When you rename a page or add a new page, the page address (URL) is automatically created based on whatever you have named the page.
In some instances you may wish to change the URL for a page, for example to make it shorter or more memorable. Also, there may be instances where you have changed the name of a page (or migrated from a different website altogether) and you wish to ensure that your old URLs (that may have been bookmarked by people or indexed by search engines) can still land people on a relevant page.
Both of these outcomes (renaming a URL and setting an alias/redirect) can be achieved through the Manage URL settings for each page on your site. This area lets you change a page URL and/or create URL aliases (redirects) for any page.
To access this area, click the Pencil icon that appears when you hover over a page or sub page name, you’ll see the option Manage URL.
Selecting this option will open a pop-up that shows the existing URL for the page. You can overwrite this to rename the URL with another name. In addition, you can also add one or more URL aliases for a page.
In the example below, the page name has been renamed from nzfootball.co.nz/NEWS-1 to nzfootball.co.nz/news. Also, aliases of ‘footballnews’ and ‘ournews’ have been added, while the actual URL is simply ‘news’. This means that if someone navigates to nzfootball.co.nz/news it will show the chosen page while displaying nzfootball.co.nz/news in their browser address bar. If someone navigates to nzfootball.co.nz/footballnews or nzfootball.co.nz/ournews they will automatically be redirected to nzfootball.co.nz/news.
Note: If your site does not have your own web address (URL) and people access it via a Sporty URL such as sporty.co.nz/myclub, then setting a new URL here will still require people to use your Sporty URL prefix before the page name eg. sporty.co.nz/myclub/news.
301 Redirects: If you have upgraded your website from another host to Sporty, some of the URLs to your old website pages are likely to no longer be identical to the pages URLs on your new website. If a person clicks an old page URL (eg a page that displays in search results but the page actually no longer exists at that address), then the Sporty platform will NOT display a 404 (not found) error. Instead, the visitor will automatically be redirected to your website home page.
Although displaying a 404 error allows a search engine to ‘learn’ that a page no longer exists at that address (and therefore it will eventually cease being displayed in search results), it is a poor user experience for the person that follows a broken link and sees an error message instead of the content they expect. It is also believed that 404 errors may harm your ranking with search engines, although no-one knows the true impact since search engines such as Google don’t disclose their algorithm.
If you set aliases/redirects for old page URLs, then people can follow outdated links and land on the correct page. However, setting aliases/redirects can require a lot of work, especially if upgrading from an old site that has many pages. For this reason, website owners often do not bother setting aliases/redirects and simply rely on the search engines re-indexing their site over time, which causes the new (correct) URL links to become displayed in search results.