twitter or facebook....like twitter.com/username or facebook.com/username. currently Q2A user page is q2asite.com/users/username.

If urls like fb or twitter are possible then it will be be easy for users to share their account details on other sites, they may also feel good to claim good username url.....if some Q2A site becomes very popular like stackoverflow then people will feel proud to list that kind of url on their personal site or other social profile etc.

In future we can think about verified profiles also, like twitter or fb. This will help to encourage users to take more part in QA site.

1 Answer

+1 vote

Yes, it is possible (everything is, actually). I wouldn't do that, though.

These are the reasons:

  • A Q&A site should care more about questions than users. Otherwise, it would be a social network rather than a Q&A site. So having yoursite.com/<question-id> makes much more sense to me than yoursite.com/questions/<question-id>
  • I don't think anyone has any issue with yoursite.com/users/<user-id>. If it is too long it can be shortened to yoursite.com/u/<user-id> (this is currently possible)
  • You mentioned StackOverflow. They have this kind of user URL stackoverflow.com/users/<user-id>/<user-name> which is very long compared to the one in Q2A. Anyway, the <user-name> seems to be optional in practice so you share just the user id
  • StackOverflow question links have this URL structure stackoverflow.com/questions/<question-id>. Despite the length of the URL they are still the #1 site
  • Assuming your suggestion had been: "Do not allow usernames to be only numbers and when in this structure yoursite.com/<input> , <input> is an integer greater than 0 then redirect to a question, otherwise, redirect to a user profile corresponding to that value". I still believe this would complicate things unnecessarily and it won't be so much clear for the user if he is linking to a question or to a user
  • Considering that was a solution to the underlying issue you mentioned in your question, which was "it will be be easy for users to share their account details on other sites" maybe it would be better to just create a plugin to ease sharing your profile or maybe, as StackOverflow has, to share a piece of HTML code with your avatar, points and stuff (they call it flare):
At one point I agree with you that more focus should be on questions in Q2A. But then I saw Github and that's the biggest git repository website and still they are providing username related URL.
Just a point to update... ;)
edited by
@pupi1985, agree with you that our focus should be on questions first but we should also give importance to our users because they are the one who help to grow community.

If there are technical limitations to implement that kind of url then fine(as you mentioned), otherwise we all should think about that.

It is not necessary to follow how stackoverflow or quora are providing user profile pages, we can be different.  

Here are few things I'm thinking for user profile page.
1. We can have followers and following.
2. Show his favorite questions, show his questions with best answers(latest first).
3. Show verified profile on page.
4. User Wall can be converted to twitter like messages so that user can promote his questions to his followers. Once questions is gone from first page then only search can find it. This will help to get more pageview for site.
5. Show Badges or rewards on user page, they can show their expertise. I feel this is one of the most important feature for any QA site. Reward users.
6.  Any special title given by admin (we can think of adding custom title for users, we can use same here on Q2A site also ...like member of "Development team", "Testing Team" "Project Lead" "Moderator" etc...this can be without raising his permission on QA site )
7. add other user statistic data.
8. Add thanks button similar to fb like button. Lets says if user answers any question then other user can just say thanks to him by clicking button for his answer. We can list number of Thanks he received on his profile page.
Great suggestions for the profile of users, ProThoughts.
I would like to add as a suggestion, a page with the answers of each user that were chosen as the best and "questions from my friends" (favorites)
It would also be interesting links on the main profile page for questions and answers of user.
Example: Questions: 44 (27 with best answer chosen). Add link to the questions in this information.
I also liked the suggestions 1 and 6.

I do not know if there is possibility of being added in the core of Q2A. But, it would also be nice if Gabriel (Pupi1985) wants to add these options in his plugin (Profile Customizer).

On the main subject of the question, I do not think so important. In my opinion, it would even be better to have the link to the user profile by ID (Impossible to change) rather than by user name.
edited by
Sorry, forgot a suggestion: cover image for profile.
I would also change the mural to the left side of the profile.
I don't think GitHub and Q2A should be compared. In GitHub, the username is itself part of the project. You can have exactly the same project name for different users so you need the user in the URL. In GitHub you do care about who's fork you're browsing. In a Q&A site you don't care that much about whose question you are browsing.

If Q2A used the same URL structure as GitHub, then question URLs would look like this yoursite.com/<user-id>/<question-id> . It is a bit awkward, IMO. I'd compare Q2A to other Q&A sites, such as SO

@ProThoughts @Jonatan
This question seems to have turned into a "Next release feature requests" :) In order to keep things organized I'd rather not discuss those points but just the user URL stuff.  Otherwise, this results in those never-ending discussions that lead nowhere and which I usually try to stay out

I agree with you on having the link to the user profile by ID. Which is a step backwards in what ProThoughts requests in the question, as user ids are just numbers so the URL would look like yoursite.com/12345. However, you can actually apply the same URL change that happens with questions and append the username to the URL (question URLs append the title of the question) so that they look like this yoursite.com/12345/John+Doe (being "John Doe" the user handle). This is what StackOverflow does and I like the idea. That way users keep the same ID even if they change their username (BTW, with the number is enough to find the user, the username is just there to beautify things a little bit)
@ pupi1985, yes, discussion turned into feature request :) let us discuss that in separate thread.

Let us leave Q2A user profile page as is. May be you can add solution to create url like yoursite.com/u/<user-id>, just in case someone is interested in short url.

I will start new thread for user profile features, let us get some ideas from all.

@ pupi1985, Could you please add solution to create url like yoursite.com/u/<user-id> or yoursite.com/profile/<user-id>, just in case someone is interested in short url.
Well, I can not "add"/merge a solution. Only Scott can. I can write a whole approach but, if it doesn't get merged, then it means I've spent many hours of my life for nothing (literally, because I'm not being paid for doing so). The change is too radical which lowers the chance of being merged. So I prefer Scott to take a look at it.

BTW, this isn't new at all and I've already been involved in a discussion about it 2 years ago: https://github.com/q2a/question2answer/issues/209
Ok, no problem. There are many other important features required now than this.