IBM has provided many ways over the years to help improve the general readability of their URLs. Friendly URLs give you more descriptive paths to pages, vanity URLs let you create specialized links to specific pages, and stateless URLs get rid of all the portal state information that has been encoded into the URL (though this does have some capability implications). One that I was unaware of until just recently is the ability to change or even remove the Portal default context and home (/wps/portal).
After some further investigation, it appears this has always been possible, but it hasn’t been terribly simple. In 8.5, this task is exposed and even highly automated through the Configuration Wizard. The IBM Documentation can be found here: http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSHRKX_8.5.0/mp/config/cfg_intr_seo.dita
What follows is a brief outline of the steps, as well as some notes I took when running this process the first time.
Log into the configuration wizard at http://your_server:10200/ibm/wizard.
Click Set Up a Stand-alone Server > Modify Site URLs for Search Engine Optimization or Set Up a Cluster > Modify Site URLs for Search Engine Optimization depending on your environment type.
After this, you should be on a screen that has several steps listed. Click ‘Start Configuration’ – the wizard will begin automatically running those steps that it can complete (it will stop on manual steps to allow you to run that step). You can view status and progress on the right of the active step. NOTE – some of these steps can take a long time to complete.
When the process stops and asks you to complete a manual step, simply follow the instructions and when finished, you can mark that step as complete.
When all was said and done, this process took ~4 hours to complete on a single-node environment, but that time does include me figuring out some manual steps for the first time. The real beauty is that probably 3 of those 4 hours required no additional input from me while automatic steps were running.