Fixing "broken" URLs after reorganizing navigation

As you move a page to accommodate a new navigation structure, the URL for the page will change if it's moved under a different parent page, renamed (if a Speaking URL path segment was not already set), or if the Speaking URL path segment is changed.

In many cases, the changed URL isn't a big deal: eventually search engines will update to provide search results to the new location, or if it's a page that visitors would generally browse to, they'll still find it in the updated navigation menus.

Do not use this approach if you just want to display a page in a different position in page navigation than where the page is actually located in the pagetree. In that case, you should use a Shortcut page.

In other cases, you might identify the changed URL as a problem: if an email blast was recently sent linking to a page that now has a different URL and you want to be sure that critical audience smoothly finds the new page, for example. What to do in this case?

Create a "redirect"

You can "redirect" from the old page to the new page in CMS to make both old and new URLs work. Keep in mind the maintenance overhead of this, and remove the "redirect" pages once the need has subsided (for example, search engines link to the new location, or the "deadline" from the email blast has passed). Don't add "redirects" for pages unless it's needed, as it can quickly lead to a confusing pagetree.

  1. Edit the "old" page's page properties
    • Here, "old" means a reachable page at the "broken" URL position, not necessarily the literal old page record. If you hid the "old" page and created a new page in a new location, then you might be able to reuse that page. Otherwise, create a page--or the page hierarchy--required to recreate an old URL. For example, if you had a page at you would need to create a page under the "dept" page with a Speaking URL Path Segment of "undergraduates" so that the new page will answer to requests for . If the old page was then you would need a page with a Speaking URL Path Segment of "abc" that is under the "undergraduates" page. The page(s) can be hidden in menu.
  2. On the General tab, change the Page Type to Link to External URL
  3. Click OK to save the page and display new fields
  4. Set the Protocol to https://
  5. Paste the remainder of the URL of the new page location, such as 
    (DO include the trailing slash to make the "redirect" as quick as possible for visitors)
  6. Save and close
  7. Publish as usual

Other tips for maintaining "redirect" pages

  • Hide/delete "old" contents on the page so the page doesn't look like it's the page authors should modify in order to update the reorg/new_page_name page
  • Arrange all "redirect" pages together in one part of the pagetree, away from real pages as much as possible, such as at the bottom of the Pagetree
  • Some departments use a hidden spacer page to visually annotate in the backend pagetree that the "redirect" pages are below
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