Deleting Pages

Remove an unwanted page from your site.

Please Proceed With Caution
  • Only a PUBLISHER can delete published pages. Deletion by a non-publisher will create an orphaned page on your live site.
  • Deleting a published page is immediately reflected on your live site. Please consider the full impact and ensure your Site Manager is aware of your actions.
  • Deleting a published page may impact other pages and other sites. Any published pages that reference it must also be republished so their references do not break. This can be handled automatically by the UBCMS if you have sufficient permissions BUT you may be publishing a page that is not ready to be republished.
  • Please avoid large deletions during peak business hours (over 100 pages).

On this page:

Last reviewed: February 24, 2022


You can remove a UBCMS page from the Author environment that is no longer needed. First make very sure it is not on your live website (unpublishing is always a best practice).

If there are references to your page from other pages (links or page inclusions), the system will attempt to tell you where they are and give you a chance to address these issues before you complete the action.  Comprehensive advice on handling these issues is provided below.

Steps to Delete a Page


These steps will work in the following scenarios:

  • If the page is not published.
  • If the page is published and you are an authorized Publisher for that page.

If the page has been published and you are not an authorized publisher, you CANNOT completely delete the page. Instead, have an authorized publisher delete it.

  1. Locate the page.
    • Open the Sites console, navigate to your site and select the page.
  2. Is the page published?
    • Look in the Published column to see if the page has a publication date or is "Not Published."
    • If it is published, you must unpublish it before deletion.
    • Resolve this concern, then proceed to Step 3.
  3. Is the paged referenced?
    • As a quick check, click the Side Panel toggle in the upper left of the window and select References, but for a comprehensive check, use the Reference Report (see details below).
    • If there are references, decide if you have sufficient permissions and the authority to adjust them after deleting this page.
      • If yes, then proceed.
      • If no, consult with your Site Manager.
    • Resolve this concern then proceed to Step 4.
  4. Unpublish the page.
    • If you can proceed, click the Unpublish button on the Command Menu at the top of the window.
    • This is not required for an unpublished page, but it is a good practice.
    • If Unpublish is grayed out, you do not have sufficient Publisher permissions and should NOT be deleting this page.
  5. Delete the page.
    • Click the Delete button on the Command Menu.
    • A dialog box will ask 'Do you want to archive pages before deletion?'
      • If you leave it checked (the default), the UBCMS will save a final version of the page which allows it to be restored later. (We recommend this option.)
      • If you uncheck that option, no version(s) will be saved and the page cannot be restored.
    • Confirm by clicking Delete.
    • If the page is not referenced, it is now deleted.
  6. If the page is referenced, the following message will display, with two options:
    • Selected items are referenced by N pages. The references can be reviewed in the References Rail.
    • Force Delete will delete the page regardless (not recommended). The page is now deleted.
    • Cancel will stop the deletion process.
  7. You can now address any issues identified in Step 3.

WARNING: Read first to avoid creating issues with other pages

Moving, deleting or unpublishing live pages will impact your public site, changing your navigation, updating (or breaking) links, and removing content from your pages.

1. Important Considerations

BEFORE you move or delete a UBCMS page, please consider these points then use the following tools and action tree to resolve any issues.

  • Permissions: The UBCMS will only allow you to reactivate the moved/deleted page and any referenced pages if you have the correct permissions.
  • Collateral Impact: Is the page you wish to move/delete 'referenced' (linked to, or used as Shared Content) by other pages on your site or other UBCMS sites?
    • Plan ahead for these impacts, especially with the Page Reference Report (see more below). The Move and Delete tools will also surface references, but only those you yourself can see.
  • Hidden References: The UBCMS will not warn you about every reference!
    • The move and delete tools will not warn you about references from pages or assets you yourself cannot view in the UBCMS.
    • The move and delete tools will not warn you about references for lists built through tags or advanced queries.
    • The Reference Page Report will warn you that these references exist -- see more below.
  • Server Redirects: Unlike Vanity URLs and redirect pages that are built in the UBCMS, server redirects are hard coded outside the UBCMS and will break if a page is moved. Be sure to contact us if you move a page that is the target of a server redirect.
  • Absolute URLs: Links built using the complete URL ("http://..." instead of a reference created using the Chooser tool) cannot be adjusted by the UBCMS and will need to be updated manually by an Author.

2. Check For Page References

Page references may be UBCMS internal links (built using the Finder tool) or pages that physically include your content either through a list component or a Shared Content reference.

Use the Reference Page Report (login required) to list UBCMS pages that reference your page. This shows you information about almost all references to your page and is the primary tool to use.

Build a new Reference Page Report then set:  

  • Root path - Provide one or more relative paths within the UBCMS to your content you believe to be referenced.

The results will display references to your specified page(s) including each reference's Source Page Title and Source Page Path.

References will include:

  • components where the page is in the link setting (e.g. Title, Call to Action)
  • links within the text of components (e.g. Body Text, Callout, Flex Module, Button, header/footer elements)
  • lists where the page is directly mentioned (curated links, lists by child pages or tags where the page is the parent path)

References will NOT include: 

  • lists where the page is included because of a tag or advanced query or because it is a child of the parent path

Note: To retain privacy for other sites, only partial information is shown for pages that are not visible to you based on your permissions.

  • Source Page Title will state "-- you do not have access to view this page -- ".
  • Source Page Path will show only the start of the path; e.g. "/content/www/...".

3. Know Your Site's Publication Status

The Page Report (login required) provides a comprehensive report of an entire site, including each page's publication status. Knowing which pages are live (and may be impacted by your changes) will lessen the possibility of any surprises after your actions.

4. Action Decision Tree

Based on your page reference research, use the following suggestions to ensure no sites are damaged by your changes.

  • If you manage the impacted pages:
    • Use the check box in the Move/Delete process to (re)activate them.
    • Be aware that some links will not automatically be updated by the UBCMS.
  • If others on your team manage the impacted pages:
    • Ask if their pages are in a state where you can (re)activate them. They may be working on content that is not ready to publish.
    • Make them aware that when you move your page  links that are not automatically updated by the UBCMS will break.
  • If the impacted pages are managed by another unit:

Restore a Deleted Page

Once a page is deleted, it can often be restored to a saved version. Use the Restore Version or Restore Tree tools to recover the deleted page in Author. (Try not to restore too much in the process!)

Restore an Orphaned Page

Any UBCMS user with Author privileges can safely delete a page that has not yet been published. However, if a page has been published to your live website, and an Author who lacks publishing permissions deletes the page in the authoring environment, the page will not be removed from the published site. This creates an orphaned page.

If this has happened to your site, there are two solutions. to remove the orphan from your live site:  

  • Use the Restore Version or Restore Tree tools to recover the deleted page in Author. (Try not to restore too much in the process!)
  • Create a new page in Author under the same parent and with the same name as the page that is orphaned on your live site. (The title and content do not matter.)

Then ask someone with Publisher rights to unpublish the new page to remove it from your live site. Once that is done, you can safely delete the new or restored page from Author (and your live site).

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