Stack Overflow (and other Stack Exchange sites) include the userid in the public profile, giving public URLs similar to this: https://stackexchange.com/users/2097759/rishi-dua

Unlike Stack Overflow Careers and many other websites providing a more user friendly URL like:

Stack Overflow profiles have now become important for job applications, and people link to their profiles on their portfolios/homepage/visiting card. How about letting users choose public profiles with easy-to-remember URLs like https://stackexchange.com/users/rishirdua or http://users.stackexchange.com/rishirdua?

Is there a reason why Stack Overflow hasn't introduced public profiles without the uid?

  • 6
    No. User names are not unique, and should not become unique. Nov 13, 2014 at 10:08
  • @Shadow Wizard Why not make them unique just like fb, twitter, github, g+?
    – Rishi Dua
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:09
  • 2
    One reason, we are not those sites
    – user273376
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:09
  • 5
    Because Stack Exchange is not fb, twitter, github or g+. It's focused on the contents not the users. Nov 13, 2014 at 10:09
  • The sites do have friendly URLs. {Name}.stackexchange.com. The profile pages don't. But peoples profiles are not important enough to need such 'vanity' URLs anyway.
    – JonW
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:12
  • @JonW well "peoples profiles are not important enough" that answers my question! Thanks. This was more useful than the downvotes. And yes, I meant profiles, not sites
    – Rishi Dua
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:14
  • The downvotes are not meant to be useful, just that people do not agree with what you suggest. Nov 13, 2014 at 10:15
  • I was looking for a reason for the disagreement. JonW's comment and yours (after you edited it) gives a reason which is perfectly valid and I (somewhat) agree with that. Thanks
    – Rishi Dua
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:17
  • Numeric IDs are immutable, so an SE profile link will work as long as long as SE and the user exist. Links containing only the name will break if the user changes their name. Nov 13, 2014 at 10:36
  • 3
    Yknow how incredibly annoying it is when you change your name on github and all your gist links die a violent, sudden death? Yeah, that.
    – user1228
    Nov 13, 2014 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


No, URLs shouldn't contain names.

Stack Exchange sites focus on content, not on users. Using userid in the profile makes more sense for a site which allows merging profiles, while allowing users to have fun experimenting with different names.

There are users who change their names frequently, so the flexibility of changing names has use for a lot of users. If you want to link to your profile, use your flairs:

profile for Rishi Dua on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites profile for Rishi Dua at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

We shouldn't compare Stack Exchange with any other sites. Why?

Repeat after me: Stack Overflow is not a social networking site.

  • 1
    Thanks! That summed it up quite well
    – Rishi Dua
    Nov 13, 2014 at 14:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .