Sep
22
2015

Page not found – fixing 404 errors

With so many changes going on as part of the EdWeb migration project it’s almost inevitable that some users will end up on the University’s 404 error page.

While the technical team do a wonderful job of setting up redirects (to point users from redundant URLs to their replacements) there are always issues, especially with two systems operating as the University’s CMS.

For those in the dark, a 404 error means that the page you are trying to get to could not be found on the website’s server.

Some organisations chose to customise their 404 page, incorporating humour as a way to entertain their visitors like the Financial Times or Hilary Clinton’s campaign site.

The FT’s 404 page

Hillary Clinton’s 404 page

Here at UWP we have been continually monitoring and fixing 404 errors to minimise the disruption to users of EdWeb sites. This has been especially important in recent weeks with a new academic year just under way and another round of student recruitment getting started.

URLs of Polopoly pages that end ‘/overview’ are prime candidates for showing up in the log as this term is no longer used in EdWeb.

Alternatively, pages that have been moved around in a website’s structure during or soon after migration might mean links no longer point to the right location.

And with more sites migrating and new sites looking to move to EdWeb, this will no doubt be an ongoing task.

Often it’s very straightforward to find the right place to redirect a user to but sometimes it can take a bit of searching to locate the correct page.

Using Polopoly as a guide we can quite easily see where a page was and match this up with the new structure in EdWeb and then add in a new redirect.

Otherwise, it can be a case of scanning the EdWeb content tree or simply navigating the site to find the correct page.

For those of you who have sites yet to migrate to EdWeb you can help to minimise the chances of any 404 errors occurring by following the pre-migration tasks neatly laid out by Lauren.

Migration prep tips – beyond the basics

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