Its been quite a while since SharePoint is in market.It has come a long way since it evolution in 2003. It takes a lot of hard work to convince customers to make a move from their traditional Content Publisher to SharePoint platform and SharePoint has been emerged as one of the market leader in that.
More often SharePoint is been criticized for its performance; it is been always said that SharePoint loads the page slowly and it takes a considerably amount of time to load the heavy sites including the involvement of external database. To overcome this many concepts like caching is been evolved; which still refresh the whole page rather than loading the only part of a page which is been modified; but recent version of SharePoint has introduced a concept of “Minimal Download Strategy”.
It is nothing but a feature which is activated by default on SharePoint Team Sites. Its technique to use single page “_layouts/15/start.aspx” with URL encoded with following # text.
Minimal download strategy improved the SharePoint Site performance by improving navigation,fast rendering on client browser. It also reduces the SharePoint page load time, because it loads only a part of a page which is been modified rather than getting a duplicate data from server.
To remove this extra text from URL you need to deactivate this feature at site collection level.To deactivate this feature go to site Settings -> Manage Site Features – > Find Minimal Download Strategy Feature – > Click on Deactivate.
Upon deactivation of this feature you will see text “_layouts/15/start.aspx” is been removed from SharePoint Site URL.
Note: However this is been recommended that MDS should be enables on SharePoint Site for performance improvement.