Aliases and redirects

How to add redirects (including short/vanity URLs) and when to change a page's alias.


Redirects from external sites to SDP

Redirects on external sites must be made by the administrator of that site.

A spreadsheet should be prepared listing the old site pages and the SDP CMS URL. SDP URLs should be in the following format: /site-#/page-url (example: /site-4/contact).

This spreadsheet should be provided to to the site administor of the external site to implement on the day of the site go live on SDP. It should also be provided to the SDP team for testing.

Redirects within the CMS

To get to the redirects section:

  • Roll over Configuration
  • On the dropdown, roll over Search and metadata
  • Click on URL redirects

Before adding any redirects, always check to see if other redirects already exist for that page.

Also the page must be archived for the redirect to work.

To add a redirect:

  1. Go to the redirects screen and click Add redirect.
  2. All pages have a site code (ie is site-4).
  3. In the 1st field (the From field), type in the site code and the short URL you want to use (eg. site-4/coronavirus-contact)
  4. In the 2nd field (the To field) type in the site number with a starting slash and the page's URL (eg. /site-507/coronavirus-contact) 

If your redirect is not working

Note that:

  • a page must be archived for a redirect to work
  • aliases take precedence over redirects, so check these too


When to use aliases

Aliases are the URLs assigned to nodes (pages) when they are saved.

Nodes always have a number associated with them. When you first create a page, it is given a URL alias that is a version of the page title (with short words like ‘the’ and ‘and’ removed).

When we change a page title, we should manually change the alias to match for good SEO.

When we do this, all links to the node/page won’t get broken, because they’re still tracking the node number.

Only update an alias and never delete it. If any alias is deleted (even if there is more than one) then it will mean the page isn't discoverable within the CMS or externally.

Other tools for making short urls

We have a tool for making short URLs but it does not have the same functionality as .bitly or other URL shortening tools which provide photo and video display on social media.

It is mainly used by people who want short urls which have government branding for publications.

Reviewed 25 November 2020

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