Adding a URL redirect will ensure that if visitors go to an old link (e.g., a page on an old website that you are rebuilding on the Open Berkeley platform), they will be automatically redirected to the new page. You can add redirects for sub-paths (page paths) from an old website on the URL redirects administration page.
When (and Why) to Add URL Redirects
The following are common use cases for adding URL redirects:
- You are rebuilding an old site on the Open Berkeley platform
- You are deleting (removing) a page
Old site URLs, and URLs for deleted pages, may still be findable by your site visitors. For example, either an old site URL (from a site you have rebuilt on Open Berkeley) or a deleted page URL may have been
- linked on other websites
- linked in PDFs
- sent via previous emails
- bookmarked by site visitors
If URL redirects are not added for the above use cases, and someone selects an old URL, they will be at a broken link ("Page Not Found") on your site.
When you are rebuilding an old website on the Open Berkeley platform, your page URL "sub-paths" (page paths) may not match up. For example:
On your old site, you may have a page called "About Us", and the URL may be:
(In the above example, 'about.html' is the sub-path.)
When you are rebuilding your site, you may still have a page called "About Us", but the sub-path may be different. For example:
(In the above example, 'about-us' is the sub-path.)
Notice that the two page paths are different in the two examples.
When a new site goes live, the Open Berkeley team (firstname.lastname@example.org) will coordinate everything to redirect the top-level URL (e.g., mysite.berkeley.edu). However, if the individual sub-paths are different (as outlined above), those sub-paths will not automatically redirect. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that Site Builders add their individual URL redirects before their new site goes live. Similarly, Site Builders should add URL redirects if they delete a page on their Open Berkeley site.
More instructions about how to add URL redirects can be found below.
- Do NOT redirect the home page of your website to another page on your site or to an external website (i.e., do not put <front> or "home" in the "from" field when adding a redirect).
- You and other Builders/Editors/Contributors will not be able to log in to your website (so you won't be able to undo the redirect), and site visitors will not be able to get to your website and/or home page.
- URLs with spaces (indicated by a "%20", which will automatically be added in the URL address bar to fill the empty space) and other non-alphanumeric characters cannot be redirected.
- If you would like to redirect another top-level domain (e.g., new-url.berkeley.edu; a domain that's not your primary URL) to your site, please contact email@example.com, as this process will require additional coordination/configuration.
How to Add Redirects
From the Site Builder Dashboard, navigate down to "URL Administration", and select "Administer URL redirects", then select "Add redirect". See Figures 1 and 2, below.
Enter the sub-paths in the 'from' (old sub-path) and 'to' (new sub-path) fields and select "Save" to save the redirect. For both the "From" and "To" fields, add everything from the URL that comes AFTER the.edu/. See Figure 3, below.
Pages on your site can also be redirected to an external site (if content on your site has been moved to another site, for example). To do this, follow the same instructions as above for the "From" field, and put the external link in the "To" field. See Figure 4, below.
Notes about adding redirects to/from attachments (Word, PDF, Excel, etc.)
- When adding a redirect from an old attachment to a new one, be sure to delete the old file, or else the redirect won't work.
- The redirect function does not work if you're trying to redirect TO anything with spaces in the file name, e.g., my file.pdf. It will work if you redirect FROM something with spaces in the file name. (This is true of any Drupal site using the Redirect module.)
On live sites (and on test sites after live sites have launched), "automatic redirects" are turned on. If automatic URL aliases are turned on, this means that if you change the name of a page, a redirect will be created for the previous sub-path (the URL alias) to point to the new sub-path. This helps protect against broken links (especially if visitors have bookmarked the previous URLs).
For example, if you have a page called "About Us," the automatic URL alias will be mysite.berkeley.edu/about-us. If you change the page title to "About", the URL alias will update to mysite.berkeley.edu/about, and a redirect will be created to point mysite.berkeley.edu/about-us to the new mysite.berkeley.edu/about.
At any time, you can view the redirects created for individual pages when editing a page and navigating to the "Redirects" section. From there, you can edit or delete the redirects as needed. See Figure 5, below.
You can manage all redirects from your Site Builder Dashboard.