What is redirection?

It is a content type that enables editors to customize the path that visitors use to get to a page on the website.

Why use redirection?

Reasons include:

  • solves the problem of web addresses that need to be shortened for print media;
  • easier to remember path; usually, but not always,shorter;
  • branding consistency–the URL has congruency with the overall marketing message;
  • when materials have been deleted or relocated, to get site visitors to the new location or to replacement materials. (When creating a redirect from an outdated URL to a new page, the original page must be deleted before the redirect is created. Otherwise, the redirect will not work.  Unpublishing the page is insufficient, as then visitors get a login message, since the resource exists, but is no longer publicly available.)

How do you do it?

Step 1: Add Redirection Content

  • Choose the Add Content command at the top left.
  • Choose Redirection content type.

Step 2: Complete the fields

  • Add an Administrative Title: Contains a reference to the vanity link–the fake version. Why? so that you can use a Drupal search to find the terms used in the link if you need to work with it later–makes searching for it a LOT easier.
  • Destination: This is the ACTUAL place that the visitor will be going.  This has to be a real URL.  

3 fields defined: Admin title is the internal reference to the redirect. Destination is the actual location you want visitors to end up. URL alias, is the old/bad or fake url that ignites the redirect and points them to the Destination.

Step 3: Important Notes:

  • Use 'Generic' Naming Conventions
    That way when people bookmark your page (for example, an annual event)  they can go back to that same URL and get the latest information, as opposed to having to search or enter a new path to reflect each year.
  • Relative vs Absolute Paths
    • If the URL is within your site:be sure to use a relative path:
    1. Copy the link, but take out the leading " Do not include the / at the beginning.
    2. Content editors can't make redirects at the root of the website. To request such a redirect, staff should enter a Track-It! ticket, and member editors can email requests to
    • Use absolute paths if the URL is taking you completely off the ALA site:
    1. If the link is points to a domain other than the Drupal 7 installation, use the full URL.For example, to redirect to an ALA Connect community, you would use the full URL.
    2. Check your link periodically to ensure the path hasn't changed.
  • Be careful not to give the exact name to more than one page in the same directory.  However, you can have two pages named the same if they are in different file directories.
  • A Cron run may be necessary if your redirection does not start working immediately after you create it.  Send a Track-It! request with both links.
  • If you are pointing an old page to a new location, delete the old page.

How is this different from setting URL Path Settings?

It's not, really.  If you are creating a new page, you can create the redirection by deselecting the default Automatic alias setting and adding a vanity URL there.

screenshot: Deselect the Automatic alias checkbox and you can set your own custom URL for the page from Edit mode.