Provide alternate paths to your page.
Last reviewed: February 2, 2022
Visitors can be automatically switched from one URL to another, using webserver redirects, UBCMS 'vanity URLs' and redirect pages, or third-party URL shorteners. These solve problems from previously published links or help to promote a alternate path to your pages.
These higher order paths guide how people access any UB website, not just those in the UBCMS, provided UB manages that domain or server. Set for a temporary (one-year) or persistent (three year renewable) period, they must be supported by a good business case.
If you would like to request a server redirect, please assemble your business case and contact the DCT Help Team.
After you retire this tactic, or as an alternative, consider implementing a custom 404 error page. This will load when the ‘wrong’ URL is requested, with your unit’s branding and additional clarification how to find the content that is sought. > Read more about custom error pages
These are set by Authors in the UBCMS to redirect traffic from one UBCMS page to another. Any vanity URLs or redirect pages or redirect values set in page properties on UBCMS pages will never expire on their own.
You can create Vanity URLs in the UBCMS for any sites that you manage, provided the domain falls within what the UBCMS controls (e.g. www.buffalo.edu/abc) or one of the decanal or divisional subdomains already established in the UBCMS (e.g. nursing.buffalo.edu). If your URL is already being adjusted by a server redirect, speak to the DCT Help Team for advice. For example, cas.buffalo.edu is handled specially, and they must use /content/www/cas... instead of /content/cas...
Contact the UBCMS Help Team with any questions.
It is not possible to add a working Vanity URL to an authenticated page unless your Vanity URL also ends in '-pw.' If a short URL without '-pw' is desired for outreach or to handle common usage, we suggest you use a separate Redirect Page instead.
Create a new page using the Redirect Template, set the URL through the UBCMS to the actual secure page (/content/www/etc/page-pw), and then add any desired Vanity URLs to the Page Properties of the redirect page, and NOT in the secure page itself.
Before you start, check the desired Vanity URL in your browser to ensure it is not already in use.
The option to Redirect Vanity URL causes the browser to update the location bar so that it shows your preferred URL path instead of the URL that the visitor entered or clicked to arrive on your site.
Changing the URL in the location bar may be confusing to visitors, since they may not notice that the URL has changed, or appreciate why it has changed. However, this setting will encourage visitors to remember (and bookmark) your preferred URL.
While this is currently optional, we suggest you always select it. (Not selecting it may cause your page to load without some of its images or styling.)
While the Redirect Vanity URL setting is currently optional, we suggest you always select it. Not selecting it may cause your page to load without some of its images or styling.
The UBCMS supports a special type of page that simply serves as a built-in redirect from its apparent location to the actual page on your site. These can be built in Shared Content or as a regular Web page, using the appropriate template.
For standard UBCMS pages, while you can set a redirect in page Properties, we do not recommend this solution, because nothing in Author shows that the page is being used as a redirect.
Redirect pages cannot have working children. You can create a child page, but will not be able to edit its contents, because the UBCMS knows that its parent will effectively block access to that child page. Read more about this known issue.
A third option is to use a 'URL shortener' service, like Bit.ly or TinyURL.com. These free services allow you to choose a specific URL, if it's not already taken, such as http://bit.ly/UBCareerFair, as an equivalent to one of your Web pages. And if you register, you can track the clicks on the link, which is very handy for assessing the effectiveness of links sent out in emails.