Lately we’ve noticed some older websites on the internet that use capital letters in their URLs. What do we mean by this? We mean that instead of a web address as “http://www.example.com/about”, the address is “http://www.example.com/About”. It’s always good practice to avoid using capital letters in your URLs. Here’s why.
Servers Handle Capitalization Differently
If your website is on a Windows server, then www.example.com/about will be handled exactly the same as www.example.com/About. The Windows server is case insensitive. If your website is hosted on Linux, then those two addresses will be seen as two different pages. That means that one will return the correct page, and the other will return a dead 404 page not found. So, if you originally host on a Windows server and move to a Linux server, you could be in for mass confusion and a lot of page errors for your users. Further, if you use capital letters for your URLs on a Linux server, users will get a dead page if they attempt to use all lowercase letters to access a page.
Having Two URLs Lead to the Same Page is No Good for Search Rankings
As we mentioned before a Windows server will treat www.example.com/about the same as www.example.com/About. This means that while the URLs are different, they lead to the same content. Search engines call this duplicate content and recommend you avoid it where possible. The biggest drawback is that places like Google will view the two URLs as separate pages and divide the link juice between them. This causes your page to potentially be ranked lower than it could be.
What’s the most appropriate way to handle this? Use 301 redirects to make sure the user can see each page through only one URL.
The best way to avoid the issues above is to use lowercase letters throughout your website. People have come to expect web addresses as lowercase letters and the URLs won’t hurt your search rankings.