Changing the address (URL) of a page
Addresses (or URL) for the pages, folders and news stories on your site are automatically created by the system. The system doesn't offer a way for you to assign your own URLs to items and there are only very limited ways that you can change the URL of an item.
This page gives you some background on how the addresses are created and some suggestions for working with them.
How the address is created for an item
The address created for an item on your site is based on:
- your site's name (this appears near the beginning of the address)
- the menu title of the item (this is the last part of the address)
- the location of the item on your site (depending on how you organise your site, this may or may not be included in the address. If it is included, it appears in the middle between the other two parts).
For example, if you have a page with a menu title Apples in a folder with a menu title Fruit, then the address would be like this:
Because spaces and punctuation can cause a problem when included in an address, these are automatically removed when it is created (but the title will still appear as normal in the crumbtrail and navigation menu). So, if you gave a page a menu title of Jimmy's "great" day out!, the address would actually be something like:
How to change an address
It isn't easy to change the address of an item but it is possible to do it in a limited way. Before you change any addresses, it would be wise to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages. Keep in mind that when you change an address, you will break any links that are pointing to that page - allow yourself time to correct these links as well (you will find the broken link report helpful for this).
You can change each of the three parts of the of the address:
Your site's name
You can change the name of your site but this will affect the address of every item on your site. This is very likely to cause broken links (on your site and others) and could reduce visitors to your site so you should think carefully before deciding to do this.
If you change your site name, the effect on URLs would be:
- Before: surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/fruit/apples
- After: surreycommunity.info/yournewsitename/fruit/apples
The menu title of the item
This is the last part of the url (the name of the page itself). The system doesn't offically provide a way to change this, but there is a slightly complicated workaround that you can use if you really need to change this part of the address.
The system uses the menu title of an item to create the URL - changing the menu title subsequently will not change the URL (although it will change the wording in the crumbtrail and navigation menus). However, if you create a copy of the page, the system will use whatever is currently in the menu title for the url. So, to change the last part of the url, you can change the menu title, make a copy of the page (which will use the new menu title for its url) and then remove the original page like so:
- Open the page for editing
- Change the menu title to what you want it to be (in other words what you want to appear in the url)
- Click the pink copy button (at the top of the index and edit tabs)
- Open the page that is above the current page in the hierarchy of your site.
- Click the paste item here button.
- The new page will be created and will use the new menu title for its url.
- Save (or save and publish) the page.
- You can now delete or unpublish the original page.
- Before: surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/fruit/apple
- After: surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/fruit/oranges
The location of the item
If you move an item from one part of your site to another, its address will change. For example if you move a page called 'Apples' from a folder called 'Fruit' to a folder called 'Food' its address would change from:
- Before: http://surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/fruit/apples
- After: http://surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/food/apples
Using a short address
Many of your pages may have quite long addresses. Although you can shorten them to some extent by using brief menu titles for items and by not putting them deep within the structure of your site, this isn't always practical.
If you are only changing the address of a few items, you could set up redirects. These are 'placeholder pages that don't contain any content - all they do is automatically forward visitors to another page. Creating a redirect page just beneath your site's home page will give it a short address (such as http://surreycommunity.info/yoursitename/fruit) which could point to a page deeper in your site with a much longer address.
Alternatively, you could consider using a URL redirecting service such as bit.ly or TinyURL. These allow you to set up a short address (such as http://tinyurl.com/example) that points to your page. These short addresses work alongside the normal SurreyCommunity.info addresses so your visitors can use either.
There are some possible disadvantages to take into account:
- the short addresses won't necessarily remind people of your group or your site
- the short addresses provided aren't always very memorable
- some people can be prevented from using the URLs provided by these services (for example if they are at work and their company's security software forbids this type of URL).