Under review

Grouping pages without affecting the url

Cameron Cox 9 years ago updated by Cameron Cox 9 years ago 8

Grouping pages without affecting the url. Simply being able to organize pages within the CMS in folders for better organization and speed/ease of finding pages.
Under review
We’ve given a lot of thought to this one and still have not come up with a good solution yet. This seems to be just a need in the admin UI. We’re very hesitant to add new functionality like this that appears to organize pages but doesn’t actually have any effect on how pages are displayed on the public website. We are concerned that it will cause confusion.

It sounds like the root of the problem is finding pages within the admin, right? We have had that same concern with large sites that are well organized in parent/child paths. Perhaps a way to easily filter/search pages in the admin would be a better fix for a wider audience. What do you think?
I understand your cause for concern on that. I think a filter or search would be helpful, but still not a great answer. There are many times we may not know the name of the page we are looking for, but just know that it belongs to a specific section. Which is why a folder type organization would be so helpful. Would it be possible to have a setting that can be changed or an option selected that changes the admin? Like a Classic Page Manager that allows nesting pages and the folder levels in the URL or a Modern Page Manager that would allow the organization of nested pages without altering the URL.
We are still considering this one but haven't come up with a good solution that fits in with other use cases. To help out out a little bit can you share some SEO reasons why you are keeping your URLs flat instead of "nesting" pages under a parent page? Can you please share some posts from some prominent blogs that back this up?
The general consensus from our SEO department is the following:
  • Shorter URL's are generally better. Excerpt from a moz.com blog:
    "Shorter URLs are, generally speaking, preferable. You don't need to take this to the extreme, and if your URL is already less than 50-60 characters, don't worry about it at all. But if you have URLs pushing 100+ characters, there's probably an opportunity to rewrite them and gain value."
  • Page folders often limit page exposure to search engines (http://www.webconfs.com/seo-sub-domains-or-directories-article-65.php). This is an issue, because our service landing pages (like a Residential Service) is generally a simple page with basic information and the meat of the information is on the individual service page. So for instance, Bed Bug Control is generally a very important page, but if nested under Residential Services it possible the search engine would not crawl deep enough to pull that page into search results. Google generally limits the number of search results per domain to 2 or 3, so if you have more pages that are relevant, they might not show in the main search results.
  • Overall user experience. URL structures that do not contain folders are easier to remember and share.
These are just a few quick highlights from a brief discussion with a few people. Our main SEO guy is out right now, but I will ask him to weigh in on this and provide more facts when he gets back (most likely next week sometime).
Thank you for the update Cameron. That helps. Please do have your SEO guy share his thoughts too when he comes back.
I did speak with our SEO guy and he basically re-iterated what I said above. Basically, he said you will not find an article that says "don't nest pages", and if done properly it is not a huge deal. But based on several various factors, we have started using this method and it has been working well for us. Plus it does make the url's easy to remember and give out directly.

One thought I had, and maybe this is out of the realm of possibility, is if you are concerned that changing the pages layout in the CMS would confuse other users, maybe there could be an option under Site Settings to turn on/off page nesting in the url. Then the layout and functionality of the current page manager could stay exactly the same, and the only change that would be made is if the setting is enabled the url would not include folders. Does that make sense? Probably not as simple of a fix as it sounded in my head, but just a thought. Thanks!

Thank you for the updated information. We've got a few ideas that we're kicking around that include:

View by Tag - add support for tagging pages. This would be similar to tagging blog posts. Tags could then be used within the site to view by related pages. You would then also be able to view pages in the administration by tags. This one accomplishes more than what you're requesting and might be useful to others.

View pages by navigation - View the pages based on the navigation menus that they show in. Sort of like viewing all navigation menus on one page in a collapsable tree format. Pages that aren't in a navigation menu would show at the bottom in a "No Navigation Menu" section.

View pages by group - this would add support for grouping pages and is possibly the closest to what you're requesting. I'm just not sure how many other people would use this as it's limited to only changing the display in the administration and serves no other function.

We also want to add some Search functionality to the pages to make it easier to find pages by name, url, page title and perhaps some other content.

Let me know what you think of those options and if one or more would possibly meet your needs.
These are great suggestions! This one is definitely what we are really looking for:

"View pages by group - this would add support for grouping pages and is possibly the closest to what you're requesting. I'm just not sure how many other people would use this as it's limited to only changing the display in the administration and serves no other function."

Although, the others do have advantages as well. It would be incredible if we could pair "View pages by group" and the "Search" feature!