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Finding Old Links on UBCMS Pages

Published July 25, 2017

Several ways to find links that are buried deep on your Web pages, so you can update or remove them.

Background

Occasionally you may need to change or purge a link that is no longer desired or has moved, one that the UBCMS cannot automatically update for you through normal processes.

Any of these methods will take a long time to search everywhere, and tax the system a bit. You can try them out in a lightweight way by searching a small selection of pages instead of all of "/content" or "/content/shared".

Also, be aware that there is quite a lot of risk in the Find and Replace method, if you automate the replacement.

Advanced Users / Developers Only

These solution involve a high degree of risk. Please be extremely careful in your choices.

Inbound Link Report

This will only find links to an exact page or URL. If you are seeking for URLs that deep-link into a site, or multiple URLs, try one of the other methods.

Create a new Inbound link report.

  • For Search Path, choose "Websites" (top level) or enter just "/content" or perhaps "/shared".
  • For Page to find, enter a URL (e.g. http://www.ise.buffalo.edu). 

It will take a few minutes to generate the report.

You will need to repeat for any expected variations on the link (e.g. https://www.ise.buffalo.edu, http://ise.buffalo.edu, http://www.ise.buffalo.edu/index.html, etc.), or for any other thinks. So this is probably not an ideal solution.

Outbound Link Report

This may be overwhelming, but comprehensive

Create a new Outbound Link Report.

  • Configure Root paths for all the areas you want to search, or use a high level path such as "/content" or "/shared" for everything you can see.
  • Check Traverse child pages.

The report will take several minutes to generate.It will link everything every page links to (hence the overwhelming part). You can then download the report and use another tool such as Excel to filter it down to pages that link to anywhere in ISE or CBE by any variation of URL.

This solution is very flexible, but requires use of another program.

Built-in Find and Replace

  • Go to the Websites Admin Console and click a root path like your home page, or the main Shared Content area.
  • Go to Tools on the tool bar and choose Find and Replace.
    • Update Start in if not correct, or maybe even back up to the top level "/content" or "/shared."
    • Enter the URL to find, such as "ise.buffalo.edu" in the Find box (this doesn't have to be a URL or page path, BTW; can be any text).
    • Click Preview.

It will take several minutes to load the list of results. The browser may tell you the page is crashed or unresponsive; tell it to wait longer. The list will load in that unpleasantly small box.

Unfortunately you cannot copy the list from the box and paste it elsewhere or save it in any way. You can type in a replacement string and choose Replace and it will replace any page with the box checked.

We do not believe the pages will be automatically activated/re-published after the replacement.

This solution works, but carries a lot of risk, as there is no practical way to undo your changes if the replacement has any unexpected side-effects. But if used cleverly, this solution will not suffer from the same exact-URL problem as the first method -- for example, search for "ise.buffalo.edu" instead of "http://www.ise.buffalo.edu".