Unpublishing pages and requesting redirects: top tips
Redirects are a great way to ensure you don’t lose traffic to your site after making URL changes. However, redirecting unpublished pages in EdWeb presents issues for internal links; this post examines tops tips to minimise link breakage.
When you unpublish an EdWeb page, any internal links to it break–the live site shows the link text, but it is no longer a clickable link. This also means that any URL redirects you set up for a page won’t work for internal links because the link becomes inactive, regardless of whether a redirect is set up.
How can you mitigate the effects of this?
Modify over unpublish
Avoid creating replacement pages, and instead modify content on your currently published pages. This way, your pages stay published and internal links don’t break.
In some cases, though, you may be merging content from separate pages into one, causing you to unpublish the others. In these instances, make sure you are merging content onto the page you would consider the most high-profile and linked-to in order to minimise breakage. You could also leave the unused pages published, but with a redirect set up to the new master page.
Add links internally over externally
While situations like this can be avoided if you add internal links as if they were external (pasting the URL into Target path in Linkit), we’d highly recommend against doing this. This is because URLs are more likely to be changed than pages unpublished, and internal links don’t break when URLs are changed.
While not in EdWeb yet, the ability to see page references (that is, which other pages internally link to your pages) is on the EdWeb roadmap. Once this is in place, you’ll then be able to see which pages will be affected by unpublishing content. You can then update any links on your own web pages and inform other content owners who link to your pages.
While redirects won’t work for internal links to unpublished EdWeb pages, requesting redirects is still a good idea as any external links to your pages (such as through search engine results) won’t break.
To request redirects, email Website Support a list of each old URL and the new URL you need to redirect to.