As part of the migration of web content to Drupal, URLs to Baylor websites will change.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) represents the location of content on the web. Much like physical mail, navigating to a page with baylor.edu in the URL is like sending physical mail to a One Bear Place address.
- Drupal-based websites have a different URL structure than Baylor CMS (BUCMS) sites. For example, the address baylor.edu/facultystaff is now facultystaff.web.baylor.edu.
- As part of the migration process, the digital marketing team will configure redirects from your old web content to your new Drupal site. This means that web traffic will be routed to the correct place for news content, pages, etc. Some redirects will exist in perpetuity while others serve as a temporary mechanism that directs search engines to the new content.
- Top-level redirects are created during migration and will exist in perpetuity.
- For example, the redirect for baylor.edu/facultystaff was configured during migration and will not expire.
- This is helpful for continuity and simplicity when including a URL in printed materials.
- Redirects with php in the URL will be deprecated in 2024.
- When the BUCMS is retired, URL redirects that reference a PHP address will no longer work. These redirects were created during migration to help with search engine indexing and will not be needed.
- Deep links should be migrated to Drupal.
- A deep link is a shortcut URL that redirects to internal pages. For example, baylor.edu/about/history may have been used to link to Baylor's History page.
- During migration, these redirects are added as needed to support existing printed materials, but these will not be retained when the BUCMS is retired.
- Future printed materials should avoid using the BUCMS deep links, and instead use Drupal URLs. In the above example, a link to Baylor's History page should be about.web.baylor.edu/history.
- Please visit with your web consultant if deep redirects are featured on legacy printed materials.
- Digital resources should avoid using vanity URLs.
- Consider the physical mail example -- mail can be forwarded when moving, but this is a less efficient way of sending packages.
- Similarly, redirects slow web traffic, decrease visitor interest, and negatively affect SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For links in emails, advertising, and other websites, always use the Drupal URL, even if you don't prefer the appearance.
- Also, note that the link label should very rarely spell out the URL. Consult the accessibility best practices for more information on how to create accessible links.
If you have a question related to redirects and URL, please contact your department’s web consultant for additional guidance.