Website Support Clinic update – Changing URLs

At a recent Website Support Clinic, I worked with a web editor who was changing the URL of her homepage. While amending the text is easy enough, it’s important to consider all that’s involved when changing a site’s URL, including how to update the URL for child pages and requesting redirects.

Changing URLs- the basics

Changing the URL path of a homepage or overview in your site does not automatically update the URLs of the pages below it.

Due to this, before you make any change to the URL, you must first unpublished all pages whose URL will be affected, make the URL change and then republish all of the pages.

Luckily, EdWeb has a bulk publish and unpublish option to make this process go a lot quicker!

Changing URLs wiki guidance [EASE login required]

Redirects

If you’re changing the URL of your site or other high profile pages, you’ll likely want to request redirects from your old site URL to your new ones.

For a homepage URL change, we’d recommend a blanket redirect, which would direct all of your old site URLs to your site’s homepage.

Redirect process wiki page [EASE login required]

Before you start

Due to how the URL change process works, you’ll want to consider a few points before making changes.

  • Are there currently unpublished sections/pages in your site?

As top-level URL changes will likely result in you bulk publishing the site or sections of it, pages may get published that shouldn’t be (including Content to be removed sections). In these cases, you’ll have to quickly go back into the menu tree to unpublish any pages or sections that are affected.

As such, it’s best to keep a list of what pages are currently unpublished on your site so you know which you’ll have to unpublish after the URL change.

  • Is your site linking to internal pages via nodes?

Ideally, you should be using internal node links on your EdWeb site, which will continue to work if your URL changes.

If you have pasted full URLs of internal pages into LinkIt, the links will break unless you request redirects. However, even if you’ve requested a blanket redirect, this means that any links on your site will go to the homepage. This could mean all links on your homepage panes lead nowhere!

To avoid this, it’s best to check through your site and make sure any internal links are linked via node numbers.

Add an internal link wiki guidance [EASE login required]

  • Where else have you listed your site URL?

For changes to your homepage URLs, you’ll want to consider what external sources you list your site URL on and update them accordingly. Yes, redirects can still direct users to the correct homepage, but be sure to use your updated URL in any future communications or branding.

This can include in an email signatures, social media accounts and posters.

Get in touch

Our one-to-one support sessions are a great opportunity to take care of changing URLs as we can help with the bulk publishing and unpublishing, as well as setting up redirects immediately after to minimise the amount of time broken links will exist for your site. If you’re interested, drop us an email to book an appointment.

Email Website Support

Website Support Clinics wiki page

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