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Page URLs in CMS

In terms of Web pages, a URL is the "location" or "address" of a Web page.  For example, www.ndsu.edu 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 e-mails (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 Speaking URL path segment.

For example, the default URL segment for a page named "Knowledge Base" will be "knowledge_base" http://www.ndsu.edu/cms/knowledge_base/shorten_urls/

But if you want to print/e-mail a shortened URL segment, such as "kb" you set the Speaking URL path segment to override the default URL.
http://www.ndsu.edu/cms/kb/shorten_urls/

  1. In the Page module, right-click on the page that you would like to shorten the URL for
  2. ChooseEdit page properties
  3. On the General tab, locate the Speaking URL path segment field
  4. In the Speaking URL path segment field, enter a segment exactly as you would like the URL segment to exist.
    For the example above, the Speaking URL path segment should be entered as "kb"
  5. Save and close Save and close the page
  6. Send to review and/or publish as usual

The URL change will not take effect immediately if the page was published before a Speaking URL path segment was added or modified.  To fix this, clear the branch cache.

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
"http://www.ndsu.edu/yoursite/undergraduate/policies/things_you_should_do_to_be_good"
and want to publish a URL that looks like
"http://www.ndsu.edu/yoursite/policies ."

In this case, the recommended procedure is to create an external link page to the "long URL" page.  The external link page will act as a redirect to the actual 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 Link to external URL
  4. Click OK to save and refresh the page
  5. Enter a URL for the page that this link should go to (i.e. the "long" URL you want to shorten)
    • In the above example, you would enter www.ndsu.edu/yoursite/undergraduate/policies/things_you_should_do_to_be_good/ . It's a good idea to copy this from your address bar to avoid typos, then delete the "http://"
  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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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk: +1 (701) 231-8685
Physical address: IACC 206, 1320 Albrecht Blvd., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 4530 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Content Management System

Last Updated: Monday, June 02, 2014 1:27:52 PM