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Why is my space page tree empty when viewing my space's homepage?

I'm trying to simplify my space's structure. Ideally, I'd like 3 "root" pages (i.e., pages directly beneath the the space in the hierarchy):

  • DevOps (space)
    • Overview (set as my space's homepage)
    • Projects
      • Project 1
      • Project 2
    • Technical Support
      • Tech support doc 1
      • Tech support doc 2

In this scenario, the "Overview" page does not have any children, it's simply there to use as, well, an overview page, with links into other relevant pages (e.g., Project 2 or Tech support doc 1).

This structure seems to work at the outset, but when I navigate to my space, the page tree in my space's sidebar is empty. Presumably, this is because the "Overview" page has no children. However, if I navigate to the "Projects" or "Technical Support" pages directly (or any children of those pages), the page tree shows up in full in the space's sidebar.

I need the sidebar to show the entire page tree for my space, regardless of where I am in my space's hierarchy (and especially when I'm on the space's homepage).

I've seen various answers on this site that seem to assume you can fiddle around with some settings in the "Sidebar Configuration" section of the "Space settings" section, but this is all I see (you'll also note the empty "Pages" block, even though the space itself has 3 root-level pages):

Screenshot_2019-02-09 Sidebar Configuration - DevOps - Confluence.png

This is also troublesome because trying to create another root-level page is non-intuitive. If I try to create it while on my space's homepage, it tries to create the page beneath the "Overview" page I created, not as a sibling. This seems to assume that the hierarchy Atlassian is trying to force upon us would be something like this:

  • DevOps (space)
    • Overview (homepage)
      • Projects
        • Project 1
        • Project 2
      • Technical Support
        • Tech support doc 1
        • Tech support doc 2

It seems inefficient to have a second layer (here, the "Overview" page) simply for the space's homepage (which one could assume should be the space itself!). Also, why is it called "Overview" in the sidebar but referenced as "Homepage" in the "Space Details" tab?

We're using Confluence Cloud, if that matters. It seems like a lot of documentation/answers are for the on-premise version of the software, but I'd assume the cloud version would be just as good, if not better (e.g., auto-updating to the latest featureset).

1 answer

Hi @Adam_Traver,

Yes your are right, Atlassian assumes that all of your pages are structured under the space's homepage (which is also used as overview page).

There is no way to re-configure the sidebar in the current cloud version to act differently.

The page tree itself will always render a page in its own context - thus the trees work for your other top level pages as soon as you navigated to them using the hierarchy or a link.

Personally I really like this approach and use the overview / homepage to provide an overview or some metrics.

Best, Tobias

Hmm. Thanks for your answer, though unfortunate.

I can't be the only person who thinks this is weird, right? A root-level entity that must have a single child entity beneath it, that itself has all child entities below it? Without explicit mention of that required layout in the documentation?

It's like putting a folder within a folder, and having everything inside that second folder, as opposed to just having everything inside the top-level folder.

I understand the reason to have an overview/homepage -- and indeed I have overview-style content on mine -- but it seems as though it either shouldn't create a new hierarchy of its own, or it should, but the content itself should be (or appear to be) attached directly to the space itself. It feels like the reason behind this annoying compromise is because I'd imagine in the backend of Confluence, spaces are not technically pages, and thus cannot display content as such. It's like a technical limitation acting as product design.

Like # people like this

I agree. This is indeed unfortunate (to say the least). And it persists. 

Like Carla Espadas likes this

I had the same confusion. Before setting up a home page for my space I could see the tree view just fine. As soon as I created a home page (thinking that I would provide more information for authors), BOOM, tree view was gone. Now i can only view the pages in tile view which is NOT intuitive at all. I guess then I will have to configure the overview page to show all the pages?

This behavior is not intuitive and should be changed. It should really be treated as a bug.

Like Carla Espadas likes this

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