Why don't the normal URL links keep working when pages are moved?

This question is in reference to Atlassian Documentation: Links

Why don't normal URL links keep working when pages are moved? This is just a basic requirement for documentation to be both maintainable & externally linkable.

No, my users don't want to use a special URL to link to, and there's no way I could consistently & reliably get them to do so.

As it is, moving & renaming pages (which are necessary to maintain the quality & – very importantly – the searchability of information) seem to result in broken links for users. This is just not remotely good enough.


5 answers

2 votes

Hi Thomas,

If you're adding links as 'Web links' in the dialog, Confluence treats it as an absolute link and won't update those links for any reason. If you use SearchRecently viewed, or just paste in the URL of another page in your Confluence site, Confluence will add it as a relative link and will update the link when you rename the linked page.

No, I'm talking about linking from the rest of the world to Confluence. These turn into "Page Not Found" when pages are renamed in the process of maintaining content.

Then, unfortunately, I'd say using the tiny URL is the only way to make sure they don't break.

A "normal" URL must change if you move the page to a different space – just as it must change if you rename the page.  That's because the URL includes both the spacekey and title of the page.  

E.g. if a page in SPACE1 is titled Welcome Folks, then the URL would be http:://confluencesite/display/SPACE1/Welcome+Folks.  

But if you move the page to DIFFERENTSPACE, then the URL must change to  http:://confluencesite/display/DIFFERENTSPACE/Welcome+Folks.

That said, (1) no change of URL occurs if you are just moving the page to a different parent in the same space, and (2) this is only a problem when linking to Confluence pages from outside of Confluence.

Within Confluence, moving or renaming a page should not break links to it from other Confluence pages.  The exception is if you add a link to a page as a "Web Link" ... which users should not be doing.  Doing so only defeats a key feature of Confluence.

And, if you move a page and someone lands on it because they have an old url, Confluence does the right thing and says "this page was moved to <new location>"

That more than answers the "basic requirement" because your obsolete urls still get you to the right page

Hi Nic: They get you to a "Page Not Found" page. Which, in the fine print, claims it may possibly be a renamed page.

I just want it to take users to the page, not tell them in the headline (which is all they will likely read) that it can't be found.

Thanks Fred for your answer. We wish to undertake maintenance – in all three regards of:

  1. re-titling Pages to improve searchability (a big deficit here)
  2. moving Pages within the heirarchy
  3. also considering moving Pages/ Spaces as possible large-scale restructuring.

Apparently both the first and the third can have a substantial to severe impact on user bookmarks, external references & links.

Really any documentation needs to be maintained, but we feel this may be highlighting a weakness of Confluence; in that external links into Confluence are not transparently maintained.

As an aside, we have also seen issues of Attachments being lost when moving content between spaces. Which our Admins were not able to recover.

So yes, there seem to be some issues here.

0 votes
Steven Behnke Community Champion Mar 13, 2016

What is a "normal" link, for reference?

Thanks Steven. I'm talking about a normal URL link from outside to Confluence pages/ content;  using the plain "address bar" URL, not some special method.

I am having the same issue as Thomas here.  I want to reorganize my confluence site which is littered with end points of links in jira stories. Annoyingly when I move a confluence age from space a to space b the link breaks but at the same time the 404 message does suggest to the user where to go. 


If it knows then why not just fix it? 

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