How do URL redirects work with converted or moved topics?

  • 29 March 2021
  • 5 replies

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One of my favorite aspects of the platform is the ease of converting between content types (questions to conversations, conversations to articles, etc) and to also move a topic from one location (category to category, group to category, etc). 

The platform seems to be great at redirecting the old URL to the new one, and we haven’t had a single issue there yet. 

How does this work? Can I be confident in this going forward or should I keep in mind the potential for broken links as things change over time? 


Best answer by Blastoise186 29 March 2021, 21:55

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Userlevel 7
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That’s clever magic there @ddpancratz !

The secret partly lies in the fact that the ID number in the URL never changes, even when you move things around. And given that the ID remains the same, it’s a simple matter of updating the references that point to it.

It’s also why this link and this other link both go to your profile, despite having different names. You can be very confident it’ll keep working as long as inSided keeps using this setup. Other platforms like Zendesk do the same thing too. The text is mainly a slug for SEO purposes, it’s the numbers that really matter!

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Great to hear that you like this feature! I also really like it, this makes content management so much less of a headache, imagine you’d have to follow up with every content move just to preserve the SEO value etc…

I just want to point out that there is also a slight downside to this, namely urls are less “friendly” when being shared, hence this idea has also been created a while ago:

As you can see, we have parked this idea for now, mostly also for this very reason. But I could imagine it could be a very cool optional add-on at a later date to create such friendly urls for individual content pieces, so that they are easier to share.

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You know what @Julian … I have an idea for that one…

This could be fun, but I’ve got some inspiration. Hehehe.

I’m editing this bit in as it’s easier than doing a new comment. But I’ve created 

Which is sparked from some of the previous ideas.

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is this the reason that when a topic is ‘merged’ with another one, the re-direct doesn’t work?

@Blastoise186 @Julian - is there a technical solution for these so then can re-direct? We are very strict with moving duplicates and combining them, but this has a negative impact when members link to topics which then become broken...

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It does seem that way. Simply moving topics to new places while leaving it as a unique topic works just fine. But merging them seems to destroy the old one completely.

Hmm… It may be possible as long as the platform can keep track of where things got moved to. However it could get messy if you merge Topic A into Topic B and then later merge Topic B into Topic C and so on.