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Manage URLs - Knowledgebase / Web and Online Media / BrownSites v1 / Basics - OIT Service Center

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BrownSites is designed to provide readable, relevant URLs to all content within your BrownSite. All content is automatically assigned a readable URL upon creation. Alternatively, you can choose your own URL aliases for your content. See below for more information on setting custom URL paths for content.

What happens if I change a page's URL?

All internal references to that page will automatically update with the page's new URL. This means that there is no worry about links to that page not working. However, outside references including search engines will not know about the new URL, and thus may not recognize the new URL of the page.

Additionally, if you linked to the page with the original URL within another page, that link will still be pointing to the outdated URL and thus will give you a redirecting (404) error. In order to fix this, simply update the link with the new URL. Please refer to Insert and Edit Links for more information on editing links.

Custom URL Path Settings

BrownSites supports custom URL paths. Normally, when you create a page or news item, your new page is automatically assigned a unique URL path based on the title you provided. However, if you'd like to customize your content's URL, you may do so through URL Path Settings.

Adding a custom URL path

  1. From the content editing (or content creation) page, look at the gray tabs at the bottom. Select "URL Path Settings."
  2. A checkbox and a disabled text box should appear. Uncheck the checkbox.
  3. The text box should now be editable.
  4. In the text box, enter your desired relative url. For example, if your BrownSite is located at, and you want your page to be accessed at, type "about"(without the quotes) into the text box.


Your content will now be available at the alias you entered.

Acceptable URL paths

URL paths are not limited to just the characters of the alphabet. While BrownSites will encode any URL path to make it acceptable, we recommend you only use certain characters for URL paths.

Recommended characters:
  • Alphabetical characters (A-Z)
  • Numbers (0-9)
  • Hypens ( - ) 
  • Underscores ( _ )
  • Forward slashes ( / )
You should not include:
  • Trailing slashes ( example/ )
Examples of good URL paths:
  • about
  • undergraduate/concentration
  • people/department-director
  • concentration_information
  • department-awards/2011

Note that your should never have a trailing slash in your URL path. "undergraduate/" will not work, but "undergraduate/concentration" will because the slash is not the last character in the URL path. Additionally, URL paths are not case-sensitive so "about" is equivalent to "ABOUT".

Note: While adding characters such as spaces, asterisks, parenthesis, etc. may not break your URL path, they will be escaped by BrownSites turning them into an encoded symbol. It is not recommended you use these characters because they won't presentationally look how you expect them to look.

Removing a custom URL path

  1. From the content editing page, look at the gray tabs at the bottom. Select "URL Path Settings."
  2. If the content has an existing custom URL path, the checkbox should be unchecked.
  3. Check the checkbox.
  4. Save the page / news item.

Your content will now be assigned an automatic url path and the content will no longer be accessible through the old URL path.

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