Page URLs in CMS

In terms of Web pages, a URL is the "location" or "address" of a Web page. For example, is the URL of the NDSU home page. Given a URL, your Web browser is able to retrieve and display content of a Web page. To identify the URL of a page you are viewing, look at the browser address bar.

Since CMS generates URLs based on page titles by default, it is easy to inadvertently create URLs that are too long to include in emails (greater than 80 characters) or to easily read out loud to your office mates. There are solutions to shorten these URLs, however.

Note that the simplest solution is to use short page titles such as "Contact" instead of "Contact form" or "Staff" instead of "Department XYZ full-time staff list."

Technique 1: shorten URL Segment

In the event you have a page title that is long and descriptive and you want that page's URL segment to be short (or different from the title altogether), you may set a URL Segment.

For example, the default URL segment for a page named "Knowledge Base" will be "knowledge_base"

But if you want to print/email a shortened URL segment, such as "kb" you set the URL Segment to override the default URL.

  1. In the Page module, right-click on the page that you would like to shorten the URL for
  2. Choose Edit
  3. On the General tab, disable Synchronize URL Segment
  4. Click the  Toggle manual URL segment button
  5. In the URL Segment field, enter a segment exactly as you would like the URL segment to be
  6. For the example above, the Speaking URL path segment should be entered as "kb"
  7. Save, close, and publish as usual

If the page was already published and visible in navigation menus, you'll probably need toclear the branch cachefor each page that displays the updated link in navigation menus.

Technique 2: shorten entire URL, as if a redirect

In this case, you may have a URL that displays in your browser address bar as
and want to publish a URL that looks like
" ."

If you can't move the page higher up in the Pagetree so that the URL will be shorter, the next best option is to create an shortcut page to the "long URL" page.  The shortcut page will act as a redirect to the "long URL" page.

  1. In the Page module, right-click on the home page of your site and select Page Actions > New
  2. In the New Record frame, select a position for the new page
    • Position the page at the highest level of your site possible (tree-hierarchy, not vertical position)
    • It is a good idea to keep all of the site's redirects together in one area, for example the last pages in the Pagetree, so they are easily located and identified in the future
  3. In the Create new Page frame, change the Type drop-down menu to Shortcut
  4. Click OK to save and refresh the page
  5. Enter a Shortcut Target of the page this "redirect" should go to by clicking the Browse for records button and clicking the target page from the Page tree
  6. Enter a Page Title exactly as you would like the URL to exist.  For the example above, this page should be titled "policies"
  7. Save, close, and publish as normal
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